• Confidential assessment
  • Reviewed by our doctors
  • Same-day collection
On this page

Asthma attack advice

Asthma attack advice

What happens when you have an asthma attack?

Your chest feels tight, you will hear yourself wheeze; sleeping, eating and even talking become difficult as you need to breath more quickly. The effect of your reliever (Ventolin or Salomol) will not last long. These symptoms all worsen as your lungs continue to swell and tighten.

“I’m struggling to breathe”- What shall I do?

  1. Sit down or stand still
  2. Try to relax and take some slow breaths through your nose and out of your mouth
  3. Take your reliever 10 puffs over the next 10-15 minutes- do this by taking
    • Two puffs every 2 minutes
    • Take each puff slowly and deeply
    • Use your Aerochamber or other Spacer if you have one
  4. Breathing improves- telephone your GP or the Out of Hours service as you will often be given a course of Steroid tablets.
  5. Breathing does not improve - contact your GP urgently or go to Accident and Emergency as you need further treatment to help your breathing. You can repeat Step 3 while waiting for help

How do I stop my asthma getting this bad?

If you notice that you need your reliever more frequently, ask yourself “Why?”

Have you stopped or forgotten your preventer inhaler? (Lots of people do this). Have you got a new pet or are staying in a house with pets? Have you just done some DIY and are in a dusty environment?

  1. Restart your preventer inhaler
  2. Take it through an Aerochamber or other spacer if you have one
  3. Take your reliever every 4- 6 hours until you feel well
  4. Remove yourself from any obvious trigger
  5. Access medical advice

Need a prescription for asthma inhalers?

Go to online asthma service

Authors and editors

Reviewed and updated by: Our clinical team Date reviewed: 14-01-2023