Only persons suffering from asthma fully understand how traumatic this state of health can be. If someone has asthma, their immune system disproportionately responds to certain substances, such as pet hair or pollen, although certain triggers vary from person to person. These triggers provoke inflammation, constriction, and excessive mucus production in a person's airways, which can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, and wheezing (an alarming whistle)
Insight into the reality of living with this health problem has allowed us to explain exactly what they feel and what they are doing to flare their asthma symptoms, people who have had asthma attacks .
. 1 "It may feel like I'm breathing through a crushed straw."
Kate G. was diagnosed with asthma after an outdoor outing. "I started to pant up the mountain during a school trip." Kate, whose leading actor physical effort, smoke, mold, mildew, dust, and cold air are pet dander says SELF.
During an asthma attack, she says, "It feels as if someone or something is sitting on my chest, lacing my lungs so that I can only partially breathe. It may feel like I'm breathing through a crushed straw. "Sometimes she feels a sense of panic, dizziness and chest pain .
To remedy this, Kate uses a fast-acting inhaler with medication to quickly open her narrowed airways. (This type of medication is called a bronchodilator.) "When I'm not near my inhaler, which is very rare, I go outside and try to breathe deeply and slowly," she says. " Lying Down helps too."
. 2 "It feels like someone is blowing the air out of me."
Kay M. had her first home attack next to a Christmas tree, she says. "I have an allergy to evergreen trees, as I found out later, and I started gasping for air," she tells SELF. "It starts with a little tightness in the chest and then it just goes on [until] It feels like someone is blowing the air out of me."
Kay uses a daily long-term medication to keep the airway weakened and prevent attacks and, if needed, a fast-acting inhaler.
. 3 "I'm trying to yawn to let in more air, and my chest literally prevents the yawn from happening because it's so tight and inflamed."
Paige J. says her triggers involve exposure to pollen, dust and animals like cats and dogs. "I can cope well with a dog or cat during the day for minutes or even hours, but later in the night I wake up with terrible asthma and chest tightness ," she tells the SELF. "It's important that family and friends recognize this, because the people around you can not always see your symptoms and may not always take them seriously."
In fact, Paige often gets quiet in asthma attacks. "Speaking can feel like too much trouble … I'm 100 percent breathe, but that does not look like a big deal from the outside," she says. Inside, though, it's about the terrible feeling that their lungs are not working. "I try to yawn to let in more air, and my chest literally prevents yawning from happening because it's so tight and inflamed."
Paige says she usually carries her rescue inhaler with her, but when she's out If that's not the case, she's trying to get some fresh air, drink coffee, or eat dark chocolate. (There is evidence that caffeine may act as a bronchodilator but you should only use it as a method of treating asthma symptoms in certain situations if your doctor includes it in your asthma action plan [19459037)aufgenommenhat].)
. 4 "It starts with a cough that seems to be centered in my throat because there is no air in my lungs."
Victoria B., whose trigger is molds and a food allergy to turkey  says that a cough often triggers her asthma attacks. "It starts with a cough that seems to be centered in my throat because there is no air in my lungs," she tells SELF. "Very soon after, the cough stops and I start to gasp. It gets harder to breathe and my chest starts to hurt.
When the attack is deployed, fingers and lips even turn blue because of lack of oxygen. "It's hard not to panic," she says. "It feels like the little air in the room is being sucked [out] and I can not get any of it into my lungs. It is very, very scary. "
Victoria says she gets relief when using corticosteroids to control inflammation in her airways . "If I have an attack and no rescue inhaler is available, I take as much caffeine as possible to act as a bronchodilator," she says. "I keep a bottle of Mountain Dew in the car because it contains a lot of caffeine. All of these emergency measures work well for me and have limited the attacks within minutes. "
. 5 "The attacks can happen so fast and out of nowhere, I feel like I'm not really in control of my own body."
Marisa Z. tells SELF that her asthma is caused by pets, dust, respiratory infections. and certain foods like shellfish.
"I explain it to people who breathe like you through a coffee stirrer and you just can not get enough breath," she says. Attacks are also psychologically difficult for them. "The attacks can happen so quickly and out of nowhere, so I feel like I really do not have control of my own body. Not having to inhale and exhale as my body should do is pretty scary, "says Marisa.
To remedy this, Marisa relies on a rescue inhaler and also uses the Butekyo method which is a breathing technique designed to deliberately reduce a person's respiratory rate to prevent hyperventilation. To prevent attacks from the outset, she takes steps such as wearing heavy masks when doing chores that could whirl up dust or other substances from the air.
. 6 "I can only focus on getting oxygen into my lungs."
Dairy triggers the majority of Susan S.'s asthma attacks, she tells SELF.
"It feels like I'm suffocating," she says. "I have to focus on breathing and can not speak. In fact, all I can do is concentrate on getting oxygen into my lungs. Imagine, you are drowning. You do not get a breath. You would do anything to breathe. "
Susan says she did not find an inhaler that works for her, so for the time being she's trying to avoid the dairy altogether.
. 7 "It's a terrible, helpless feeling, and it's moving fast."
Erin S. tells the SELF that she has asthma after having severe pneumonia . Their triggers include crying or laughing too hard (yes, strong emotions can trigger asthma attacks ), pollen, poor air quality and cigarette smoke.
"I've been on the road before, especially [on] wet spring [or] summer days, my neck will suddenly feel closed," she says. "It's a terrible, helpless feeling and it's moving fast. Everything stops and the gasp begins as I try to suck in air. I feel that my whole body is just struggling to get oxygen.
In these situations, Erin says her rescue inhaler helps drink black coffee. "[Attacks] are really scary and asthma is not a joke," she says.