Millions of Americans have breathing problems due to conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. While not being able to catch your breath is terrifying, there are “rescue” treatments that can help alleviate your symptoms relatively quickly and restore as much lung function as possible.
The most common types of rescue breathing treatments include:
- Inhalers – For conditions such as asthma and allergies, inhalers are the most common way to deliver the medicines you need to restore lung function. Rescue inhalers are designed to immediately alleviate symptoms from sudden attacks by delivering an anticholinergic, which is a medicine that helps the bronchial tubes in your lungs stay open. This will help you breathe a little more normally during the attack.
- Nebulizer –Basically, this medical device changes liquid medicine to mist, and delivers it deep into the lungs, making it easier to inhale. Using a mask or mouthpiece, nebulizers deliver either corticosteroids or bronchodilators that help your lungs fight off inflammation and keep the air passages open.
If you’re an asthma sufferer or have any other respiratory problems that may require a breathing treatment, one of the most convenient places to go is an urgent care clinic (if your attack isn’t a life threatening emergency, in which case call 911).