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We’re in control of my son's asthma

Louise’s son James is 8 and lives with asthma.

James playing rugby

When James was 2, we noticed that he was waking up 2 or 3 times a night with a cough, so I took him to the doctor.

He thought it was just a cough. But I have asthma myself and I wasn’t so sure. I noticed he had a definite wheeze when he ran around a lot and the chesty symptoms never seemed to clear.

We kept taking him to the doctor, who finally diagnosed asthma when he was 4. He gave us a blue inhaler for James to use for when he needed it.  And we went back after a month to say if it had helped.

It definitely helped

I’m glad to say, it definitely helped. James used it when he started to cough after he ran around. 

When James was 6, the doctor then prescribed a preventer - light brown - inhaler as well. The doctor showed us how to use the inhaler with a spacer and James took a puff every morning and evening.

That made a big difference. Within a couple of weeks, James had stopped coughing regularly was playing sports without a problem.

He plays rugby now – and that’s really intensive exercise. When it’s cold and damp we find he still has to use his blue inhaler to reduce the tightness in his chest.

We're in control

We feel we’re in control of James’ asthma now. We have a review with a nurse every year and she suggested that as James’ asthma became stable, we cut down his use of his preventer inhaler gradually from two times a day, to once, and then none.

But I know he’ll need to use his preventer inhaler when winter’s on its way. We’re lucky that James’ asthma is mild. It comes on when he exercises, but we encourage him to be really active because keeping fit is so good for you.

He’s had attacks when he’s playing rugby, but 3 or 4 puffs of his reliever inhaler does the trick. And we keep him calm until his breathing goes back to normal. He does get a bit anxious when he’s struggling to breathe.

We’ve given his school a plan and James knows what to do. Quite a few of his class live with asthma too.

It helps that I’m living with asthma because I know what it feels like. Even I miss my own symptoms sometimes - it’s usually my husband that picks on my or James’s breathing not being quite right!

Learn how to spot an asthma attack and when to take your child to hospital

Inhalers, medicines and treatments relieve asthma symptoms and cut the risk of asthma attacks. Find out more on the Asthma UK website.

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6 December 2016