Asthma Attack

Get help for asthma

What to do in an asthma attack
  • Sit down, with your back straight.
  • Take your rescue medicine, usually in a blue puffer (for example, Ventolin®).
  • If your breathing is not getting easier, call 911 or your local emergency number.
  • Keep taking puffs of your blue rescue inhaler until the ambulance arrives.

If you or someone you love has asthma, you may have questions. The Lung Association is here to help you.

Work with your healthcare team to control your asthma

Asthma is variable – your asthma symptoms can get better or worse. If you know how to take care of your asthma every day, you can avoid getting asthma attacks.
Your health-care team can teach you how to manage your asthma symptoms. They can help you fill out a written asthma action plan. Your asthma action plan tells you exactly how to treat your symptoms, and what to do when your symptoms get worse.

People on your asthma healthcare team may include:

  • Your doctor – you may have a family doctor and a respirologist (breathing specialist doctor)
  • Your nurse
  • Your pharmacist
  • Your certified asthma educator (CAE) or certified respiratory educator (CRE): Certified asthma educators and certified respiratory educators are respiratory therapists, nurses, pharmacist, or physiotherapists who have special training to teach people about asthma. They are experts at explaining how asthma affects you and what you can do about it. To find a Certified Asthma Educator or Certified Respiratory Educator, ask your local Lung Association or your doctor. Or look for an asthma education clinic near you - search our online database of asthma programs and clinics.

What to discuss with your healthcare team

  • your asthma action plan
  • all your symptoms, especially if they are getting worse
  • what you can do to prevent asthma attacks
  • how you can get rid of asthma triggers
  • if you are using more of your rescue medicine (blue puffer) than usual
  • questions about your treatment
  • how to use your puffers and inhalers
  • worries you may have about side effects
  • what will happen if you don't take your medicine





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Page Last Updated: 04/05/2015