asthma attack patient

What to do when your child experiences an asthma attack

Did you know that 1 in 14 adults has some form of asthma and 2 million children alone visit a physician’s office for asthma treatment?. Asthma-related office visits accounted for 6.2 percent of all physician visits in 2015, per the CDC, representing close to 9.6 million people.

There are few things more intimidating, scary, stress-inducing for patients than an asthma attack.

During an asthma attack, a person’s airways become tightened to a point of severe asphyxiation and requires immediate medical attention as well as an inhaler. Without an inhaler, a person experiencing an asthma attack may require emergency medical attention.

Thankfully, preventing an asthma attack is simple with some basic prevention skills. If you or someone else has asthma then make sure you follow the guidelines below to successfully prevent an asthma attack:

Look out for asthma attack symptoms

Patients and family members should know about any signs and symptoms that indicate an asthma attack is taking place. Make sure you also understand that a person may have a few different symptoms that could manifest into a full-blown asthma attack. These symptoms include:

  • Severe wheezing that won’t stop
  • Intense coughing
  • Very rapid breathing
  • Tightness around the chest and neck
  • Feelings of anxiety or panic
  • Pale sweaty face

Patients should be more alert when they experience a combination of these symptoms. Having more than one symptom usually means that an asthma attack is happening. If an individual is experiencing an asthma attack then take the following precautions:

Keep your inhaler on you at all times, call 911 for intense asthmatic episodes

Thankfully, most asthma attacks are minor and only require the use of an inhaler to reverse an asthma attack.

An inhaler is a medicated device that relieves asthma symptoms through nasal or airway administration. The patient experiencing an asthma attack has to self administer the device by pushing a button. Additionally, there are other types of inhalers including nasal sprays and neutralizers depending upon the severity of the patient’s asthma.

If a patient’s symptoms do not start to go away after using an inhaler, call 9-1-1 immediately. This usually means that person is having a severe asthma attack that requires emergency care.

Prevent asthma triggers at home

One of the most effective ways to reduce asthma is to address potential asthma triggers in your household. In our previous blog, we laid out all of the most effective ways to lower triggers.

Common asthma triggers including dust mites, molds, pollens, pets, cockroaches, and household chemicals are likely to set off an asthma attack. A few ways to reduce/prevent triggers includes:

  • Use allergen-proof pillow cases and bedding to reduce allergens
  • Wash bedding in hot water once a week
  • Install hardwood floors instead of carpet and limit vacuuming around people with asthma
  • Change filters on air conditioners and heaters frequently to reduce the spread of allergens
  • Manage clutter, dust frequently, and make sure the house is as clean as possible

Proactive care, awareness, and learning the signs can help you address asthma attacks at all times!