I’ve never had a patient die of an asthma attack while I’m treating them, but a few have come close. I’ll never forget their desperate looks, the fact that they weren’t able to breathe in enough air, and the pleasure (and relief) that came when the episode was over. )
Because asthma is a serious illness (over 3,000 asthmatic deaths occur in the United States each year), I observe fewer and fewer individuals having severe attacks these days, owing to the wide range of excellent medicines accessible. What would you do if you had an asthma attack without your inhaler? What measures might you take to prevent or treat one when all of your prescription medications were exhausted?
Someone asked it another way on my Facebook page: “Are there any natural cures for asthma flair-ups?”
The long answer is that there is nothing natural that works as well as prescription asthma medicines. Over-the-counter Primatene Mist was a sort-of substitute—loaded with unwanted side effects—but it has been discontinued.
Even so, there are a few things that can assist. Here are nine asthma attack prevention and treatment strategies that don’t require an inhaler. You must begin preparing immediately.
1. Identify the things that set off your rages
- Smoking is an unavoidable component of the scenario. If at all feasible, you must cease smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.
- In addition, allergies are a frequent cause. Find out what you’re allergic to and avoid it. Allergy medicines can assist with the prevention of an attack. The over-the-counter nasal inhaler cromolyn sodium (NasalCrom) is one that’s frequently neglected but which can be beneficial. Oral antihistamines may also help, however, they may also shrink the mucus membrane lining of your lungs and make some people’s asthma worse. As usual, talk to your doctor about it.
- Exercising is a typical trigger. It might be beneficial to ease into it slowly.
- The emotional strain is a common cause. Learn how to relax.
2. Use breathing techniques to improve your respiratory health
There’s some promising evidence that breathing exercises may help you avoid attacks. These techniques might be difficult to master. For assistance, see your doctor. The following are the three most frequently advised: 1) Pranayama (controlled breathing).
- Isometric exercises of the Buteyko method
- The Papworth method
- Pranayama yoga breathing is a method of yogic breathing that focuses on the breath and its rhythms.
3. Maintain a healthy weight and exercise on a regular basis.
Both have been demonstrated to assist prevent assaults.
4. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrition
For vitamins that can help your immunity, try selenium and vitamin C. Vitamin E is also good at preventing damage caused by oxidation (oxidation). Vitamin E supplements have been found to prevent heart disease. For its anti-inflammatory properties, take fish or fish oil.
5. Consume a lot of water
To keep the lining of your lungs moist, drink a lot of water.
6. Cover your nose and mouth with a tape to keep the ducts closed
In cold weather, cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or other mask to protect against smoke and other air irritants.
7. Consider drinking a cup of coffee or tea
Both contain a chemical similar to the old asthma medication theophylline. (These days, there’s usually better medicine with fewer side effects, but theophylline worked.) Many doctors believe, however, that the doses in these beverages are too little to do any good. However, I feel they’re worth a shot. Don’t go crazy. You probably drink at least a cup or two each day already, so you don’t need much more.
8. Place the over-the-counter oral decongestant pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) in a safe place
It might assist you during an assault. Make sure to understand the possible negative effects, such as a quicker heart rate and blood pressure boost, as well as urinary problems in men with a big prostate.
9. Here’s a must-have: Have an Epipen on hand, like epinephrine
It is effective for allergic reactions, yet it can also help with asthma attacks without the use of an inhaler. Of course, get to a medical facility if at all possible, but if that isn’t an option, keep epinephrine on hand in case of emergency. It may be a lifesaver if everything else fails.
Please consult your doctor before attempting any of these methods. These should never be used in place of prescription medicines. Risking your life is not a smart idea.
Please let me know how the breathing techniques have worked for you, and whether there are any additional strategies to deal with an asthma attack without using an inhaler that I didn’t include.
Photo credit: mr walker