What To Do for Asthma Attack Without Inhaler?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease recognized by wheezing, chest tightness, and shortness of breath. These symptoms get worse during an asthma attack and can become fatal.

People with asthma should always have an inhaler with them. However, sometimes, an inhaler might not be available during an attack. In this blog, we will discuss what to do if you have an asthma attack and don’t have an inhaler nearby and how to deal with the situation.

Asthma Attack Symptoms

Following are the symptoms that indicate that you might be having an asthma attack:

  • Extreme shortness of breath.
  • Chest tightness or pain.
  • Constant coughing or wheezing.
  • Fast heartbeat.

Questions About What To Do for Asthma Attack Without Inhaler? ?

What to Do If You Have an Asthma Attack but Don’t Have an Inhaler?

While you wait for your symptoms to go away or for medical treatment, you can do the following:

  1. Call 911
    Call 911 (or any nearby clinic) if you have an asthma attack and don’t have your medication. The 911 operator can send emergency services and support you over the phone until help arrives.
    You must seek immediate emergency medical treatment if you experience any of the following during an asthma attack:
    • Symptoms that keep getting worse even after taking medication.
    • You can only speak in short words or phrases.
    • You’re straining your chest muscles to breathe.
    • Severe shortness of breath or wheezing, especially early in the morning or late at night.
    • You start feeling exhausted or tired.
    • Your lips or face turn blue when you’re not coughing.
  2. Sit Up Straight
    Sitting straight can improve your breathing. A 2018 study shows that sitting during a lung function test can improve the results. Since this test assesses how effectively the lungs function, sitting upright may make breathing easier during an asthma attack.
  3. Focus On Your Breathing
    During an asthma episode, attempt to breathe slowly and steadily. Asthma symptoms can also be reduced by performing breathing exercises like:
    • The Buteyko technique requires slow breathing via the nose.
    • Papworth method focuses on using your diaphragm and nose to breathe in a specific way.
    • Diaphragmatic breathing focuses on breathing via the diaphragm rather than the chest.
    • Yoga breathing practices or pranayama require managing breath length and timing.
  4. Get Away from Asthma Triggers
    Asthma triggers can provoke an attack and intensify its symptoms. So, try to avoid anything that triggers your asthma attack, making it worse. For example, if you’re around cigarette smoke, get away quickly.
    Some common triggers for an asthma attack are:
    • Exercise.
    • Allergens such as pollen, certain foods, and cat dander.
    • Stress or anxiety.
    • Certain medicines, such as ibuprofen, aspirin, or beta-blockers.
    • Inhaling cold, dry air.
    • Respiratory infections such as the common cold, influenza, or mycoplasma.
  5. Remain Calm
    Remaining calm during asthma episodes, especially in children or severe instances, helps you focus on breathing. The CDC recommends managing stress through distractions like television or music.
  6. Take a Hot Caffeinated Beverage
    Hot caffeinated beverages, such as coffee, can temporarily expand the airways, offering relief for an hour or two.

The Bottom Line

If you have an asthma attack without your inhaler, sit upright, be cool, and try to control your breathing. But also, keep in mind that asthma episodes require prompt medical assistance. So, if you or a loved one have an emergency in Arlington, Texas, call Bharmal Internal Medicine right away at (817) 784-0052.


Skip to content