An asthma attack can be cause for alarm, whether it’s happening to you or to your child – especially if it’s never happened before. But if this does happen, it is important to stay in control and not panic.
If you or your child suddenly has trouble breathing, it is best to call 911. The first responders will immediately provide breathing assistance, whether it is due to asthma or something else, and bring you to the emergency room for evaluation and treatment.
While you are waiting for the ambulance or EMTs (emergency medical technicians) to arrive, be sure to sit up straight, and breathe slowly and steadily. Do not lie down, because that will further constrict your airways.
If You Have Been Diagnosed with Asthma
If you or your child is diagnosed as having asthma, your doctor will have prescribed a treatment to be administered immediately during an asthma attack. Some asthma attacks need more than just an inhaler but rather require immediate medical attention.
These more serious flare-ups are indicated by the following symptoms:
- Constant wheezing
- Attack lasts more than 20 minutes
- Attacks keep recurring frequently
- Asthma isn’t responding to inhaler or prescribed medication
Treatment for Asthma
If you have asthma and you are suddenly having trouble breathing, use your reliever or inhaler. If your symptoms do not improve with the prescribed treatments your doctor gave you, call 911.
When you follow your doctor’s instructions on what to do in case of an asthma attack, you should see the symptoms begin to ease within a few minutes. In fact, a main purpose of asthma medication and inhalers is that you will hopefully never need emergency care for this condition after diagnosis.
An asthma treatment plan will detail daily treatment, immediate-relief treatment, dangerous symptoms that necessitate a trip to the emergency room, and instructions on what to do if you or your child has an asthma attack. Your physician will also explain the asthma triggers to avoid, such as smoke, mold, cold air, and stress.
Are Inhalers the Only Treatment for Asthma?
Your asthma physician will likely not only prescribe a quick-relief inhaler, such as albuterol, but also allergy medications and long-term asthma medications. These can include corticosteroids, beta agonists, and theophylline. Your doctor will explain how these work with the inhaler medicine.
What Causes Asthma?
It is unclear why some people get asthma and others do not. But for those who do have it, a flare-up tends to happen due to certain triggers, such as:
- Exposure to respiratory viruses such as pneumonia, influenza, or the common cold
- Cold, dry air
- Chemical fumes
- Pet dander
- Mold spores
These triggers are particularly dangerous during the fall and winter seasons, when people tend to develop and spread the cold and flu. The colder climate adds to the vulnerability to these viruses by those with asthma.
Asthma Doctor in North Texas
If you or your child sometimes experiences sudden wheezing, or has trouble breathing and gasps for air, it may be due to asthma. There are plenty of treatments for asthma, and it is best to be evaluated and treated by a physician who is a lung specialist – such as those on our experienced medical team at Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas. A majority of asthma cases occur in children under the age of 10.
The physician will prescribe a personal asthma plan in order to prevent negative outcomes with long-term consequences. A personalized asthma treatment can save you or your child from the hazards of asthma. This condition can be fatal if not properly treated, so do not ignore the symptoms of asthma as if they are somehow normal.
At Lung & Sleep Specialists of North Texas, we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pulmonary conditions that affect the lungs, such as asthma. For proper diagnosis and an effective asthma treatment plan, please call our compassionate lung specialists at (817) 594-9993 or request an appointment online now. We are happy to help you breathe better and feel better!