Asthma Attack Treatment

You have an asthma attack or asthma exacerbation when your airways become inflamed and swollen. This happens when muscles around your airways tighten up and press on your bronchial or breathing tubes. This compression makes it difficult to breathe. An asthma attack can be quite minor and usually gets better with home treatment. It needs more attention and advanced treatment when an asthma attack is rather serious. A severe asthma attack can have life-threatening consequences. It is therefore important to recognize your triggers and identify asthma flare-up early to help resolve the issue with simple asthma attack treatment.

How to Tell If You Are Having an Asthma Attack

Before you try an treatment for asthma attack, it is important to confirm that you really have that issue. There are certain symptoms of an asthma attack, such as breathlessness, coughing, wheezing and tightness in the chest.

These symptoms may be mild or severe. If it is a mild attack, you may feel breathless only when you are walking. These symptoms become uncontrollable when you have a serious asthma attack. This usually calls for emergency treatment.

There are a number of symptoms of an asthma emergency, including trouble walking, feeling of breathlessness when not moving, bluish lips and fingernails. Some people have peak flow readings of below 50 % of their personal best and do not feel better even after using an inhaler. Other symptoms include unconsciousness, confusion, exhaustion and skin around the ribs looking "sucked in".

Immediate Relief

For immediate relief, you can try the following treatment options.

  • Use your inhaler and take a couple of puffs immediately.
  • Do not move and take slow, steady breaths.
  • Use inhaler every couple of minutes if you do not feel better. It is okay to take up to 10 puffs at a time.
  • Call emergency service if your symptoms do no improve after taking your inhaler.

Asthma Attack Treatments

You may feel better by trying some home treatment options for mild asthma attacks.

  • Take Albuterol

Taking 2.5-5 mg of albuterol (Ventolin and ProAir HFA) may help. Take it every 20 minutes and continue for an hour.

  • Take Oral Corticosteroid

You can take oral corticosteroid medical like prednisone to treat your asthma attack at home. Be sure to ask your doctor if you can take it to stop an asthma attack.

  • Use Peak Flow Meter

You should use albuterol or another inhaler medication if your peak flow meter readings are between 50 % and 79 % during your personal best. Peak flow meter help check your lung function and it is important to use it regularly to notice any decline in your lung function in time.

Emergency Treatment

If you have a severe asthma attack, you will need emergency asthma attack treatment.

  • Use Short-Active Beta Agonists

Use a nebulizer that turns albuterol into a mist and makes it much more effective.

  • Take Oral Corticosteroids

Taking oral corticosteroids may help reduce lung inflammation. You may need to take corticosteroids intravenously to deal with severe asthma attacks.

  • Use Ipratropium

You may use Ipratropium as a bronchodilator to reduce the severity of your asthma attack. This is a good option when you do not get desired results from albuterol.

  • Mechanical Ventilation

When your asthma attack is very severe, your doctor will decide to put a breathing tube down your throat. They will then use a machine to pump oxygen into your lungs.

Asthma Attack Treatments without an Inhaler

There are certain treatmentoptions for asthma attack without an inhaler.

1. Call Emergency Services

You should call emergency service even if the inhaler works. It takes time to recover from a serious asthma attack, so immediate medical attention is necessary.

2. Take a Hot Shower

Turn on your shower and let hot water run for a few minutes. This will fill your bathroom with steam that will help make breathing easier.

3. Do Breathing Exercises

An asthma attack becomes more serious when you start to panic. Anxiety can make breathing heavier. It limits the amount of oxygen that gets to your lungs. Do not panic and breathe slowly. Breathe in through your nose slowly and breathe out while pursing your lips. This helps keep your airways open for long.

4. Try Common Household Drugs

Antihistamine or allergy medicines help reduce the severity of your asthma attack, especially if the attack is associated with an allergen. The most common antihistamines are Benadryl, Allegra, Alavert, Claritin, Zyrtec and Chlor-Trimeton. Chamomil, ginger, Echinacea and saffron are all natural antihistamines, so drinking teas made using these ingredients may also help.

5. Take OTC Pseudoephedrine

You can always use a nasal decongestant like Sudafed. It is a good choice when your inhaler is not available. It helps open up your airways and makes breathing easier. Be sure to break the pill first and turn it into a powdery form. Add it to a cup of tea or warm water and drink to avoid choking.

Home Remedies to Reduce Asthma Attack

A number of home remedies often help prevent asthma attacks. For instance:

1. Ginger

Using ginger mixed with regular inhaled asthma medications may serve as an effective asthma attack treatment. It enhances airway dilation because ginger has compounds that reduce contraction of the muscles surround the airways.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Research shows that eating diet high in omega-3 may help reduce asthma attacks. You can eat more of salmon, walnuts and pumpkin seeds to provide your body with more omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Yoga

Doing yoga will help you learn different breathing techniques that in turn help reduce asthma attacks. You will learn the art of deep breathing that reduces hyperventilation and even improves airflow. 

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