Ways to prevent an asthma attack

An asthma attack can cause difficulty in breathing. Luckily, the condition can be controlled to prevent future asthma attacks and lead a normal life. It is important to work with a doctor to create a suitable action plan.

Monitoring the asthma symptoms

Preventing acute asthma attacks requires regular monitoring of the breathing, activity level and the symptoms. This is vital so that the warning signs of an attack can be recognized. The appropriate action can be taken to manage the symptoms before they become severe. Oftentimes, the symptoms are subtle and not obvious at all.

The usual symptoms of an acute asthma attack include the following:

  • Wheezing

    The triggers for asthma usually include substances or environmental factors that trigger the asthma symptoms.

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightness

When monitoring the breathing, the doctor will instruct the individual on how to use a peak flow meter. This is a small-sized device that measures the amount of air flowing out of the lungs when blowing into it.

The readings of the peak flow meter can show when the breathing tubes are constricted which is an early indication that asthma is not properly controlled. If the peak flow meter is used regularly and properly, it can detect an upcoming asthma attack before the symptoms arise.

Asthma medications

The management plan includes instructions on how to use the medications. There are 2 forms of medications for asthma that the doctor will prescribe:

  • Long-term control medications – work by preventing the asthma symptoms
  • Rapid-relief medications – work by stopping any abrupt or acute symptoms

The doctor will set the appropriate dosage and timing of the medication based on the needs of the individual. If the symptoms are still present even after the plan is followed, inform the doctor so that the necessary adjustments to the medications can be done.

Identification of the triggers

The triggers for asthma usually include substances or environmental factors that trigger the asthma symptoms. The triggers tend to vary from season to season.

The typically allergens that can trigger asthma symptoms include:

  • Dust
  • Cockroaches
  • Animal dander
  • Mold
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on an asthma attack is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage respiratory issues by taking a standard first aid course with Winnipeg First Aid.

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