Asthma attacks occur when a person is exposed to "triggers," or conditions that can set off an attack. Common asthma triggers include:
cAllergens (trees, pollen, dust, animal dander, cockroaches, etc.)
- Air irritants (smoke, chemical fumes, strong odors)
- Some illnesses (such as the flu, sinus infection, or upper respiratory tract infection)
- Strenuous exercise
- Extreme weather conditions
- Strong emotions that may change your normal breathing patterns
Before an asthma attack some common warning signs include an increased need for quick-relief medications (rescue medications), worsening cough, shortness of breath, and lower exercise
A shocking number of people put off seeking emergency medical attention when they really need it because they are worried that their symptoms will subside before an ambulance arrives or that their ailment will turn out to be nothing. Do not put off calling 911 or visiting the emergency room if you feel at all that you need it. It is better safe than sorry! If you cannot speak or are having trouble walking, it is a sure sign that you need attention right away. Having a medical ID bracelet or a medical card detailing the fact that you suffer from asthma is a good preparation to help in the case that you encounter and asthma attack without an inhaler and need someone else to dial 911 for you and to help medical personnel more quickly identify and treat your symptoms while you are indisposed.
Sip hot coffee or nonherbal tea. Have one or two cups right away (but no more than that in one sitting, or your heart rate might spike too high—this is true among all people, not just asthmatics). Caffeine is metabolized into theophylline , which is also a drug that’s used to prevent and treat asthma by relaxing the airways and decreasing the lungs’ response to irritants. Getting caffeine from any source (a soda, an energy drink, a supplement, etc.) will likely help, but tea and coffee have other compounds that act similarly to caffeine (plus, liquids—especially hot liquids—help loosen mucus), so getting your caffeine in this form is best.