Asthma is a common respiratory condition which affects and inflames the airways, making it difficult to manage normal breathing at certain times and in certain conditions.
Asthma is often seen as a childhood illness which many people ‘grow out of’, but there are many adult asthma sufferers in the UK. In fact, for many people asthma is a lifelong condition - and one which cannot be cured.
DID YOU KNOW - There are almost 6 million asthma sufferers in the UK?
Shockingly, 1 in 3 people in the UK die from an asthma attack each day. (Source: Asthma UK).
When an asthma attack strikes, the sufferer may not be in a fit state to ask for help or explain what is wrong. Their airways will have narrowed and become constricted leaving them breathless (and probably extremely anxious too!). You may start to notice they are taking very short fast breaths.
- Tightness of chest
- Bouts of coughing
- Cyanosis (grey/blue lips and skin)
How To Help During An Asthma Attack
- If possible lead them to a safe place where they can sit upright in a quiet, stress free environment
- Speak softly and calmly so as not to panic them further
- Ask/Look for any inhalers them may have and help them to use them. One puff of the reliever inhaler (blue in colour) every 30-60 seconds is the recommended.
- Call the emergency services if you are unable to find an inhaler, their breathing gets progressively worse or they continue to struggle for breath.