According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, approximately 300 million people worldwide have asthma, a serious condition that can restrict breathing. While some individuals may suffer from mild asthma attacks, others experience life-threatening episodes. Quick emergency treatment is essential for individuals experiencing sudden and severe asthma attacks.
Asthma is a lung disease that affects both adults and children. This condition can cause repeated episodes of chest tightness, coughing, wheezing and breathlessness. Taken on a regular basis, long-term control medications can help minimize the possibility of allergy attacks that require emergency treatments. Rapid acting treatments are required in emergency situations.
Amount of Air Flow
A peak flow meter can help you determine which situations require emergency treatment. This simple devise measures how quickly your lungs move air. It can help you determine when you require emergency treatment with an inhaler or when you should call for an ambulance. According to the New York Times Health Guide, peak flow readings between 50 and 80 percent of your best results indicate a moderate attack, while readings below 50 percent indicate a severe attack.
Home Care Emergency Treatments
Quick-relief medications can help stop an attack before symptoms worsen. Also called rescue medications, these treatments can begin working within minutes, rapidly reducing the severity of a breathing emergency. Quick-relief medications include albuterol, levalbuterol, pirbuterol, and ipratropium. Inhalers and bronchodilators help to deliver these medications into your airways. Oral corticosteroids including Prednisone, Methylprednisolone and Hydrocortisone can help treat severe asthma attacks, according to MayoClinic.com. Your doctor may prescribe these medications for you to use in case of an allergy attack.
While inhalers can treat some asthma emergencies at home, severe attacks call for quick professional intervention. In addition to low readings on your peak flow meter, indications of emergencies requiring urgent medical care can include include a bluish appearance in the skin of your lips and face, confusion, extreme difficulty breathing, severe anxiety, rapid pulse and sweating.
Urgent medical care focuses on quickly reopening your airways to increase the oxygen in your lungs and bloodstream. Your doctor may use quick-relief medications in inhalers. In addition to inhaled medications, an urgent attack may require an intravenous injection of a corticosteroid drug like methylprednisolone.