Naturally, everything that can be done medically to stop these is of primary importance, but when you're gasping desperately for oxygen, the #1 priority is to relieve the temporary medical stress and breathe freely once again.
So, what is the best way to shorten the attack and lessen its severity? 1.
Nothing makes symptoms worst than panic! So, as best he can, the asthma patient needs to remain peaceful and not get overly upset about his situation.
Education, of course, is key to this because knowing that the attack isn't life-threatening makes it easier to bear.
Planning a medical response for when this does occur is not only physically wise, but mentally reassuring, so talk with your health practitioner and keep your medication handy.
Most asthmatics rely on "preventers" to avoid or lessen the number and severity of attacks.
However, once one begins the patient must rely on a "reliever" likeHydrocortisone, Medocromil or Cromolyn.
These are fast-acting relievers and the patient should begin to feel relief from his symptoms in 10-20 minutes.
These episodes can be brought on my such triggers as vigorous exercise or cold weather, and in those instances, in might be best to use the preventer before involvement in these situations.
Naturally, this decision should depend upon a collaboration between the patient and his doctor or healer.
Since fear only exacerbates symptoms, it's important to know when or if the patient needs more medical assistance than provided by the reliever.
A generally valid guideline is this: * Use your reliever and wait for 30 minutes * If necessary, use it for a second time and wait a similar length of time * If your symptoms are still extreme, get help from a medical professional Naturally, your situation might be more severe and need more prompt attention.
Be sure to work out a plan before an attack, rather than trying to second guess yourself when you can't breathe.
Asthmatics sometimes suffer from "second wave" attacks.
The symptoms ease or even disappear - and then hours or even a couple of days later they reappear, often in a more intense form.
These are usually more serious than the initial attacks and when we consider the symptoms of an asthma attack, we can understand why this is so: * The muscles in your throat can become extremely tight and rigid - and this is made even worse by panic or stress * Your air tubes will enlarge and inflame, meaning that the passageways through which the air must pass become even smaller * The body's normal mucus becomes much more 'sticky' and thick, thereby clogging the breathing tubes In a second wave attack, these symptoms can be decidedly more severe, critically narrowing the passages through which our life-giving oxygen must pass.
When this occurs, often the only viable treatment is quick admission to a hospital or treatment center.
In a really severe case, the only answer may be a tracheotomy, where doctors make an incisive in the trachea so the patient can bypass the constricted areas and receive necessary oxygen directly.
Possessing the correct information about asthma can't always stop an attack once it's begun, but knowing that the distress absolutely will pass helps to reassure any panicked patient.