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Can You Prevent An Asthma Attack?

When you have an asthma attack, the airways in your lungs become inflamed and swell up and the muscles in the neck around your airway contracts. This makes it much harder to breathe because the bronchial tubes are suddenly narrower, which prevents as much air from flowing as normal. Because of this, asthma attacks are often accompanied by panic, which only makes the situation worse. Is there anything you can do to prevent an asthma attack? If not, how do you deal with one?

Levels of Attacks

Not all asthma attacks will be the same, and even the same person may experience attacks in various intensity. Some are fairly minor, and you’ll only experience some wheezing and coughing until you use your inhaler. Others are much more severe, and the worst attacks can’t be solved with any at-home treatment. In these cases, you’ll have to go to the emergency room.

Preventing an Attack

Preventing an asthma attack is one of the key ways of managing this condition. Learn what causes your asthma attack and then do the best you can to avoid being in those conditions. Your doctor can perform allergy tests to determine if it’s an allergen, while keeping an incident log and being aware of your surroundings can help isolate other factors.

Another way of preventing an attack is to use your inhaler as soon as you start to notice an asthma attack coming on. If you feel your chest tighten, start to wheeze or cough, and begin to experience shortness of breath, take steps to stop the attack from becoming worse. Leave the area, use an inhaler, and do your best to remain calm. If your symptoms continue to get worse after using your inhaler, consider going to the emergency room. Remember, while other people may be able to help you through an attack, you’re the only one who knows when it reaches that point that you need emergency help.

When Should I See a Doctor Outside of an Emergency?

If you continue to experience wheezing or severe shortness of breath despite using your inhaler often, especially if you have these symptoms in the morning or at night, you may need to talk to your doctor about changing your treatment. The same is true if you feel like you’re straining to breathe or if you consistently see low numbers on your peak flow meter (a tool designed to help you and your doctor see how much air you’re breathing in).

Treating you Asthma

In most cases, you will use a fast-acting inhaler that contains albuterol every 20 minutes or so to help relax your airway. Some people are allergic to albuterol, but there are other medications out there that do the same thing. Your doctor may also give you prednisone or other corticosteroid medication to take. You should also continue to check your breathing using a peak flow meter. If your lung function starts to drop, it can be an indication that your asthma is getting worse and that you need different treatment.

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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.