Advice and Support for Living with Asthma in Body

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If you have asthma, or know someone who does, it’s important to know what can trigger an asthma attack and what to do if one occurs.

What happens when my asthma flares up?

When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways (an asthma trigger), the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Sometimes, sticky mucus or phlegm builds up, which can further narrow the airways.

What is an asthma trigger?

A trigger is anything which starts your asthma symptoms or makes your asthma symptoms worse. Triggers often include:

What triggers your asthma symptoms may be different to what triggers someone else’s. 

What can I do to help my asthma?

Knowing what adjustments to make to your lifestyle can be difficult, but being aware of things like diet, smoking, travel and stress, can help you to be more in control of your asthma. The Asthma UK Risk Assessment tool will give you advice on what to do to avoid asthma attacks, as well as information to help if you or someone you know has an attack.

If you have asthma you can download and complete the Asthma UK action plan, which will help you and those around you be prepared.

Don't let asthma hold you back

Even if you have asthma you can still enjoy the benefits of sport and exercise, so long as you're sensible and don't push yourself too hard. Why not check out our simple 10 minute work-outs to help you get more active.

What should I do if I have an asthma attack?

1) Sit up straight - don't lie down. Try to keep calm.

2) Take one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30-60 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 puffs.

3) If you feel worse at any point while you're using your inhaler or you don't feel better after 10 puffs or you're worried at any time, call 999 for an ambulance

4) If the ambulance is taking longer than 15 minutes you can repeat step 2 


If your symptoms improve and you don't need to call 999, you still need to make an urgent same day appointment. You can also check if you've been given rescue prednisolone tablets. If you have then take these as instructed by your GP/asthma nurse, or as instructed on the packet.

Find out more about the causes of asthma and what to do if you're worried you may have asthma.

Want more advice and support? 

Asthma UK have a Whatsapp service where you can contact their nurses to chat about asthma. Find out more