Five ways to control an asthma attack
Asthma can slip out of control from time to time. Asthma attacks are not always severe and life threatening, but you should always act quickly when your asthma symptoms get worse. If you are getting a bad attack of asthma, take the following five steps:
1. Take up to five puffs of your reliever inhaler straight away. If you use a spacer device, it will make it easier to take your medication
2. Keep calm and try to relax as much as your breathing will let you. Sit down, don't lie down. Rest your hands on your knees to help support yourself. Try in slow your breathing, as this will make you less exhausted and then wait for 5-10 minutes.
3. If the symptoms disappear, you will be able to go back to what you were doing.
4. If the inhaler has no effect, take another couple of puffs and contact your local doctor or call an ambulance.
5. Keep using your inhaler every few minutes until the doctor (ambulance) arrives and see your doctor after the episode is over to review your asthma management to prevent further attacks.
(The writer is a Consultant Pulmonologist, Max Healthcare Centre)