5 Steps to Take During an Asthma Attack

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, nearly 25 million Americans have asthma. Medication and lifestyle changes can help control asthma. But attacks can sometimes happen out of nowhere, even with careful monitoring. 

During an asthma attack, your asthma symptoms suddenly worsen. You might experience intense wheezing and chest tightness. Our providers at Express Lane Urgent Care offer walk-in appointments so you can get the care you need.

We work with our patients to make sure they know how to control their asthma, and asthma attacks when they occur. 

Are you having an asthma attack?

Asthma is a chronic condition that’s often controlled with medication. But if your symptoms suddenly become much worse, you might be having an asthma attack. Symptoms of an asthma attack include:

  • Sweaty face
  • Pale skin
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Feelings of panic
  • Tight muscles in the chest or neck

These symptoms are typically brought on by triggers. Every person’s triggers are different, but some common triggers include inhaling cold air, smoke, pet dander, stress, having an upper respiratory infection, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Five steps to take during an asthma attack

Even if you have medications to control asthma, you might occasionally experience an asthma attack, especially if you’re exposed to triggers. Try not to panic. Instead, follow these five steps to control your asthma attack:

Sit up straight

Lying down may exacerbate coughing, so sit up straight and focus on your breathing. Take steady breaths in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth.

Use your rescue inhaler 

Remove the cap on your inhaler and shake it well. Take one puff every 30-60 seconds, but don’t exceed 10 puffs. 

Call 9-1-1

If your symptoms aren’t improved with your rescue inhaler or if your symptoms continue to get worse, seek emergency medical care. 

Use your rescue inhaler again

If your symptoms are severe, and it’s taking more than 15 minutes for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to arrive, then you should repeat the second step. Take one puff of your rescue inhaler every 30-60 seconds.

Follow up

Even if you don’t need to call 9-1-1, it’s a good idea to follow up after an asthma attack. If you find you’re using your rescue inhaler more than three times each week, we might need to adjust your asthma regimen.

Need to see us? 

If you’re having an asthma attack, or if you feel like your asthma isn’t well-controlled, we’re here to help. Whether you have questions or you need medical attention, you can stop by our clinic at 711 East Hawkeye, Turlock, California any day of the week. You can also schedule an appointment by calling us at 209-664-1550

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