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Answered 2006-09-05 08:43:35

There is no "cure" to Asthma - it is condition that you are born with. But how it effects your life depends on how bad an asthmatic you are. Asthma is a condition where the inside of your lungs and windpipe react to air and allergens in the air - rather like an allergy attack. The windpipe swells up in reaction to this "foreign" invader and therefore the pipe closes in, meaning it is harder to move the amount of air needed to breath in and out. How often and how much your windpipe reacts depends on each person. There are two types of medication to help control your asthma - relievers and preventors. A reliever helps to relax the windpipe once an asthma attack has happened. These are what most people call "puffers" and once the person feels a wheeze coming on, they can stop it by taking a puff. A preventor is a medicine you take (usually) twice a day to stop the asthma attack happening in the first place. It is a steroid that coats the lung and stops it reacting. To make your life as normal as possible, you need to work out three things. Firstly, what sets off my asthma? Secondly, how much medicine do I need to stop the attacks? And thirdly, what do I need to do if I get an attack? Your asthma will be triggered by an allergen - try checking for hayfever and Allergies to pets as this is common. Dust-mite allergies will cause asthma during the night as they are in your bedding - if you cough at night this may be you. Most asthmatics have an attack while exercising or playing sport because as you breath heavier, you start to breath through your mouth meaning the air is no longer "filtered" as when it goes through you nose. Colds and flu's will set it off as phlegm builds in your lungs. As you come down with a cold, start upping your preventative medication so you will make it through. Your doctor will prescribe you medicines to prevent asthma attacks. Not all asthmatics require preventatives, so discuss it with your GP. Then you need to faithfully take it. If one medicine doesn't work, try another until you get the one that is right for you. Always carry your puffer around with you (in the car, in your handbag or schoolbag) until you can judge your asthma correctly. Swimming is a great sport for asthmatics. The damp air in the pool makes it less likely for your asthma to come on, plus the sport helps your breathing control. Your lungs will become stronger and you will be able to hold your breath for longer, giving you lots of control over the asthma. I developed asthma when I was 10 yrs old, at the same time as I developed allergies to a lot of common things. Over the next seven years I "winged" my way through the condition until I nearly died at aged 17. Since then I have gained control over my condition. I know what sets it off, and I take my medicine. I haven't been hospitalised in the last 11 years and in fact I have only had to use my puffer twice in the last six months. It is a condition I have, but it is only a very small part of my life.

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