I've had asthma for around 7 years I would say. It's not as such an easy thing to live with, as some people may think. It most certainly does not ruin your life but it can be difficult not doing some things to the full.
For as long as I can remember, I have had breathing difficulties. If I ran just a short distance I would become breathless. When I was 11 we did a 'bleep' test and while the vast majority of people got to around 8 or 9, I could only manage 6.3. People in my class often just put it down to not being sporty and a bit of a wimp. It really annoyed me because I always have enjoyed sport, I just couldn't do it as good as I wanted to. I thought it would go on like this forever.
Finally, when I was 12 it was decided that I visited the doctor. I remember he almost immediately guessed it was asthma. I was checked out and he was indeed right. Being quite young, I thought my life was doomed, or at the very least ruined. However, I was told more information about how you can live with it and was given a blue Ventolin inhaler ( with demonstrations on how to use it ) to use if I became breathless.
This helped for a few months when I did become breathless, but it became so regular. Sport, breathless, inhaler. Sport, breathless, inhaler. It was great for when I did feel this way, but it wasn't preventing me from feeling the same the next time I had Games. It became irritating so the next time I had an appointment ( I was given regular check-ups ) I brought this subject up.
My GP had suggested to not push myself too much, and was given a brown inhaler. Apparently this would, if taken daily, decrease my need for the Ventolin over time. As the blue inhaler only opens up airways ( or something along those lines ) for a short period of time, it cannot help long-term. This new brown one I had would help my actual lungs ( I think my doctor had said that - I can't remember too well ) , stopping me being breathless so easily. Also, I found that newly cut grass and things simple ( eg. running up the stairs too quickly, pushing myself too hard all at once ) would trigger an attack so these had to be avoided if possible.
Oh yes, and I was given a spacer to take my brown inhaler. Google them, I think they are just to get the medicine into your lungs better and apparently under 15s have to use one with this kind of inhaler. I think the brown one is a steroid.
Over the next few years, I did see an improvement and my dose of the brown inhaler gradually became smaller. I thought I had total control until I had a horrible attack when I was 14 or 15.
Apparently my mum had heard me in the night breathing heavily and slow. She woke me up and I almost lost my breath completely. I felt so heavy and hopeless, it was truly awful. I was taken to hospital where I was kept the next 2 days, just to monitor my breathing. I had the 'full' breathing mask which I absolutely dreaded - I had one when I was younger and hated it. I think with those two days they only highlight was missing a week of school - my mum decided to keep me off further. I still don't know what caused this attack.
Now I am 19, I've not had any more serious attacks. I still take my brown inhaler, but only 1-2 puffs a day, and carry my Ventolin wherever I go, just in case. I have more knowledge of my asthma so I no longer think I am 'doomed' ! I'm rather sporty and it doesn't affect me that much nowadays! Loads of people have asthma so it doesn't make me particularly different.
Watch out for these symptoms, which may be asthma :
- Breathlessness at any time of the day
- Not able to do sport at full potential as it leaves you breathless
- Only capable of small, short breaths
- Feeling tight chested
If you have asthma :
- Don't push yourself on the sport side of things.
- Try to avoid things that appear to 'trigger' an attack- it may be pollen, or running up the stairs.
- Suggest to your GP if it is possible you can get a brown inhaler if you currently do not own one
- Visit your GP regularly ( I go every month )
- Don't take more of the Ventolin/blue inhaler if at first it does not work. It won't really make you better, as overdosing can be harmful. If the blue inhaler still leaves you breathless, contact the NHS Helpline or your doctor.
Don't listen to stories of people with asthma can't live their life happily, or that they will die. That's the most stupid thing to do. Asthma does not ruin your life!
Hope this review helped you. ( Well, not particularly help, as this was just an experience of asthma )
~~~ INTRODUCTION ~~~
The purpose of this review is to inform others about asthma ... a serious medical condition that affects so many people these days. In order to do this I will share some my own experience of living with asthma and will also describe many of the natural steps and remedies that can be used to keep asthma under control. A little later in this review in order to make a specific point I will also make a reference to a wheezing kid standing at the side of a playing field using an inhaler. I am not saying this to be unkind, however, because that kid was actually me.
~~~ MY EXPERIENCE OF ASTHMA ~~~
I developed asthma whilst I was still at secondary school. It started off with a long spell of tonsilitis followed by a severe chest infection and a long stay in hospital. I was extremely ill for a long time and I guess I never really recovered because I was then diagnosed as being asthmatic. Within a few months the active and adventurous teenager which I had been had gone and in his place was a nervous, frightened little boy always struggling to breathe. My hand rarely let go of my inhaler either because beleive me there were times when I was fighting for my breath ...
I used to love football, climbing trees and various other ativities that usually involved a great deal of energy and very little thought .. but these were now a thing of the past. Instead I emersed myself in comics and superheroes, top trump cards and sci-fi movies. I also wrote down my thoughts and ideas and I read plenty of books !!!
It was my inhaler, however, that was my most treasured item. It was also my lifeline. If I ever misplaced it I would have a panic attack and I held on to it so much I was even bullied because of it. It was also something that for a long, long time held me back. It became almost like a symbol of my weakness. Superman would lose all of his powers because of the green Kryptonite and I had would lose all of my motivation to do anything because of my blue inhaler !!!
Throughout my education my inhaler accompanied me as it did when I entered the world of work. I may have developed as an individual but my childlike need to have my inhaler with me at all times had simply continued. I didn't just use it either ... I abused it. Even worse than that was the fact that I often used it as an excuse to avoid doing things that I was more than capable of doing. The truth of the matter was that deep down i was scared. I had come to rely on my inhaler as a defence mechanism and as a comfort I no longer needed.
One day, I left my inhaler in a hotel and only realised when I was traveling on the London Underground. I immediately started to panic as I felt I couldn't breathe. It was a horrible experience but it was also the day I decided that I had to change. It was time to stop relying on my inhaler and start living my life to the full.
Essentially, what I did was look into alternative ways to keep my asthma under control. I wanted to find something that would help that didn't involve clutching an inhaler 24/7 !!!
It took several months but eventually I achieved my goal by introducing 3 new elements into the way I lived my life. The first element was to supplement my diet with a number of natural remedies that would actually help to keep my asthma under control. The second element was to modify my own lifestyle to avoid many of the factors that actually triggered an asthma attack. The third element was the most difficult, however, because that was to put my inhaler away and out of sight so that it became something I was only allowed to use in an emergency.
That was several years ago and I now feel that I live life to the full. I run around with my baby son, go running several times a week and rarely need to use my inhaler at all. Infact the last time I actually used my inhaler was about a fortnight ago (but I had just been told that my grandfather had passed away). Prior to that, however, I hadn't used it in weeks.
The inhaler that for a large part of my life had been like a ball and chain around my ankles is now something I rarely need to use. I still have asthma and I know it's there if I need it but it no longer dominates every decision I make.
In the final part of this review I have written a guide explaining exactly what asthma is (for those who don't know) and have included details about the natural steps and remedies that I used that enabled me to live with asthma without needing to rely upon my inhaler. If anyone reading this has any questions then please feel free to send me a message as I would be more than willing to help.
~~~ WHAT IS ASTHMA ? ~~~
Asthma is a medical condition that is caused when the muscles of the bronchi spasm and contract. This causes an obstruction to the natural flow of air and makes breathing extremely difficult. Asthma can also lead to an increased pulse rate as well as creating a feeling of tightness around the chest. The condition can be triggered by a wide variety of different sources including; allergens (dust, pollen, pet hair) pollution, cigarette smoke and industrial chemicals. Obesity, cold and flu like symptoms, physical exertion and emotional trauma can also cause an asthma attack (as can, surprisingly, taking an Aspirin).
~~~ HOW SERIOUS IS ASTHMA ? ~~~
An "asthma attack" can last a matter of seconds but it can also last for days. In addition to this, whilst some individuals only suffer from seasonal attacks (e.g. those who suffer from hay fever) other people struggle to deal with asthma on a daily basis. Worryingly, despite the fact that the majority of sufferers can control their attacks, asthma is still a serious and life-threatening condition.
~~~ CONTROLLING ASTHMA USING MEDICINES ~~~
When many people think about asthma they get a mental image of a wheezy kid they knew at school standing at the side of the playing field, wheezing and using an inhaler. This is probably because medical remedies such as inhalers, nebulizers and steroids are what the majority of asthma sufferers use to keep the condition under control. But, as we all know, medical remedies can prove both costly and even worse, create a number of additional (and unpleasant) side effects. There are, however, a number of more natural steps and remedies that can used alongside these medical treatments which can actually build up a more natural ability to control asthma. More importantly, though, is the fact that these natural steps and remedies can also reduce the overall amount of medication that is required.
~~~ PLEASE READ THIS SECTION CAREFULLY ~~~
It is important at this stage to point out that it is NOT being suggested that natural steps and remedies should be used to replace any of the medical products used to control asthma. Asthma can be a life-threatening condition and those who suffer because of it should always ensure that any necessary medicines are taken with them at all times. In the case of a severe or prolonged asthma attack natural remedies are not advised. What is being suggested, however, is a number of natural alternatives that can (in the long term) offer a realistic way of reducing the amount of medicines that need to be taken by those who have asthma. And finally, as with all natural remedies it is often wise to do your own research too and if in doubt consult your own doctor.
With that in mind then, it's time to move on to the alternatives themselves ...
~~~ NATURAL STEPS TO TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR ASTHMA ~~~
Perhaps the most straightforward way of naturally dealing with asthma is to actually modify your own lifestyle to reduce the chances of asthma attack being "triggered". Some obvious examples of this include trying to lose weight, learning to deal with stressful situations and of course stopping smoking (and avoiding being around others who smoke). You could also modify your diet to avoid dairy products as these have been scientifically linked to causing blockages in the bronchial passageways.
~~~ SEVEN EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE NATURAL REMEDIES FOR ASTHMA ~~~
If you feel that you have already taken the factors already mentioned within this review into account then maybe you should also consider some of the following "natural remedies" ?
*** CAFFEINE ***
Products such as coffee, tea, caffeinated drinks, cocoa and chocolate all contain the natural anti-asthmatic compounds of theobromine and theophylline. These two compounds have been proven to act as an effective bronchodilator and help to open constricted bronchial passageways. And, whilst having too much caffeine is not good for you it's worth remembering that if you have an asthma attack whilst away from home you are rarely too far away from a good cup of coffee !!!
*** CAYENNE PEPPER ***
Capsicum is a fantastic stimulant with both antiseptic and antispasmodic properties. It is a herb that will help relieve muscle tension whilst clearing your arteries and pumping blood around your body. This is a herbal remedy promotes strong hearts and great circulation and is seen as a great way to prevent the breathlessness and tight chest associated with asthma.
*** ECHINACEA AND GOLDENSEAL ***
These two herbs when combined are highly effective at fighting colds, flu and chest infections (which are all types of infection that can trigger an asthma attack). This is because these herbs help to boost the immune system making you less likely to develop these type of infections in the first place.
*** GARLIC ***
Garlic is a natural antibiotic and expectorant which can help to regulate the mucus glands. These glands produce mucus which blocks the airways which can become problematic for those who suffer with asthma.
*** GINKGO BILOBA ***
This is a herb which has an anti-inflammatory quality. Ginkgo Biloba is a popular Chinese Medicine widely available either as tea, tincture or capsules and has been used for hundreds of years. It is a great for those with asthma as it relaxes the lungs.
*** LIQUORICE HERB ***
Liquorice is another herb which is both an expectorant and has anti-inflamatory qualities. It can be taken as either a tincture or as a syrup and is linked to helping to reduce the number of attacks in those who suffer from seasonal asthma. It also has a soothing quality that can help to relieve the wheezing coughs associated with asthma.
*** NETTLES ***
Stinging Nettles have long been used to relieve respiratory problems and allergic reactions. It is also an effective antihistamine It is a plant that is widely used to tackle the symptoms of coughs, colds, chest infections and asthma. It can eaten fresh (steamed like other fresh greens) but more often is bought dried and used in herbal tea.
~~~ SUMMARY ~~~
The natural remedies within this review are generally accepted as being the most effective in terms of asthma and are all widely available in most areas. However, there are many more natural remedies out there. Different countries and cultures will, of course, have their very own variations of these traditional medicines which will have been passed down from generation to generation.
Finally, it is worth remembering that many of these natural remedies have been around for centuries and were used to help sooth and prevent breathing difficulties long before the combination of drugs that are used in an inhaler were ever created. Natural remedies, therefore, are worthy of consideration. Whilst they will not cure asthma or be of any real use during a serious asthma attack they can offer a tried, tested and natural way of relieving the symptoms associated with being asthmatic,as well preventing many of the triggers that cause an asthma attack.
~~~ FINAL THOUGHTS ~~~
Since using the strategies and rememdies I have included within this review my life has completely changed. Asthma doesn't have to hold you back at all. For far too long I used my asthma as an excuse and my inhaler as something to hide behind. Life is like this for many people with asthma but it doesn't need to be. Therefore, if this review helps just one person to take more control over their life then I will be more than happy ... thank you for taking time to read my thoughts and comments.
*** GRAY ***
My experience of asthma is as a parent rather than a sufferer. Please also note that this is a severe form of asthma, and is certainly not typical of the experience as far as I know.
This is simply a documentation of the facts, figures and emotions of the last 7 years of my life, and is by no means to be taken as medical diagnosis or recommendations for treatment or medication etc.
(thats the boring bit over with)
Asthma is an inflammation of the lungs which is commonly triggered by some sort of 'event'. This event can be something as simple as running up the stairs, cold weather, emotions, smoke, allergic reaction, the list goes on.
My son is 7 and was first admitted to hospital when he was 9 months old, as he was making 'rattling noises' in his chest. Now a diagnosis of asthma is not usually given until a child is 2, as many many young babies can have wheezy episodes and admissions requiring ventolin/salbutamol (the blue inhalor) without actually being asthmatic.
He was in hospital 3 times in 12 months and was given a preventor inhalor the second time, due to the fact that he had required oxygen through nasal cannulas (little tubes that sit just below your nose and a constant flow of oxygen is present to aid your breathing) and was in for a few days.
He was refferred to the respiratory clinic at our local hospital.
Since then he has been admitted to hospital over 40 times, and has stopped breathing twice. Every one of these admissions has been unbelievebly scary and my heart is punding just remembering each one. There are the natural feelings of guilt each time...did i wait too long to call? did I check on him enough last night?
When it is your child, there is always a brave face to put on, for the nurses so they know you can cope, for your parents so they dont worry and most importantly, for your child, who is relying on you to make them better.
Symptoms....the obvious symptom is being wheezy, usually a creaking or whistling noise on the inhale exhale or both, distinctly coming from the chest rather than the nose. Other symptoms are shortness of breath, even with no excercise, or a persistent cough. My son is also prone to chest infections and takes daily antibiotics as a preventative. In younger children, you can see the gaps between ribs pulling in, and the little bit at the base of the throat tugging if they are struggling to breathe.
treatment...my son was started with just the blue inhalor to use up to 10 puffs if he became wheezy or breathless. He then moved to a daily brown inhalor called becotide. Then that was stopped and he was given a purple one called seretide. this was swapped for two inhalors, one green named serevent and one orage called flixotide. he is still on these two currently and takes the orange one twice a day and the green one at night.
He was also prescribed montelukast which is a chewy tablet that is commonly used as a second stage of treatment for the control of asthma symptoms. My son takes two tablets at night.
Another inhalor that he takes is atrovent which he used to get mixed with the nebulisers when he was unwell but now takes four times a day for control of symptoms
Prednisolone is the steroid treatment that is regularly given to asthmatics during acute attacks. it is a small pink tablet that is given to children diluted in a very small amount of water. My son is on this daily and has to have his immune system tested on a regular basis as a result due to some of the side effects. This medication is not a steroid in the natural assumption, in that your child will not get muscly while taking it, in fact it can have a negative impact on growth, and this will be monitored regulary if your child has a few treatments of this. It can also have an effect on temperment. When my son has an acute attack, an therefore an increased dose of steroids, he can become very adjitated and once he begins to recover, he gets very hyper, and this can get violent. The docs have said to us that he comes in an angel and leaves a devil but at least he isnt wheezing any more!
Physiotherapy is also something that I have had to learn a little bit of, simple things like blowing bubbles through a straw in water can help with lung function etc. I am also able to give actual physio treatment, pats and rubs when he has a chest infection, to help clear it.
He does take a few other medications to help with his allergies, as his asthma is very closely related to this.
Lifestyle....Although my son is 7, he must be supervised at all times, and is unable to walk upstairs without becoming wheezy. We are provided with transport to and from school and he receives disability living allowance for this. He tries his best to take part in gym and sports but is often unable. Until last year, he used a mobility buggy for getting around, but is too big for this now and he only uses this on school trips. Every journey takes a long time, even a walk to my mums house which takes 15 minutes alone takes an hour with my little one, as he has to take breaks, and being 7, he will still run as fast as he can as far as he can until he's needing an inhalor.
The effect on me is obviously not so physical. I find it difficult to let him be, but then worry that I am mollycoddling him and that he will end up unhappy and friendless. I suffer from anxiety attacks when he is at school, although not so frequently now that he is abit older and knows to vocalise when he isnt well. I have occasionally woken up at 7am in a blind panic as his first medicines are due at 6, did I give him his midnight ones?? I dont know, what should I do, I am clearly a terrible mother. Then I calm down and realise, an hour late is not the end of the world, and needing a rest doesnt make me a terrible mother.
Talking about mothers though, I do not know what I would have done without her. She has learnt the medications with me, and my son stays at her house every saturday night so that I can have an uninterrupted night. This is invaluable and I dont think that I would have coped without her support.
What can be done...I feel that there is not enough publicicty about asthma and its effects. There was a little girl who used to be in hospital with my boy, was on similar medications as was a couple of years older, she passed away 2 years ago in an ambulance on the way to hospital. For such a common disease, more should be done to prevent the loss of life and I will campaign my rear end off to ensure that all of the research that can be carried out IS.
As my son has such unusual and severe asthma, we are regularly asked to take part in research which we do happily, and I also try to raise money when I can.
Its funny...everyone knows SOMEONE with asthma, who takes a blue inhalor etc etc, yet everyone seems to think that it is a mild illness that doesnt have an effect on people. My son would dispute that to the core, in his own words 'I hate having asthma...my medicine bag hurts my arms!, Im going to be a doctor so I dont have to carry so many medicines'
Child logic is wonderful and I am grateful that the weight of his medications is the only thing that concerns him, and am grateful to all the doctors, nurses and hospital staff for caring.
If, as a result of reading this, you are having a heart string tugging moment, or if you have asthma and have any questions or would like some info I would urge you to visit the asthma UK webiste asthma.org.uk, this is a great resource of tips and hints, fun stuff for kids, a great forum with other sufferers can share knowledge etc, and you can have a look at ways to raise money, they are always looking for donations, and fundraisers, I am hoping to trek the great wall of China in the next couple of years, and I know that every penny raised will actually move the world closer to a life changing treatment, whether its an occasional annoyance or a life threatening illness, asthma could soon be a thing of the medical history books.
Thanks for reading my lengthy pesronal review of asthma
***WHAT IS ASTHMA?***
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways. When a person who has asthma comes into contact with something that can irritate their airways, the muscles around the walls of the airway tightens and the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways become inflamed and starts to swell. Occasionally sticky mucus can build up which can narrow the airways further. All these reactions cause the airways to become narrower and irritated, making it difficult to breath and leading to symptoms of asthma. Asthma can be triggered by Cold & Viral infections, Exercise, Food, Hormones, Medicines, Moulds and Fungi, Pollen and much more.
***MY EXPERIENCE WITH ASTHMA***
I got diagnosed with asthma when I was in first school at about the age of 5. As it was so long ago that I got diagnose I don't remember a great deal of the first few years of so with asthma. How-ever I do remember becoming short of breath and wheezing a lot as well. My mum could hear me wheezing sometimes and it got worse when I had a cold/cough.
I remember going to the doctor and him making me blow into something which was called a peak flow. This had little a white tube which was the mouth-piece and it had numbers from 50 up to about 800 on the main tube. It also had a small needle thing which moved up and down the tube when you blow into it. This was to measure to see how far you could blow the needle up the tube.
I couldn't blow the needle very far and from my symptoms and what my mum told the doctor he said that I had asthma and he gave me a prescription for an inhaler. Any of you who may have got diagnosed with asthma a few years ago may remember the inhaler I got prescribed which is no longer available as there are more updates versions of this inhaler now.
This was a blue inhaler which was quite small and had 2 bits to it. It came in a small blue case with lots of holes towards the back of the case. The lid to the case just simply lifted off. I also got a tub of capsules which is what the asthma medicine was in. These capsules were not to be swallowed, you simply put one in one end of the inhaler twisted the inhaler which broke the capsule in half, you would then put the end of the inhaler in your mouth and breathe in the power which came out of the capsule.
I continued to use this every day as my asthma was quite bad to start off with. As the years went by I needed to use my inhaler less and less. I also got an updated version of the inhaler which was just a simple push down inhaler and breathe in. This was much easier to use and was less fiddly than the other inhaler I first got prescribed.
Shortly after I got diagnosed with asthma, my brother was also diagnosed and a year or 2 later my dad was then diagnosed with asthma. My dad used to suffer from it quite bad and used to have a Nebuliser machine at home, which he used to have to use every night for a week or 2.
My sister was the last one who got diagnosed with asthma a year or 2 after my dad. My sister suffered from it quite bad and still does as she has 2 different inhalers. She doesn't need to take them as much as she used to which is good and my dad never needs to use his inhaler either.
I still have an asthma inhaler, as when its winter and gets cold this irritates my asthma and Pollen and smoky places also affect my asthma as well.
Luckily I have never suffered from an asthma attack so I can't comment on my experiences with that.
***TREATING YOUR ASTHMA***
There are many different types of medicine you can take for your asthma, and your GP will prescribe the best one suited for you to use. Some examples of the medicine you may be prescribed are below:
* Reliever Inhalers - These are blue in colour and nearly everyone with asthma should have one of these as they quickly relax the muscles in the narrowed airway and allows the airways to open wider making it easier to breathe again.
* Preventer Inhalers - This controls the swelling and inflammation of the airways and reduces the risk of severe attacks. This type of inhaler normally needs to be taken every day for the effects to build up.
* Steroid Tablets - You may be given a short course of these is your asthma is severe and these will work very quickly to calm your inflamed airways.
* Spacers - These are for use with the aerosol inhalers which make the inhaler easier to use and causes less side effects.
* Nebulisers - This is a machine which creates a mist of medicine which is breathed in through a mask or mouthpiece. These are used to give high doses of medicine and are used mostly in emergencies.
* 1.1m children in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma.
* There is a person with asthma in one in five households in the UK.
* 5.4m people in the UK are currently receiving treatment for asthma.
* There were 1,200 deaths from asthma in the UK in 2006.
* 56% people with asthma are sensitive to pet allergens.
If you suffer from asthma you can lots of information from the internet, your local surgery and your GP.
(Review also on ciao)
Right for a start, I do not no why this topic has an average rating of 2 stars? As there is clearly no upside to having to live with asthma, I know.
Ever since I was a young child I h ave had to deal with asthma and it is awful. However I have not let it interfere with my ability to join in as much as possible in life, and at one stage I nearly beat it into submissing until I became lazy again. This was through an intense training regime where I took cross country running very seriously and started to compete in the national races, naturally I had to be in shape for this and the 4 or 5 training sessions I undertook every week helped me to overcome asthma to the very best of my ability, although it was still there lurking. But this shows that it can be beaten!
However since i stopped this about 3 or 4 years ago it has slowly started to come back and now it is at its most severe I can remember which is why I am to start training again.
Asthma attacks can be brought about by many different causes, ranging from anxiety to the more basica cause of too much vigerous exercise or even too much laughing! (One which gets to me) Asthma can also range in its symptons, from a weezy feeling when you breathe to finding it very hard to breathe at all, almost as if there is a large weight on your chest not allowing you to properly inhale all the way (This is a bit like when you concentrate on your breathing and find it more difficult, except alot worse) For me this is the worst thting about it as it grabs your attention and then you cannot escape it until you some how totally take your mind off of it.
Fortunately living in the UK I have been able to have free inhaler prescription of different kinds, from preventative forms that must be taken every evening and moring, although this regime is a pain sometimes to the literal lifesave that is blue Ventolin inhaler that provides instant relief.
Overall asthma is a complete and utter pain and I really do wish I did not have it however I deem myself lucky that I know I can beat it.
- ASTHMA -
Asthma is a debilitating condition, and you should be aware of the symptoms to correctly diagnose it. Asthma affects approximately 20 million people in the United States alone, and identifying the condition is intrinsic to learning how to handle it effectively.
I have suffered with asthma since quite a young age and I, in turn have handed it down to my youngest child. Asthma is hereditary as is, migraine, hayfever and eczema. They are of the same family and they are all inter-related. Learning to cope with asthma is half the battle.
Asthma can start at time, and any age. The symptoms of asthma are easily recognisable, and if you are in any doubt at all as to whether you are suffering from asthma or not, you should consult your medical practitioner immediately. As with any medical conditions the degree of asthma can be mild, moderate or severe, and in extreme cases can be fatal. So this is a condition that should not be ignored just because you feel your symptoms are not affecting the running of your life.
Mild asthma could possibly develop into severe asthma if left untreated, and can cause irreparable damage to the airways. Asthma is hereditary so if anyone in your family has any of the interrelated conditions of asthma, such as, eczema, migraine, of hay fever you could be at risk.
- THE SYMPTOMS OF ASTHMA -
Wheezing Shortness of breath Coughing And a tightness in the chest. You will find that the symptoms may be worsened at night due to the laying down where the mucous will form on your chest. This is a result of the airways becoming inflamed and irritated, and this in turn will produce extra mucus and cause the airways to become narrower. So if you feel you have any of these symptoms you should get them checked out straight away.
- THE CAUSES OF ASTHMA -
First and foremost asthma is hereditary so this may answer your question immediately. An infection such as flu or a cold can trigger it also. Some of the most common triggers are smoking, airborne pollens, house dust mite, pet hair, fur, feathers, chemicals, particularly the ones in household aerosols, as the gases contained within these sprays can aggravate the airways. Also irritants such as cigarette smoke, fumes, and dust. Excercise, particularly in cold weather. Even emotions such as laughing, crying, and stress can bring on an attack.
- TREATMENTS FOR ASTHMA -
When you go to your doctor he will discuss with you what you think has triggered the asthma, and he will try to identify the cause. You will then be asked to blow into a peak flow metor, and this will indicate how much breath you can expel, which will show the severity of your current condition. You will try best of three and the doctor will take the average from this.
You will be given a peak flow meter to take home and record in a diary your peak flow strength day and night for a given period of time. So that when you return to the doctor they will be able to see how your asthma is doing.
The treatment for asthma starts with a preventative, and this will normally be given in a form of a preventer inhaler such as Becatide. Taken over time this will help to control your asthma so that the frequency that you have to take your reliever should be lessened.
The preventer and the reliever will normally be given to you in puffer' form which contains a gas which will direct a correct measured dose to your airways. In more serious cases you will be put on a short course of steroids such as prednisolone to bring your asthma to a more acceptable level.
In the most severe case, you may be have to go to hospital where you will be put on a nebuliser which delivers a mist of water and asthma medicine which you breathe in. The nebuliser will deliver more of the drug directly to where it's needed and this method is more effective and immediate than conventional inhalers. You may even be required to keep a nebuliser at home depending on the seriousness of your condition.
Depending on the severity of your asthma you will be given a course of treatment that is tailored to your needs. Asthma can stop and start at any time, so don't be fooled into thinking it has gone for good. Asthma is incurable and as such should be treated as an ongoing condition.
Preventing and controlling at all times will establish a routine which will enable you to live a normal life. Basically, Identifying and avoiding the things that trigger your asthma are an essential step, and avoidance to these main triggers will help to keep your asthma under control.-
My experience of asthma has not been a major drawback to my everyday life. The drugs have controlled it to an acceptable level. There are certain times of year when it becomes worse, such as winter and summer. The extremes in weather heighten the symptoms and cold and flu can make it quite severe.
The main thing is, to stick with the drugs which are prescribed and to make them a routine part of your life. They keep the asthma under control and help alleviate the harsh coughing which is associated with asthma that can be very damaging to the lungs.
To be as asthmatic is something that is always there. It can go away for long periods but it can return unexpectedly. Accepting this and continuing with the prescribed medicines is all important to keeping the asthma under control. -
Thank you for reading
AsI have had a few bad attacks lately I thought I would write about it and it may help others.
I was diagnosed with Asthma at the age of 6. Nothing in particular triggered it- except what seemed to be excitement about Xmas! The doctor I saw as a young child was a great believer in mind over matter and insisted to my parents that " I could control it"!
This was embedded on my mind and I have struggled to control it ever since as I err away from medication.
It was apparent when I was younger and after spending every xmas in bed, wheezing and feeling awful, that my trigger was stress or excitement. My asthma only reared its ugly head when these events were happening.
It also went in 6 year cycles. Every 6 years I would be wheezing and coughing almost constantly for about 12 months and then it woudl disappear.
I find it hard to live with when I am wheezy and now use Ventolin & Beclotide inhalers on a regular basis.
I now get it (still in 6 year cycles - which then last a year) when I get a cold. I have flu vaccinations every year (thankfully free for me) to help prevent a bad doze of the flu which could make my asthma worse.
I have had a very heavy cold recently and have really struggled with my asthma. Especially as we have just moved house and haven't had chance to register with a new doctor as yet, but my father in law has also passed away in the last couple of weeks.
So as you can imagine, stress, cold, exhaustion and my asthma - I have had a couple of really bad attacks recently and am convinced - unless some sort of cure or fantastic remedy comes on the market - that this will eventually kill me.
I get pannicky as I cant get to my inhaler (if I can find it in my bag, whilst struggling to breath) and it makes the attack worse. It is also expecially scarey for those around me - who start panicking as well.
I long for the day when some sort of cure comes out or a drug which controls it straight away. Lets keep our fingers crossed as it will bring so much relieve for so many people.
Asthma runs in our family, lots of my relatives have it and 2 have died from it. So me managing to escape asthma throughout my childhood seemed amazing. However, at the age of 21 I suddenly had an asthma attack for no reason. I started with a persistent cough in the evening and struggled through the night thinking it was just a cough but by the next day I realised I needed help. My flatmate at the time lent me her Ventolin inhaler (the blue one for relief) and I got some help from this so went to see my GP.
The GP was very unhelpful, amazingly even with my family history he insisted it was not asthma and was in fact stress?! I wasn't stressed one bit but he wouldn't have it. There's a common misconception in the medical world that asthma causes not trouble getting air in but getting air out sufficiently to allow enough air in. Now how they've reached this conclusion when asthma causes a swelling and spasming of the airways I have no idea. If the size of the airways is reduced surely this will affect the ease with which you breathe in?? Anyway, he sent me home with nothing. That's right, nothing.
Later that evening my symptoms got so bad my flatmate called a doctor out. It was the same one. He walked into our flat and announced "this is quite obviously asthma" and proceeded to put a capsule of medication into a nebuliser. A nebuliser is used when an attack is happening as the medication is broken down further in a nebuliser and it can be breathed in easier. See, there's that whole breathing in thing again that GP's don't agree with! The nebuliser itself is a machine plugged into the mains with a face mask like the oxygen masks you see in hospitals. He also gave me some steriods for the swelling which are fine and just made me really pale!
So, I'm too breathless to tell him what I think of him and when I gasp out he told me earlier that day it wasn't asthma he assures me he didn't!! Anyway, he leaves me with the nebuliser because I refuse to go to hospital and says if I get worse I have to go to A&E and if not use the nebuliser for a few days then back to the surgery for medication.
I survived, as you can tell! I made an appointment with "the asthma nurse" who is basically a nurse at the practice who has taken courses in asthma treatment. She gives me the standard Ventolin inhaler and a preventative Becotide inhaler. The Becotide should be taken twice daily (amount of dosage and puffs vary) and the Ventolin for relief. So I start taking these and for a while all is well.
My next attack happened after a party when I was walking home. No warning and suddenly I had half a mile to go with no inhaler. I hadn't taken it with me, I was stupid and young and thought I'd be ok. A friend found me gasping in the street and helped me home. I took my Ventolin inhaler and within 15 minutes felt fine but tired. Asthma attacks tend to make you very tired for a few days afterwards.
So a few more years pass and one winter I get a bad cold that turns into a chest infection. Now a bit older and wiser I go to the doctors who test my peak flow. The peak flow test is done using a tube with a mouthpiece that you huff into as much as you can and they measure how far the little marker has moved. They make you do it 3 times then average it which is no easy feat when you're breathless. My lung funtion was down to half what it should be from this simple cold and chest infection. Another 2 weeks on the nebuliser and a course of pale-face steriods and I was fine again.
At our practice if you have asthma they make you see "the asthma nurse" once a year to make sure you're still taking your inhalers correctly (as if I'd have forgotten how since my last appointment!) to test your peak flow and change your medication if you aren't doing especially well. I had mine changed after the chest infection by adding an extra inhaler. This one is called Serevent and it works by relaxing the airways enough to then take the Becotide. Need I point out this is a breathing in procedure that I need help with not a breathing out?!
So a couple more years pass and I'm managing ok, you're never going to be perfect with asthma there's always a bit of a problem with breathing and certain things can set you off when you least expect it. It's doubtful an asthmatic will ever become a long distance runner or cyclist but some are worse than others so it varies what you can manage.
My next attack was a synchronised affair with many other asthmatics! On a holiday to Tenerife my partner and I decided to go up the mountain in a cable car. I thought I'd be ok but I was aware of the risk because the air is thinner the higher you get. Never mind the cable car, as we walked to the bottom of the mountain (already fairly high up) I started my usual gasping for breath and had to stop and rest and take my inhaler! As I rested I looked around and saw a large number of other people puffing on their inhalers and sitting down or bending forward to try and suck more precious air in so mountain climbing is a definite no! Although alarmed I still went on the cable car and when I wasn't walking etc was fine which was a huge relief as we were miles from help!
That was my last noticable attack. Nowadays I up the dose of preventative if I get a cold and use my Ventolin more if necessary. I still have to go to "the asthma nurse" once a year for monitoring but mostly I live at a place where I know I'm not breathing as well as people without asthma but I have enough air to cope.
Things that set me off are dogs, furniture polish, dettol (weird I know!), having a cold, doing too much exercise, pollen, humid days, walking into a very hot room from a cold area, aerosols, dust and obviously the thinner air around mountains!! There are more I'll encounter in the fture I'm sure and possibly some I've forgotten too.
If you get asthma in childhood you have a chance of growing out of it but if you have adult onset you won't. The inhalers themselves contain steriods so having to take them long-term can cause problems, I think there's a syndrome called Cushings that can be brought on by using steroids long-term. Most asthmatics I know seem to be clearing their throats often and breathe more by lifting the shoulders rather than using the ribcage which can make exercise even harder.
If an asthmatic gets a chest infection they MUST go to the doctors and get treatment, my sister didn't last year and died at the age of 39 due to her asthma. Basically it's a case of knowing your own limitations and avoiding triggers to keep you as healthy as possible.
I've given asthma one star but only because I have to rate it, I'd really like to give it minus 5 stars!
I would first like to say that my experience of asthma will be very different to the majority of asthma sufferers as i have severe form of the disease and wanted to make it clear that most people (95%) with asthma will be able to get it under control and experience very few symptoms.
I was diagnosed at age 11 after experiencing breathlessness during sport and when it was cold outside. I was first given the usual blue ventolin inhaler and a peak flow meter to record each day.
About 2 months after this i was also given a brown preventer inhaler called beclamethasone to use morning and evening.
I carried on with these fine until i was aged 15 and had my first severe asthma attack which saw me being rushed from school in an ambulance to the local hospital. Here i was stabilized and admitted for a few days, before being seen by a specialist at our local children hospital. He started me on a new inhaler called "symbicort" which combines a long acting reliever with a different preventer steroid. This stablilised me well until the age of 17.
At the age of 17 i had several severe attacks which resulted in numerous hospital addmissions and a few visits from the ITU retrival team. By this point my quality of life was pretty much zero. I couldnt exercise, was on numerous medications and was in hospital more times than i like to remember! I was also missing a lot of college and had to drop down to part time. I was started to be seem under the care of a specialist in difficult asthma who i remain under.
My current Medications:
Prednisolone 30mg daily - this is a steroid and i am desperatly trying to get off it completely but at the moment it is staying.
Accolate 10mg twice a day
Uniphylline 200mg twice a day
Adcal d3 - to combat the side effects of long term steroids
Symbicort 8 times a day
Bricanyl - a type of reliver
I also use a nebuliser when needed. This is a machine which turns liquid ventolin (the same stuff thats in blue inhalers, but at a much higher dose) into a fine mist which is breathed in through a face mask.
I am currently waiting to be started on a new drug from the US called xolair which has the potential to turn my life around. If this doesnt work, no one is sure what to do next so its all fingers crossed for this!!!
My eldest son who is now nine years old was diagnosed with Asthma when he was five. He had just started primary school and was doing well when he came down with what I took for a normal cold.
Always getting the cold (or so I thought)
So I kept him off school for a few days and got him a cough bottle, after a few days he was fine, until about two weeks later, when he was sick again, this continued for about six weeks, I put it down to the cold weather, then two weeks later he was sick again.
So I took him to the doctor and explained what was going on, he basically said I was being over protective and that my son had just got a simple cold and I had nothing to worry about. Everything continued much the same, my son always seemed to have the cold and he missed a lot of time off school.
First hospital visit
Another two weeks or so passed and my son was down with the cold again, only this time he was much worse, he lay on the seetee, he would`nt eat and was complaining of a sore chest, I put my hand on his chest and his heart rate was going extremely fast, so I took him straight to hospital and they put him on a nebuliser to help him breath easier (this is basically like oxygen) and they kept in for a few days.
First stay in hospital
They continued to give him these Nebulisers every two hours, through out the day and night, but when we asked what was wrong with him, they never really give us a straight answer, although they let him home after about three days, they did`nt actually tell us what was wrong with him.
Second visit to hospital
We hoped things would improve, but they did`nt , he just kept getting the cold, The same thing happened with his heart rate, so again we went to the hospital and they carried out the same process as before and he was kept in again.
Speaking to the doctor
At this stage I had thought maybe he had Asthma but I was`nt sure, The medication was the same as before and eventually we got to speak to the doctor, I mentioned the idea of Asthma, but he said that my son was to young to diagnose (which is nonsence)
Third visit to hospital
It was`nt until the third visit to hospital that they finally diagnosed him with having Asthma, at this stage they give me two inhalers which were Beclazone and Salbutamol.
What these Inhalers are for
Beclazone is a preventer it is a steriod based medication and is brown in colour, this inhaler is to help to stop the tubes in the lungs for becoming red and swollen.
Salbutamol is a reliever and is blue in colour, this inhaler opens up the tubes in the lungs so therefore breathing is made easier.
The hospital give us these inhalers and sent us home with very little other information.
Everything was great for a while but the same symptoms started up again, and my son ended up in hospital again, it turned out that the medication was`nt working for him, so they changed his medication to Seretide (purple) and the Asmasal inhalers (white) and they also put him on a steriod based tablet. These inhalers are a bit stronger than the other ones and are working great.
Learning as we went
For the first few months when my son was diagnosed with Asthma, we did`nt really no much about the illness, we were basically learning as we went along until we spoke to the school nurse (who just happened to be an Asthmatic Nurse), she explained what actually happens to Asthmatics.
The way she explained it to us was that the tubes from an Asthmatic person have trigger factors that can irritate them which in turn causes them to swell and become red, which therefore causes the difficulty in breathing.
Changes in Weather
Sprays (perfume, polish etc)
These are some of the triggers that can be a problem for Asthmatics, Different factors will be a problem for different suffers.
She also give us advice on how we can help our son with his illness.
damp dust followed by dry dusting
hoover floors, soft furnishings and matresses
wash bedlinen and cuddly toys at 60 degrees
With the advice from the school nurse we found it a lot easier to understand Asthma and needles to say the information that she give us was really useful.
So far the purple and white inhalers have worked well for my son and his Asthma is well controlled with these inhalers, although he has had to go to the hospital on the odd occassion but he has`nt had to stay in.
thanks for reading
Did you know that one in ten children in the UK have asthma?That's a total of 1.1 million youngsters who at times struggle to fill their lungs with air. It's an hereditary condition, which means if one parent has a history of asthma in their family, their child has a good chance of developing the condition, but if both parents have the history then the child has a very high chance of developing it. Now I had severe asthma as a child, and now suffer from chronic bronchitis, and although my husband doesn't have asthma, his sister does, and this combined history meant that our children had a very high chance of developing the condition. I guess we were unlucky, in out of four children three have asthma, and two of them have it in a very severe form.
Now it would be too much to tell you about all three of them, so I'm going to tell you about my youngest Ashleigh, who has had the symptoms of asthma since she was six weeks old.
~~~The first attack~~~
When Ashleigh was born she was a perfect wonderful baby, so contented and settled, easy to feed, even easier to wind, it was such a relief (If you've read any of my other reviews you'll know her older brother has difficulties). But when she was 6 weeks old she caught a cold, suddenly she found feeding difficult, and I could hear a distinct wheeze to her breathing, having older children with asthma I knew what the signs were and was thinking Oh great not again. Then she started coughing so much she was sick, and lovely sick it was too, pints of mucus mixed with the little bit of milk she'd actually managed to actually drink.
So we took her to the doctor for an emergency appointment, to be told that they don't diagnose asthma at such a young age, but it did look like she was developing it. Basically she was given no help to breathe, and I ended up taking her home and coping with it the best we could. (If your asthmatic child has a lot of mucus, steam works wonders).
~~~The first hospital admission~~~
These attacks came and went over the next 9 months, and we moved house and therefore saw a new doctor. Then one night (why are the worst attacks always at night) her condition seriously deteriorated over the space of an hour, and she became floppy and disinterested in everything and everyone around her. We knew it was really serious this time, and took her straight to the Emergency department, where she was immediately given a nebuliser (I'll explain a nebuliser later) which didn't really help her much, so she was sent to the children's ward, where she was given 2 hourly nebulisers and put on oxygen. This was a scary time, but eventually, with the help of steroids and antibiotics she got over the infection that was causing the problems and received the diagnosis of Asthma.
Eventually we were allowed to take her home, armed with two different types of inhaler, nebules to use in our nebuliser at home and some steroid tablets that she was to take in ever decreasing doses.
~~~The Happy Wheezer~~~
Ashleigh became a regular both at the doctors surgery and the children's ward and was known as a happy wheezer, what this meant was that because she had never known a time when she didn't wheeze she just carried on as any other child would, even when she actually needed oxygen. Asthma and nebulisers had just become a part of her life, from the age of 10 months upwards she has had nebulisers twice a day to help control her asthma, and upto six times a day when she's unwell. Being able to give her these at home, means that we can keep her out of hospital as much as possible, although it does mean the responsibility falls on us to decide when enough is enough. We also have a supply of steroid tablets that we can start her on, when things start to get out of control.
Oh and she has open access to the children's ward, so if we can't control things at home, we can get her straight to the treatment she needs.
~~~The Wheezer at school~~~
Ashleigh is now at school, and for the most part she is exactly like every other child there, hey lots of kids in her class have asthma. The trouble is very few have it as severely as she does, which is something the teachers tend to forget. She's normally gunked up and coughing constantly from October until March and often her teachers think she should be at home. In fact she's just gone to school today, with a cough that would keep most children home, but not my Ash, as I've said before she's just used to being like this. As she's got older though, she has started to be able to say when things are worse than usual, and she really does need to stay at home, so we're starting to trust her judgement. If Ashleigh says she's to ill to go to school, then she's genuinely too ill.
There are lots of different treatments for asthma, so I'm only going to tell you about the ones we've tried for Ashleigh.
Ashleigh has a Ventolin inhaler, to give her relief from an attack, when she's not at home. This is a spray, that she needs to breathe in. Now in common with most children, she finds that she can't co-ordinate breathing and pressing the inhaler, so she uses an aerochamber. An aerochamber is like a tube, with facemask at one end and a hole for the inhaler at the other. When the ventolin is sprayed it mixes with the air in the tube and then the child breathes it in. It's much easier for her to use and she's being doing it herself since she was about three.
A nebuliser is basically a machine that pumps a fine mist of which ever drug that you've put in it into a face mask, so the child can breathe it in. Ashleigh takes two different drugs this way, ventolin, and pulmicort (which helps reduce the frequency of attacks). It takes about 10 minutes for it to run, and it's a good idea to sit with your child and keep them amused while it's running, it must by very scary to start with. It's also important to give your child a drink and wash their face after using it, otherwise they might get a rash.
Ashleigh takes steroid tablets when her asthma is really bad, and these help reduce the swelling in the lining of the lungs. They work brilliantly, and we normally see a positive response within 8 hours, but they have side affects, including aggression.
~~~All about asthma~~~
Now I've told you how asthma affects Ashleigh I'm going to fog your mind with some medical blurb about what asthma actually is :
Asthma is a condition that affects the airways, the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. During an asthma attack, the airways will contract (get smaller), the muscles around them will get tighter and their linings will get inflamed (swell up), and sometimes mucus will start to collect all of this will make it more difficult to breathe.
Symptoms wary from child to child but may include :
Coughs or wheezing particularly at night, in the cold or after exercise.
A cough that won't go away or keeps coming back
Finding it difficult to breathe and feeling breathless.
Complaining of having a tight feeling in their chest or a sore tummy
Feeling tired, not running around as much as usual, needing to be carried a lot.
~~~What to do if your child has an attack~~~
Firstly stay calm, if your child sees you panicking they're like to start doing the same and this will make the attack worse. If they have medication give it to them, then sit with them for at least 5 minutes to see if it's worked. Have a look at their tummy, I know this sounds silly but I'll explain why. When a child is in severe respiratory distress, instead of their chest going up and down, their tummy will, and you'll see the ribs clearly standing out, if you see this get your child seen by a doctor as soon as possible as it means they are really are struggling.
If the medication hasn't worked it maybe that they need more help, in this case I would suggest taking them to hospital as soon as.
I've lived with asthma all my life, and I've managed to do everything I want. It's heartbreaking watching Ashleigh struggle for breath, but in a strange way I think it's made her stronger. She knows what her limits are and is always trying to push herself that little bit further, and enjoys all kinds of physical activity during her well periods. For many children, asthma is just an inconvenience, but for Ashleigh it has at times been life-threatening, and yet if you looked at her playing with her friends you wouldn't really know.
I was first diagnosed with asthma when I was about seven years old. I was taken to the doctor after I'd developed breathing problems during a PE lesson.
The doctor said it could have been to do with my heart murmer, which I was born with. For those of you who don't know that's when your heart has an irregular beat. My Dad's smoking could also have contributed to my condition.
To handle it, I was given a blue ventaline inhalor. I was told to practise taking it. This involves breathing in, spraying the thing in your mouth and swallowing at the same time. Now for a seven year old that can be very difficult and I looked like I was smoking on most attempts.
I had to take the inhalor whenever I felt breathless or tight chested. As time went on, my condiditon gradually worsened. So the doctor gave me a brown Becotide inhalor. This contained steroids. It was to be taken twice a day - once in the morning and once at night. The point of this inhalor is to prevent an attack coming on in the first place. But this medicin made me feel ill and cough a lot. So I stopped taking it.
To help monitor my asthma, I was given a peak flow metre. This is a tube that you blow into as hard and as fast as you can. This will measure the elasticity of your lungs. Over a few days you can work out what your normal peak flow is and if it drops, you know you have a chance of an attack soon. I used to love doing this and would challenge my family to see if they had a higher peak than me. Suprisingly, mine was the highest in the household.
Asthma attacks can be triggered by different things in different people. For me it was exercise, swimming in particular. This is odd as it's supposed to be very good for asthmatics. I was very sporty in my secondary school days, but I was determined for my asthma not to be a problem. I became good at most sports and it only seemedto be endurance sports that would trigger an attack.
Smoke is another thing can bring on an attack. So working in a pub was hell for me. I have to hold my breath if I'm near a bonfire or driving through smoke. Fog is also a problem along with the cold weather.
The feeling of having an attack is very frightening. I can feel my throat start to close up and a tightness come across my chest. Sometimes I get heart pains too. I think the most frightening part is the wheezing I make. I know I physically acn't breathe, but add that on top is awful.
Thankfully the medication I'm on releives the symptons very quickly. I'm also very lucky that I've never had to be rushed to hospital with a really serious attack.
The worst case I've had is where I lost my sight. It was after a race on sports day, and as I crossed the finish line, everything went white and I started to feel dizzy. I was probably the lack of oxygen in my body. It was partly my fault as I'd felt the attack creeping on, but I ws so determined to win the race I kept on. And yes I did win!
I'm nearly twenty-one now, but sadly like many people, I've not outgrown my asthma. I thought maybe I had, but under a few stressful situations lately, I've had a couple of attacks. They don't seem so bad now, but that could be because I'm older and so don't panic so easily. Thankfully, these attacks are few and far between.
If you or anyone you know is diagnosed with the disease, don't panic. There is a lot of help out there to manage the problem. A new medication for children upto about eighteen months old has just beem released. It's a granulated form that can be added to food or drink to help it go down easy. So if you baby has asthma maybe ask your GP about it. I only found out because of my profession.
Thanks for reading my blurb.
I am a midget! I am only 4 foot 6. Everything about me is smaller than a tall person. My lungs are small and I have asthma. Asthma can be caused my many things, such as food allergies, tobacco, cold air, animal dander and even exercise. The doctors say that I have bronchical asthma. So does my dad and my brother. Asthma is a respiratory problem. I take primatene pills, twice daily and it helps me breath. I get a daily work out by just doing the ordinary things around my house. This means I cannot see the top of the cabinets and stove. When I cook I can't see inside the pot. I stand above the sink very well to wash dishes. I have to use a tall step ladder to see anything on the top shelves on my closet or kitchen. I cannot see the inside my freezer. I use a big spoon too get the food. I have a my rod in my back, so I can't look up. If you want see what it like at my height , get on knees and you'll see, if I want see your height all I have to do is get on a step ladder. To keep my asthma under control, I must eat heathy foods and get a good sleep each night. A doctor once told me to take primatene tablets. I do and it works. Some days I don't have to take it, (in the winter), but in the spring, summer and I take it twice a day. I don't know if they sells primatene in England. If they do and you have asthma I hope you will try them. In the United States it's over the counter medicne. Thank you for reading my review. Pam.
Since starting work, my asthma has decided to kick off, due to all the dust, it has continually got worst to the point where I have had to go back to the doctors. Now I am not one to go yapping to the doctor with all my disabilities, but I also am quite aware that this can also kill you. I used to be terrible for not taking my inhalers with me, until a young girl of my age forgot her inhaler and died. This brought it home to me how serious this can be if you do not pay it the respects it deserves. Up until 10 years ago, I was known as the Reebok kid as I would not wear anything unless it had this on. I went to the gym at least 10 times a week and was in peak fitness, yes I did smoke and this was one of the problems that I had to address but it never caused me any problems. 10 years on with one kidney, Osteoarthritis and infections and asthma, my life has totally changed. No longer can I go to the gym. I would be huffing and puffing more than Thomas the Tank Engine. So why and how did I get asthma? Well it was over 7 years ago when everyone was suffering from a flu bug. Likewise I was no exception but after wards when I was recovering, something did not seem quite right and off back to the doctors I travelled. He told he I had got a mild form of asthma and with careful treatment it should go as quick as it comes. The definition of Asthma is that it causes difficulty when you are trying to breathe and this can take on recognisable symptoms as wheezing and gasping for air. To see how it feels to struggle to breathe, try this, take a nice long deep breath. Easy isn’t it ? as we all take this for granted. Now take a very short breath and compare how fast you start to breath, right stop. This is how it affects people not been able to breath deeply and normally as the narrowin
g of the air passages are closing in. It can also be due to mucus that is blocking the airways, so once again it becomes hard to breathe. I could be out shopping and silly things like carrying too much shopping that puts pressure on my large frame can activate it, just a bit like huffing and puffing at first and then I can feel my chest tightening. At this point I have to stop and search for my asthma sprays, the blue one, (I will go into the types of sprays later on). A couple of quick blasts on this and it soon returns to normal and I start to enjoy the fresh air. After realising a couple of years ago that this asthma was not going to settle down, I returned back to the doctor and he put me on another inhaler, colour co-ordinated inhalers now. Time went on and again I found myself at the doctors once again and he gave me another inhaler. So now my inhalers were three, Salbutamol and a preventer and a steroid. I found these were a pain to take out and quite stupidly I started to leave them at home thinking I did not need them. Then one night I had gone out with the girls and the pub was smokey and they opened the windows for me. However I could feel an attack come on and decided to get home. I went out of the pub and was gasping for air. My brain was saying breathe, inhale, breathe, inhale, yet my asthma was saying puff, puff, puff, wheeze, wheeze, wheeze… I managed to get to the end of the road and which point I was felt as though I was going to die through not breathing. I quickly searched my bags and found the sprays were not there. I had my mobile phone on me and I rang my husband and huffed and puffed and he knew what was wrong. Now luckily he knew I had left them at home and he also knew exactly what way I would be coming home and he set off to my rescue. He found me and he was quite scared and
said let’s get home and get an ambulance and not wanting to waste a hospitals time and effort I declined. It took hours for the asthma to calm down and I took a peak flow reading and went to my doctors the next morning. At this point the doctors face went white. He said I should have gone straight to the hospital as I could have died. As I was a bit naive about asthma and did not know much more that that I had it, I decided to find out more. People with asthma are usually give the puff inhaler spray and this is blue, by pressing once or twice on the spray it releases Salbutamol into your body which should open up the airways allowing you to breathing. When having a full-blown asthma attack, your heart is thumping and you are gasping for air, it is important at this stage to try and not panic as this makes it a lot worse. This is referred to as a reliever. Now in our body we have something called hydro-cortisone, I have this as a preventer and it works slowly I take this a couple of times a day to prevent an attack. I also have a steroid inhaler, which is also a preventer, and this is also taken everyday to try and prevent the attack. I have had times when none of my sprays have helped and I have been put on really strong steroid tablets, even with the fear of turning into a man over night, I took them and my doctor assured me that at the end of the course, I would still have my womanly bits, but this is a quick 7 day course to bring it back under control. Most people who go on to have asthma will have both of these and children some times find inhalers a problem so if they cannot use them, they can have spacers which is a plastic tube where the spray is sprayed into and the child has the other end in its mouth and inhales. Now you can also get these in adult form. However I could never come to
grip with the sprays into your mouth and they started to make me feel sick so I never used them, until I had a serious attack, which was silly. I returned back to my doctor and now I have Accuinhalers which are round and you have 52 doses in each one and you twist it round and inhale, much easier and you know you have had the correct dose. Asthma is getting more commoner in children and some are lucky and do grow out of it. Adults can just get it like that, one month I was ok and the next I could not breathe and I have had it know for seven years. Normally when you have asthma, you are given a peak flow, which is a tube that you blow into and this records what state your breathing is. I do this every morning and take readings, especially at the moment as I struggle to breathe. They say asthma can be triggered by dust, environmental problems as petrol fumes and smoking and weight and exercise and dust. As today’s world is becoming rather a clogged up place, asthma will thrive and the problems on the NHS for this is great. Now if you have got asthma, you have to look at your lifestyle and try and eliminate some of those problems. How does it affect you, it affects me a great deal at the moment as heat triggers my asthma off and if the bedroom is hot, I start to huff and puff and it is so uncomfortable to breathe. I always sleep with the window wide open and it was so severe last night I slept in the other bedroom as I was disturbing Mr Bubbles. During the night he got up and came to see how I was and shut the window as I was soaking wet with the wind and the rain blowing through but at least I could breathe. I love the cold weather and the fresh air but it also seems to start it off, especially around autumn when it is neither hot nor cold. It also affects me in the way I cannot go t
o the gym anymore and this one time woman who was 11 stone went up to nearly 19 stone. Last year I embarked on a diet and lost just over 3.5 stone but I have put some back on and it has also made things worse, so back to Weightwatchers I have gone this week and I have started at 16stone 12lbs. I am 5ft 8 and of large build anyway and people never believe me when I tell them how much I weigh. I carry it well but neither does it do any good for any of my disabilities so it has to go. I miss my life of going to the gym as well. I would love to get it under control. Now here is my advice on Asthma Tips 1) If you ever have problems breathing see your doctor. 2) Make sure you always have sprays handy, I have them in several places around the house. 3) If you are at school, make sure, your friends and teachers are made aware of it. 4) Teach your friends what they should do if you have an attack; it is no use giving you an inhaler that is to prevent an attack when you are having one. 5) If a person is having an asthma attack, look for the blue spray, salbutamol, ventalin, this is what will help them. 6) Check and monitor your asthma, one-day mine is fines, the next I cannot breathe. 7) If you have triggers like weight and smoking, do something about it; what is the point of doctors helping you if you don’t help yourself. 8) Do not be ashamed of it, respect it and deaths are rare, ignore it at your peril like I did and it could claim your life. 9) If you are in any doubt, and the sprays are not working, ring 999 as they can put you on stronger drugs. Also they can bring it under control easily. I wish I had done this when I had a bad attack as it nearly killed me and I was too embarrassed to ask for help. 10) If you’re a child with asthma, make your spray cool by adding stic
kers on the outside or on the outside of your spacer. 11)Never hid the fact that you have asthma, all my friends are aware and also know what happens and which sprays to use in case I have an attack and they know how many puffs to give me and also how long to wait if they are not working and what point to call 999. Asthma is a horrible thing to have, you must respect it and work with it. Get the doctor for you to speak to the Asthma nurse who will tell you loads of things about it and little tips to help you keep it in control. My flare-up this time has lasted 3 weeks so far and I am back at the doctors this week to see if I have to go on the steroid tablets as it is been a bit naughty. One thing I have learnt from it is never to ignore it! Even if you do not know anyone who asthma it is very handy to know what to do incase you meet some one who has an attack. Hope this helps you all, Karen
I was diagnosed with asthma as a toddler, but being truthful I cannot remember it having any adverse affects on my life. My parents thought it must have been a childhood ailment as it seemed to fade and the attacks became far less frequent as I grew up. Then when I was 17, I decided that I wanted to make a career for myself in The Royal Air Force. I passed the required tests, but when I got to the final hurdle..the medical, I was turned down on the basis that I had suffered from asthma, even though it was a number of years previous. In 1997, the asthma attacks came back with a vengeance, and I have found it a struggle to manage the attacks ever since. Here is my experience of living with asthma as an otherwise physically fit 28 year old male. *What is asthma?* The medical definition is a chronic inflammatory lung disease, indicated by spasms or constriction of the bronchial tubes, and secretion of thick mucus, that is activated by irritantsor triggers. The result of this is difficulty breathing. Sometimes if I become very annoyed or over excited and shout, it can trigger an attack, where I become light headed and my breathing becomes much more deliberate. **What are the symptoms of asthma?** *Wheezing - Sounds like a mild whooping cough at times *Shortness of breath, perhaps only with exercise - I am normally alright after controlled exercise over a sustained period of time, but I find that short bursts of exercise, such as a steep flight of stairs leave me struggling to breath. *Feeling a tightness in the chest - This is probably the sympton that scares me the most, as on New Years Eve 1999, I was rushed to hospital with chest pains, which were predominantly down to asthma but had then progressed into pleurisy. That night was a very scary night, and I have never experienced pain like that before or since. I am much more at risk now of contracting pleurisy, as my specialist thinks it has left me with a weakness.
*Coughing, which may occur only at night - This normally happens to me when I over exert myself, and if I start coughing uncontrollably while trying to control my breathing, I admit that I start to become quite panicky as I feel it getting harder and harder. ***Who is at risk?*** Anyone! However it is becoming increasingly common in children, and recent reports show that a third of asthma suffers are minors. ****What are the most common triggers for asthma symptoms?**** A trigger is something that causes an individual to begin to experience asthma symptoms. The most common are: *Allergens, such as dust mites, cockroaches mold and pollen - I now do not have carpets in my house and hoover my mattress on a regular basis. Certain foods can also trigger off an attack such as a lot of additives in a product. *Weather - Summertime is a curse for me! When the wind is up and the pollen is floating around then my hayfever is terrible, and this in turn worsens my asthma *Exercise - As I have mentioned a prolonged gym session does not affect me anywhere near as much as a short run does *Airborne irritants such as chemical fumes and cigarette smoke - When I go out to the bars, I always have to have my inhaler on hand as the smoky environments play havoc with my asthma *Respiratory infections - Pleurisy as I mentioned. I have the flu jab every year, as it would be too risky for me to get a bad bout of flu, or a chest infection. *Emotions, such as laughing, crying and stress - This is the biggest area for me, and even being over tired can cause an attack A basic attack starts with a tightening in the chest, then a shortness of breath, which even sitting and resting does not eliviate. If I do not get my steriod inhaler in time, then I start to feel quite light headed, probably due to the lack of oxygen. I know one of the golden rules is not to panic, but I do!!! I can still speak to a point, but I prefer not to,
so if you are ever with me (or anyone else) whilst I am having an attack, then talk to me, but don't expect much of a response! I have about 6 attacks a year, and normally one of those will be a one that really takes the wind out of my sails for a day or so. ARE YOU HAVING ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS? *****Have you been properly diagnosed?***** If you suspect that you have asthma, then the key is first of all having it diagnosed so that it can not only be medically treated, but also prevented in a lot of cases, or at least kept well under control, by either treating allergies or using specific asthma related medication. I use a preventive inhaler to try and keep the asthma under control, but also a steriod inhaler, which I use if I have an attack, and this helps to ease my breathing and chest pains. ******Is there a family connection with asthma?******* Research indicates the strong role heredity plays in asthma. Families with one asthmatic parent were three times as likely and families with two asthmatic parents were six times as likely to have a child with asthma. My wife does not have asthma, and at the moment (fingers crossed) neither does my 2 year old daughter, but she has excema, which is possibly a sign that she is not in the clear yet. One thing I would say is please do not dismiss asthma as nothing serious. In serious cases, it is a killer. If someone you know suffers from asthma, then read up on it, and be prepared should they ever have a serious attack. Even knowing which inhaler they will need can help them no end.