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Fall 2010 Volume 6, Issue 2

Health Chronicle

ASTHMA

The Asthma Attack’s Over – Now What?

You know how important it is to act fast when you’re having an asthma attack. But moving quickly once it’s over can help you avoid another one. Here’s how to keep asthma from getting its second wind.

First Things First

Your frst job is to make sure the asthma attack is really over. Your quick-relief inhaler or breathing treatment machine should improve your symptoms right away. If you’re still not feeling better, call your doctor. Also call if your peak-fow number stays at less than 80 percent of your personal best.

If your peak-fow number is 50 percent less than your personal best, call your doctor right away or go to the nearest emergency room. Don’t wait to get medical help if you develop serious symptoms, such as blue lips or fngernails and trouble talking.

You may get medication like liquid or pill corticosteroids or an inhaler to help control your asthma. You may need to take your medication or use your inhaler within hours of the attack and continue for up to 10 days.

Help Recovery Last

Studies suggest you should see your doctor within a week after visiting an emergency room for an asthma attack. You should also make an appointment with your doctor if:

●● You used your quick-relief inhaler on more than two days in one week

●● Your symptoms made you limit your normal activities

●● Your peak-fow number is 80 percent lower than your personal best

During your visit, talk about what happened and how to keep it from happening again. Bring up your triggers and medications. Have your doctor check that your inhaler technique is right. Review your asthma Action Plan together. If your doctor suggests changes to improve your asthma, get an updated plan in writing. Keep taking controller medications as prescribed by your doctor to manage your asthma symptoms and prevent attacks.

Use our Asthma Zone Calculator so you know when you need to act fast to control your asthma. Log in at hap.org and link to Healthy Living . Then under Tools and Resources click on Health Calculators.

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