Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Learning to live with Asthma

I have suffered with asthma since I was five years old.  As I have got older I have learnt to manage it better.  I have had to learn to live with asthma.  I don’t want it stopping me doing the things I love and impacting my life too much.  When I was little it could be quite scary.  Now I know more about its triggers and how to avoid them.  I want to live life to the full, travelling and cramming in new experiences. 

If I take my preventer inhaler and avoid certain situations my condition is generally well managed.  When we were decorating and stripping walls in our previous house I had an asthma attack.  In a way that has worked in my favour as I know tell my husband I couldn’t possible jeopardy my health by helping decorate!!! There is a silver lining even when your asthmatic.

Another trigger is the cold weather which makes me feel quite bad.  When I catch a cold 9 times out of 10 it ends up on my chest and I feel much worse.  It helps if I wrap up and stop the cold air getting onto my chest.  A scarf over your nose and mouth warm the air up and stop it being an issue.

What surprises me is that you can develop asthma through your work, occupational asthma occurs through allergens you are exposed too when doing your job.  One in ten asthma sufferers are a result of work-related factors.  As someone who has really struggled with asthma over the years I think it’s a real shame you can develop it through a job.  I have had to be dosed up on steroids and had to use nebuliser.  I haven’t been admitted to hospital, but I think that was down to me being bloody minded and refusing as a child to go!!! 

I have felt the real struggle to be able to breathe, the raw panic when you can’t get enough air!  I think its only fair if you have developed asthma in your job that you can claim compensation.  Also, I guess it’s about greater awareness.  If you work in a job that has dust, flour, grain or other hazardous substances your employer hopefully will make sure you have the right equipment to protect you from allergens.  If your already an asthmatic be even more careful in those environments because they will only worsen your condition.  

Make sure you use the masks, helmets and hoods they provide you with.  Don’t compromise your health by failing to follow health and safety procedures.  It’s too late afterwards when you must learn to live with asthma and make adjustments to your life.  

Once I had an asthma attack through sheer panic, I was stuck in a lift and the extreme emotions tightened my airways and set me off.  I think it would be a real shame if someone went on to develop asthma just because they didn't realise the dangers of working with floor dust, latex, spray paint, metal working fluids or animals.

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