Asthma is a chronic lung condition in which the airways narrow down and make it difficult to breathe in and out. This condition affects children more than adults, and it is particularly seen in people who have a weak immune system, who have suffered frequently from viral respiratory infections and in those who are allergic to dust, pollen, dust mites, animal fur, pollution, molds and similar.
Asthma comes in attacks. During an asthma attack, the smooth muscles of the bronchi in the lungs contract, the airways become narrow and their lining swells and secretes mucus. All this results in difficulty breathing.
The symptoms of asthma include wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and tightness.
Treatment for asthma
Today, there are many medications that can alleviate asthma attacks. One of the most widely used is the asthma inhaler, a small device filled with bronchodilators. A bronchodilator is a drug that relaxes the bronchial air passages and dilates them so the air can flow normally. When an asthma attach occurs, it is vital to have an inhaler at hand and to use it to relax and dilute the airways. An inhaler can be refilled and most asthma sufferers always carry one with them.
However, there are situations in which an asthma attack occurs and there is no inhaler. It is important to know what to do if such situations occur.
Asthma attack- no inhaler
The first and the most important thing in dealing with an asthma attack when there is no inhaler around is to recognize the early signs and symptoms of the attack. That way it will be possible to call for help, whether it is a friend or a family member who will bring an inhaler or a medical professional who will provide necessary assistance.
When the first signs of an asthma attack appear, it is important to eliminate all the potential allergens and irritants, like dust, pollen and similar.
It is best to sit upright in a comfortable chair or bed and to avoid any pressure to the chest. This includes clothes, which should be loosened.
In an asthma attack, a person is bound to start breathing fast and deeply and it is important to try to restore the normal breathing pattern, with lower breathing rate.
When the breathing goes back to the normal pace, it can help to sit up and hold the hands in the air, arms stretched. This can help to relax and dilute the airways.
An asthma sufferer can be given garlic, milk or honey, because these ingredients are believed to help with asthma attacks. Their efficiency, however, varies depending on the person in question and on the severity of asthma.