How To Manage An Asthma Attack Without An Inhaler

Posted on: August 10th, 2018
Author: Dezsa Rubio
There are a couple of things in life that we wouldn’t want to get caught in: a raging storm, heavy traffic, long lines in the grocery and an asthma attack.

People with asthma are usually careful in keeping their rescue inhalers with them all the time in case of emergencies. But in unfortunate circumstances, the patient may forget to bring or may ran out of their trusty inhaler.

In dire situations where one does not have resources for a handy inhaler, how can a patient lessen the severity of an asthma attack and/or stop it?

First, the patient should determine whether he is in immediate danger and need prompt medical care. If symptoms such as the lips and fingernails turning blue, non-stop coughing, tightness around the ribs, if he or she feels like having a panic attack, or an inability to finish sentences due to shortness of breath, the patient should rush to an Emergency Room and get the medical response needed.

If the patient is not in the position of immediate danger, there are some techniques that may help in controlling one’s asthma attack within a few minutes to an hour.

Move to a Safer Location

Asthma is usually triggered by irritants like allergens or toxins that can inflame the airways. The patient should remove himself from his current location immediately if triggers are present. One may react to dust, pets, mold or smoke, all these are best to be avoided. If however, a cleaner location may be far, the patient should cover his nose and mouth to reduce exposure.

Inform Someone

Often, anxiety can worsen an asthma attack. To counter this, the patient must reduce his anxiety, one way of doing this is by talking to someone. This is also helpful in case one’s asthma suddenly becomes severe, the patient may need assistance in heading to a hospital.

Sip Hot Coffee or Non-Herbal Tea

Having one or two cups of hot caffeinated drink right away can help metabolize theophylline. Theophylline is a drug that’s used in preventing and treating asthma by relaxing the airways and decreasing the lungs ‘response to irritants. Any caffeinated drinks will likely help but liquids are better since they help loosen mucus.

Practice Breathing Exercises

Asthma attacks usually cause people to panic, which affects their breathing. Patients with asthma may hasten their breathing, restricting the amount of oxygen that enters the lungs. One can start by breathing in through the nose and counting to four, then out and count to six. Exhale with pursed lips as this will keep the airways open longer, one can continue breathing this way until he or she calms down.

Press on Acupressure Points

Acupressure is the application of pressure on discrete points in the body to stimulate therapeutic effects. For asthma attacks, one can press the front parts of their inner shoulder (right above the armpits) and the outer edges of the creases of the elbows (when bent) to relax muscles that may have tightened up.


Steam or warm moisture can loosen mucus. One can take a hot shower or stay in the bathroom while letting the hot water run in the tub or sink.

Asthma needs constant care and proper management since a patient’s life can depend on it. For more treatment and tips on how to control your asthma, consult with our doctors at LH Prime Medical clinics today!