Asthma dangerous?

There has been a lot in the news lately about people not taking their asthma seriously. I have to put my hands up and say I probably am one of those statistics. Is it really dangerous and I seriously need to get my act together or is it a lot of hype about nothing?

Growing up it felt like everyone in my family had asthma and it was no big deal. In fact I was one of the lucky ones and did not really have attacks. I remember my cousins having this circular disks with tablets in, and that it could be dangerous for them at night. All it meant for me is that I lost my breath when I ran (a good excuse for being no good at sports day).

asthma dangerous

I have never been any good at remembering to use my inhaler and did not even used to carry one around with me. For me this has only been a problem once when I was dancing at a Festival and overdid it. Luckily there were ambulances on site and I had an oxygen mask put straight on. All I remember is them constantly asking everyone if I had done any drugs! This has been the only time my asthma has scared me. Generally a blue (salbutamol) inhaler has always done the trick. I do get tired a lot and I still cannot run.

I started smoking at a frightfully young age and my peak expiratory flow was around 220. This is an objective measure of how well the lungs are working and mine should have been around 410. Before we got married my husband was really concerned about the fact I smoked and that it was risking me cutting short our time together. It has been almost 11 years since I have given up smoking and I have felt a real difference.

Luckily our doctors surgery take asthma seriously and keep sending out letters telling you to see the asthma nurse until you actually make an appointment. One of the problems I have with it is that I do not see myself as struggling and I have to pay for prescriptions (why contraception is free but not inhalers I will never fully understand). I was also really pleased that my peak flow had gone up to 330. I did not know how low this was still until a conversation with friends – as for my age and height it should be just under 440! This reading was also taken on a good day when I did not have a cold. I am meant to use a brown inhaler twice a day and a blue when needed. So the nurse helped me cut back on costs by giving me a white one that does both. I am still not good at using it regularly but keep it in my coat pocket and am trying.

asthma dangerous

My oldest three children have been lucky and never struggled with their chests. My youngest, however, has been really susceptible. Constantly being told he was “too young” to be diagnosed as having asthma in one year he ended up with 6 out of 12 months resulting him being on antibiotics, including having to be hospitalised and having them via intravenous drip. He even knew exactly what to do with the chest x-ray. He has all manner of different ones. He is now having 2 brown puffs every day and night ok I am a shit parent and forget because I am one of those who do not take it seriously enough. The nurse has suggested he do it himself and he remembered for like the first day. I only seem to be able to remember when he is ill. I know this is terrible and I have even put them out in the kitchen to remind myself. Hopefully as he ages he will be more independent and do it himself.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can be better at remembering to use the inhalers? Maybe someone would like to do me a daily tweet and say have you done it!

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25 thoughts on “Asthma dangerous?”

  1. My eldest has a chest condition so know how scary it can be. Also my brother suffered with childhood asthma and I remember how bad that was, Regarding the reminding of inhalers set a reminder on your phone. It is how I do my meds.

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  2. We have been lucky enough to avoid asthma in our family (we tend to suffer other allergies instead) but I have had pneumonia before and that was horrid. Maybe you could set your alarm on your phone as Jen at The Mad House suggests?

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  3. I have three kids on multiple meds three times a day. The trick is to get into a routine – then it becomes habit. I lay the table for breakfast each night – and put their meds out in their little boxes too. And when they come home from school it’s drink, biscuit and meds. School do lunchtime meds and when it’s school hols I set an alarm.

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  4. I never realised asthma could be so dangerous. My husband suffers from time to time especially around animals and we always put his inhaler in my bag if we are visiting anyone with animals. Sorry I have no advice about remembering the inhaler I struggle to remember anything!

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  5. I was diagnosed as a child, but rarely feel any symptoms and don’t take inhalers at all now. I would suggest putting the inhaler by the kettle (or something you will use) to remind yourself x

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  6. When I was a little girl I remember having asthma checks at school and once they even missdiagnosed me with one. I had to give up all excercises and it was a real pain for me as I was at sport school, they eventually got it right and said I wasn’t acutally suffering of asthma but I’ve wasted so much time and money going from one doctor to another.

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  7. I have pretty lucky in the respect only one of my children was given the inhaler for a week but never needed it afterwards and it ws just infection, i do have a step son who often has to carry his ingaler everywhere and i panic x

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  8. Asthma is so frightening and I know that when our little one was tiny he had problems with his chest and watching him struggle to catch a breath was absolutely terrifying. I would put post-its up on the car steering wheel and on the kettle and fridge as reminders. I don’t know what I would do without post-its!

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  9. Hands up – also very guilty. I take my inhalers and always carry a preventer, but my asthma hasn’t been properly controlled for maybe the last year and my partner things he’s going to bed with a full brass band. Really need to get the the asthma nurse, so thanks for the reminder Joy 🙂

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  10. I don’t have asthma, and thankfully neither do my children, but as a child my best friend did, and I always used to panic if she’d forgotten her inhaler!

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  11. Touch wood We have never had Asthma in our family. It probably sounds crap but maybe you could set a reminder on your phone to go off every day at a certain time to remind you? xx

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  12. Great post and helping raise awareness. It is awful you have to pay for your inhalers

    My youngest son has Asthma it used to be a struggle to get him to have his inhaler. Now he tells me when he needs his inhaler

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  13. My husband has asthma and has 3 different inhalers. I totally agree the prescriptions should be free, at almost £8 an item it is scandalously expensive!

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  14. I set reminders on my phone for everything, even for when it’s time to leave to the pick the kids up from school and yes, I have totally forgotten school pick up before I had a smart phone!
    My cousin has asthma and I remember a family Christmas party where she had an attack, I’ve never been so scared. It was awful to watch. Thankfully I grew out of it.

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  15. I only have asthma very mildly so I am lucky, but if I get a cough it really affects my chest and its then I need an inhaler. Asthma is such a horrible disease

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  16. Asthma is one illness that people really underrate how severe it can be. My eldest had to have an inhaler following on from pneumonia and 13 months and had a yearly chest infection till he was 7 which resulted in him having to use an inhaler. I will tweet if you’d like?

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  17. My brother and sister had asthma really badly when we were younger. My sister would have attacks a lot as she would get herself worked up when crying and then couldn’t breath. I remember how scary it was! x

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  18. I am asthmatic and always have been so I am so used to taking my inhalers every day, I forget sometimes until I over do things and feel wheezy. It looks like my daughter is too and after one too many visits to hospital; one where she turned blue due to lack of oxygen and had to go in an ambulance, I am probably too wary now and get neurotic if she so much as coughs. It is worrying that so many children are diagnosed with asthma these days and parents do need to be aware of how dangerous it is, I know I am.

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  19. I’ve never had asthma thankfully but I know how scary it can be after seeing a school friend have an asthma attack. It’s good to know how to help someone if they are in that situation. x

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  20. Hello Joy

    I don’t know how can you be better at remembering to use the inhalers but the dry powder asthma inhalers are considered easier to use than the metered-dose inhaler, as it does not need hand-lung co-ordination. To use the dry powder inhaler, one should place the lips on the mouthpiece and inhale faster. One can use any type of inhaler; however, he/she should make sure to use it properly for it to work more effectively.

    Best of luck to you and your family.

    Reply

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