My asthma story: Derek

"I was diagnosed with asthma by my GP when I was 22. I had a cold over Christmas and developed a nasty cough which simply wouldn’t go away. I had a history of nasty coughs before this but for some reason, this particular cough was unusually persistent. It was at this point that my doctor prescribed two inhalers and the improvement was immediate.

From then on, whenever I get a cold or flu or if the weather changes quickly to either very hot or very cold, I develop problematic breathing symptoms. I’m 59 now and in the almost 40 years since I was first diagnosed with asthma, my relationship with the condition has changed.

My day to day experience with asthma can vary a lot. Sometimes, I can go months without any symptoms. However, my breathing can be affected by stress, anxiety or fatigue and as I get older, appears to be an issue that I have to manage on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, I tend to be lazy about managing my asthma and know I should do better. I keep a steroid inhaler at home but I always keep a reliever inhaler with me at all times. I try to manage my asthma by practicing breathing exercises and not immediately relying on my inhaler every time I am short of breath.

I also find that exercise helps and swimming is particularly good for my breathing. Its also important to be able to manage stress and anxiety.

I find the Asthma Society’s newsletter and website helps me to keep up to date with useful information and advances in care and management and I’m very grateful for the advice and information they provide."

Find out more about our services for people with asthma and their carers here.