How to Prevent Asthma Attacks: Helpful Tips


Aug 3, 2021


If you suffer from asthma, knowing how to prevent asthma attacks can be important information. Not being able to breathe during an asthma attack can be a really frightening experience. Although there might not be any known cures for asthma, there are several steps you can take to stop it from interrupting your life. 

To prevent an asthma attack, here is a sneak peak at the tips we will be covering in this article:

  • Creating an asthma care plan 
  • The importance of a peak air flow meter
  • Having asthma medications on hand
  • The importance of receiving your flu shot
  • Avoiding all known allergy triggers 

Want to learn more about how to prevent asthma attacks? Our 5 tips for prevention can help you feel more at ease when it comes to managing your asthma.

Asthma Signs and Symptoms

Even if you know how to treat asthma, recognizing signs and symptoms can be beneficial. Asthma attacks happen as a response to an external trigger such as exercise or allergies. As a result, the airway becomes swollen and narrow, making it hard to breathe. 

For some people, asthma is nothing more than a minor inconvenience. For others, it is a life-threatening concern that needs to be managed daily.

Symptoms of asthma include:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest tightening
  • Wheezing

When to Go to The ER For Asthma

If you or someone you know are experiencing a severe asthma attack, seek medical attention immediately. Ideally, you should have already talked with your doctor to develop an asthma action plan in the case of an emergency. Otherwise, here are some common signs that indicate you should seek medical help:

  • Minimal/no improvement with quick-relief inhaler use
  • Abnormal shortness of breath during minimal physical exertion
  • Rapid decline in breathing or wheezing
  • Blue lips or fingernails
  • Pale face

How to prevent asthma attacks: 5 helpful tips

1. Create an asthma action plan in advance

One of the best ways you can learn how to prevent asthma attacks is to create an asthma action plan with your doctor. Important parts of this plan include learning how to recognize signs of an asthma attack, taking your prescribed medications, and creating a detailed plan for managing an asthma flare up.

2. Invest in a peak air flow meter

A peak air flow meter can tell you how well you’re able to breath out. Knowing the quality of your breath can help you predict when there is an impending asthma attack. This information can give you more time to initiate your asthma plan, control your symptoms, avoid the need for further medication, and potentially stop the attack before it starts.

3. Avoid known allergens and triggers

Exposing yourself to triggers, including known allergens, smoke, candles, and fires, can cause inflammation, narrowing your airways and making the chances of an asthma attack more likely. The best way to prevent allergy-induced asthma is to avoid all triggers when possible. Pay attention to when you’re having signs of allergies and do what you can to allergy-proof your home.

Keep in mind that severe allergic reactions can lead to anaphylaxis and may be life-threatening if not immediately treated. It’s important to make sure that those around you know what to do when someone is in anaphylactic shock and are aware of your asthma care plan.

4. Take your asthma medications

When it comes to managing asthma attacks, it’s best to be prepared. Aside from ensuring that you’re taking your medications as your doctor prescribed*, you never know when you’ll need extra support. Make it a habit to grab any medications you might need before heading out. 

*Please be sure to check in with your doctor before starting or making any changes to your medications.

There are several types of asthma medications and multiple types of inhalers on the market such as: 

  • Long-term asthma medications including corticosteroids, short acting beta agonists, or nebulizers
  • Rescue medications including ipratropium and asthma inhalers
  • Allergy based asthma medications including anti leukotriene drugs and injections

Keep reading: What is a nebulizer?

5. Get your flu vaccination

Influenza can make asthma symptoms worse and can put you at risk for pneumonia. There are several ways you can learn how to stay healthy during the flu seasonlike getting good sleep and washing your hands. But getting the flu shot every year can help your body make the antibodies it needs to fight off the flu virus so you don’t have to.

How to Prevent Asthma Attacks at Night

The causes of nocturnal asthma are not fully understood. Although it’s hypothesized that it is a result of increased allergen exposure, increased mucus, hormonal secretion, lying in a horizontal position, and/or GERD.

Follow these tips to prevent nighttime asthma.

  1. Take your asthma medication during the day. A long-acting bronchodilator could potentially help cover the long hours of the night.
  2. Allergy-proof your bedding to avoid exposure to triggers.
  3. Use a peak air flow meter to track changes and consult with your physician.

Visit a Complete Care ER Immediately if You Are Experiencing a Severe Asthma Attack

Despite having a better understanding of how to prevent an asthma attack, it’s not always possible to avoid triggers. If you’re experiencing a severe asthma attack don’t wait to seek medical attention. Visit one of our 24 hr emergency walk-in clinics equipped with hospital-grade technology and friendly medical staff. 

We have convenient ER locations (with short wait times) in both Texas and Colorado. Head into one of our facilities or give us a call today!

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