Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease. During an asthma attack, the airways in the lungs get swollen and inflamed, causing shortness of breath. Some people develop this illness in early childhood. While many people say that children can outgrow the symptoms of asthma during the phase of adolescence, some kids may always have it upon growing. But medical experts argue that when children’s asthma-like symptoms eventually disappear, then what they have is not asthma. To diagnose asthma, doctors will perform a physical exam which includes lung function test and chest X-ray.
A person with asthma can experience attacks and symptoms anytime. This could happen due to several factors such as allergic reaction to climate change, pollen grains, dust particles, smoke, pet hair, and fragrances, certain illnesses like flu or sinusitis, and exhausting workout.
While there’s no cure for asthma, sudden attacks and symptoms can be under control. Here’s what to do when this illness suddenly strikes.
This position helps you open your airways (bronchial tubes) and breathe easily. It is advisable to sit on a chair with a backrest. Sitting up straight is much more relaxing than lying on a bed. Lying can only make the breathing more difficult because the gravity places more pressure on your lungs and chest. Try to take slow, deep breaths to calm your chest. Although this could be difficult since it feels like you’re drowning on air. But trying to take it slow is much better than hyperventilation.
You can also take prescribed medicines or use a portable nebulizer (breathing machine) to feel better. This may take 10 to 15 minutes. Dosage of medicine may vary depending on how severe the condition is. Follow your doctor’s prescription for your safety.
If these are not present during the course of asthma, there are several home remedies that can be effective in an emergency.
Eucalyptus has been a powerful cure for several diseases. Inhaling its vapor opens the air passageways, causing a smooth flow of air in the lungs. If you don’t have a diffuser at home, you can boil a pot of water and put drops of eucalyptus oil in it as an alternative vapor rub.
People may think that caffeine is bad for health but not during the attacks of asthma. Caffeine in black or green tea and coffee can actually treat the said illness. It helps to improve the breathing function and relieves symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath which can work for four hours after consuming it. With that being said, caffeine is usually considered as similar to theophylline, a popular chemical medication for asthma. For more effective result, consume it warm.
Honey is one of the most popular quick-relief remedies for respiratory illnesses including cough, colds, and asthma. It washes away the stubborn mucus and phlegm that obstruct the throat and airways. You can also mix a teaspoonful of honey with cinnamon powder before bedtime to soothe your lungs and prevent symptoms of asthma.
In the case when attacks and symptoms are hardly controlled, seek medical help immediately. Go to the nearest emergency room when you experience severe breathlessness and wheezing, extremely narrowing chest, inability to speak due to shortness of breath or having unbearable symptoms after taking quick-relief remedies.