Sometimes asthma attacks can go away on it's own.

Let's assume you have a very mild attack that doesn't prevent your daily activities. Maybe it was triggered by cold air and you know that it's likely to pass after a night or a couple of hours.

You have a choice between using a bronchodilator or just waiting.

My question is:

Is there any scientific evidence for what's better for you and why?

  • 5
    Be careful in how you use the answers people give to these sorts of questions. None of us knows your specific asthma history. For example, if you've been hospitalized repeatedly vs never hospitalized with rare symptoms. Even then it could end up being the first time for status asthmaticus. Just a reminder
    – DoctorWhom
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 5:34
  • At first I thought you were a real doctor, perhaps of Asian origin. I actually had status asthmaticus, but I had asthma out of control for several weeks and ended up overdosing on my inhaler (I was a kid). This is why now I'm reluctant to even use the inhaler on minor attacks. This is why I got interested in what the correct approach is.
    – undsoft
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 9:15
  • 3
    I am a real doctor (MD in residency) but I NEVER give personalized medical advice over the internet because there are SO MANY key factors involved with medical diagnoses/treatments considerations that it would be at least poor practice to do so, and potentially harmful. I do however believe that everyone deserves to understand health and am dedicated to sharing the knowledge I've spent ages learning in order to help increase understanding of health issues, whether in my clinic rooms or otherwise. So again, I happily give general information for understanding, but it is not personalized.
    – DoctorWhom
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


Yes. It's been shown through studies, using a peak-flow meter can determine whether you're in serious trouble or not and essentially "wait it out". The numbers vary from doctor to doctor, however though a seasoned asthmatic generally knows when it's time to either visit the hospital or use their inhaler.

That pretty much sums it up. They also cite the doctor's name so you can look more up on his studies. Basically to put it bluntly, there are a million variables that come into play with something as delicate as asthma. That link below cites the doctor that conducted a study similar to what you're asking and also wrote some of the material.

This may not be considered an answer, but it's pretty close to what you're looking for. Most pulmonologists will tell you the same thing as well.

The "Should I tough it out, or should I get help" question is a huge debate.


  • 5
    -1 Can you provide some links for your statement It's been shown through studies, using a peak-flow meter can determine whether you're in serious trouble or not? I think this is important. Also, for The numbers vary from doctor to doctor. Because the link you have provided, gives a number: "If you’re less than 25% off your normal mark, go on to the following steps, but if your number is off by more, get to an emergency room, he said, because this indicates that there is a serious problem". Thanks for providing those references. BW
    – S.Victor
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 20:48

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