What to Do for an Asthma Attack Without an Inhaler

A focused shot of a woman sitting on the sofa, gripping her chest as she reaches for her asthma inhaler.


What to Do for an Asthma Attack Without an Inhaler: Here’s What You Should Know

Asthma is a complex condition affecting 1 in 13 people in the United States annually.

In fact, asthma is the leading cause of chronic illness in children, with over 5 million affected by its symptoms each year.

If left untreated, asthma can lead to debilitating and even deadly symptoms often brought on by an asthma attack.

If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with asthma or experienced an asthma attack, it is imperative to know how to effectively treat asthma without your inhaler and how to prevent future asthma symptoms altogether.

In this blog, we’ll discuss what asthma is, how to treat asthma without an inhaler, asthma attack symptoms, and effective ways to stop an asthma attack before it becomes overly concerning. Continue reading to learn more.

First, What Is Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that causes swelling, inflammation, and narrowing of the airways in the throat and nose.

Although for many, asthma symptoms tend to lessen with age, an asthma diagnosis is for life, even with no active or chronic symptoms. Unfortunately, there is no current cure for asthma.

Signs of an Asthma Attack

The frequency, severity, and number of asthma attack symptoms vary from person to person, but most can include

  • difficulty breathing
  • wheezing
  • a dry cough that may consist of phlegm, especially at night or during exercise
  • rapid breathing
  • mouth breathing
  • increased heart rate
  • throat irritation
  • pain or tightness in the chest

Most asthma symptoms worsen during active respiratory illnesses such as a cold, flu, and COVID-19.

If you are experiencing moderate symptoms of an asthma attack, visit your local urgent care. If these symptoms are severe or life-threatening, call 9-1-1 immediately. 

Asthma Attack Treatment

Treatment for an asthma attack can vary depending on the severity of the attack and the individual’s medical history.

For most asthma attacks, treatment may include any or all of the following:

  • Use of an inhaler: Short-acting bronchodilator medications, also known as rescue inhalers, can help to quickly open up the airways and ease breathing during an asthma attack.
  • Corticosteroid medications: These medications reduce inflammation in the airways, which can help to improve breathing and reduce symptoms quickly.
  • Oxygen therapy: Supplemental oxygen may be needed for individuals experiencing severe difficulty breathing or a low blood oxygen level.

In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary to manage symptoms and provide more intensive in-the-moment asthma attack treatment.

If you’ve been diagnosed with asthma, working closely with your healthcare provider to develop a personalized asthma action plan is crucial. This plan can outline specific steps to take in the event of an asthma attack, including what medications to take and when to seek medical attention.

With proper management and treatment, you can live a healthy, active life and reduce the risk of asthma attacks.

What to Do for Asthma Attacks Without an Inhaler

At State Urgent Care, we understand that an asthma attack without an inhaler can be frightening and stressful. However, there are some steps you can take to manage your symptoms and seek help:

  • Stay calm: Panic and anxiety can worsen asthma symptoms, so remain calm and focused on breathing.
  • Sit upright: Sitting upright can help open up your airways and make breathing easier.
  • Use relaxation techniques: Techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, reducing asthma symptoms.
  • Drink warm, caffeinated beverages: Caffeine has been shown to help relax the airways and improve breathing. Drinking warm tea or coffee may help ease symptoms.

If your symptoms do not improve, or if they worsen, it is vital to seek medical attention right away. Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if your symptoms are severe or you have trouble breathing.

It is essential for individuals with asthma to always carry their inhalers with them and to have an asthma action plan in place in case of an emergency.

However, if you find yourself without your inhaler during an asthma attack, these steps can help manage your symptoms.

Complete and Timely Asthma Attack Treatment in Starkville

At State Urgent Care, we understand that new or worsening asthma symptoms can be troubling, especially if you don’t have your inhaler.

We recognize that asthma can often be challenging to manage. If you’re having trouble breathing or constantly coughing, we can help. Unless it’s a dire emergency, you should visit urgent care for your asthma.

Your respiratory health matters to us. Simply walk in and get treated today. We are open daily with no appointments needed.