But have you talked about what you should do to manage a minor asthma attack if you forget your asthma inhaler? Knowing how to restore natural breathing and survive an asthma attack without your inhaler is an essential life-saving skill.
1. Eat a Banana with Black Pepper
This remedy might sound odd, but if you eat a banana sprinkled with black pepper, it can help stop wheezing and relieve congestion and coughing, enabling you to breathe more easily.
Why? Black pepper thins the thick mucus in the airways and the banana contains nutrients that relieve inflammation, helping you to breathe. The next time you have an asthma attack without your inhaler, head to the kitchen and try this remedy. If you don’t have black pepper on hand, ground cinnamon, ginger root, and red cayenne pepper are alternatives that have the same healing powers of black pepper.
2. Order a Caffeine-Rich Beverage
If you’re out and about and can’t find your inhaler, don’t panic. Head to the local coffee shop. Caffeine works in a similar way to a natural bronchodilator medication that contains theophylline. It opens up the airways and stops symptoms of asthma such as wheezing, chronic coughing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
Some of the best caffeinated beverages to relieve your attack are freshly brewed black coffee, hot black tea or green tea, or a cup of dark chocolate hot cocoa.
(If you have additional conditions that preclude you from drinking caffeine, there are other options, too!)
3. If Your Doctor Advises it, Take Pseudoephedrine
If your doctor has recommended an over-the-counter medication containing pseudoephedrine, take the dosage he or she advises. It can help relieve allergy-induced asthma effectively while reducing nasal congestion so you can begin to breathe through your nose to get oxygen to your lungs. It is very important to be aware of the side effects the medication could cause.
If it could interact with any other health condition or medications, choose another remedy for relief. Either way, consult your physician!
4. Relax in a Hot Steamy Shower or Bath
If you have no rescue inhaler when wheezing and coughing starts up, relax in a hot, steamy shower or bath immediately. Steam will soothe your airways, relieve chest congestion and loosen thick mucus so you can breathe freely again.
If a hot, steamy shower or bath is not an option, consider gently placing your face over a pot of water (just hot enough so it is steaming!) and breathing in the steam from it. It will work the same way…just be careful not to burn yourself.
5. Move Away from the Trigger
If your asthma attacks are triggered by allergies, remove yourself as quickly as possible from the allergen, whether it’s a dusty room, smoke-filled bar or fluffy cat. Once you’re in a cleaner environment, calmly sit down and breathe deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Of course, the best way to combat an asthma attack is always to have a spare rescue inhaler in a place where you have quick access to it, just in case your main inhaler is lost. But these five simple solutions may just do the trick in getting you through a difficult situation. Finally, if your symptoms do not subside quickly or are severe for you, seek emergency help IMMEDIATELY.