Asthma: Have your inhaler with you everywhere

If you have asthma, you probably never go anywhere without your inhaler. But what if, due to negligence, you go out without it and have a sudden asthma attack?

“The importance of always carrying rescue medication cannot be understated,” says Associate Professor Loo Chian Min, Head and Senior Consultant, Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the SingHealth​ group. “It is absolutely vital that you don’t forget your inhaler wherever you go.”

Asthma attack: What is it?

Asthma occurs when the airways (bronchial tubes) in the lungs become inflamed and are blocked by mucus, making breathing difficult. The chest tightens and the lungs seem to produce a wheezing sound.

Asthma attack caus​es​

There could be many triggers for an asthma attack. Air pollution, exposure to irritants such as dust, cigarette smoke and pet dander, physical exertion and emotional outbursts can all trigger an asthma attack.

Asthma attack s​ymptoms​

An asthma attack can be mild or severe. Be alert for these general symptoms:

  • Difficulty breathing / breathlessness
  • Wheezing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • ​Coughing

If you experience severe breathing difficulty, a rapid increase in your pulse rate, severe coughing, and notice that your nails and lips are turning bluish, get medical help immediately, as these are signs of a severe asthma attack.

Click on page 2 to find out what you can do if you do not have your inhaler during an asthma attack.

​​Ref: T12​