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What can you do about asthma?

A green asthma inhaler.
An Asthma inhaler.

You can't cure asthma. Sometimes you can avoid the things that make you wheeze (like cats and feather pillows) but it's not always possible. However, you can use medical sprays which you breath in - to make sure it doesn't mess up your life - and it does tend to get less severe in your early teens. If you think you have asthma, head for your doctor. There are two main sorts of treatment which you can get:

  • A spray called Salbutamol (Ventolin), also known as a "reliever" which you breathe into your lungs when you feel wheezy. It relaxes the muscles and you can breathe normally again.
  • If you are getting a lot of asthma you are better off using treatments which stop your lung muscles being so sensitive in the first place. A common medicine is called Beclomethasone, also known as a "preventer", and like Ventolin, you breathe it in. There are other inhalers which can be used if these two do not control your symptoms properly.

Both sorts work really well. But you need to keep taking them regularly or your asthma may get much worse.

Asthma attacks can, very very occaisonally, be fatal (that is, it can kill you), so it is really important to take your treatments properly, and to see a doctor or nurse if your asthma is getting worse, in spite of the treatments you are taking.


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