I have had severe asthma since I was little. I am now 22. For a while my asthma seemed to be getting better, but in the last two years I have ended up in the emergency room a number of times and have had to take steroids to control it. I am on five medications: Intal, Proventil (in a nebulizer and an inhaler), Vanceril, and Claritin.
Lately, I can’t seem to get control. I thought I was going to finally outgrow asthma. Could it be my body is changing, or do I need a change of medicine? My doctor just pops me on steroids, but I want a better drug program than that. What should I do?
You bring up many important points about asthma: you’re right, it’s very important that you and your doctor come up with a plan for treating your asthma. In fact, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute guidelines, go to great lengths to explain that with aggressive asthma management — including following a treatment plan — almost all people with asthma should be able to live symptom-free.
If your physician needs more direction, you can introduce her to The Allergy and Asthma Network/ Mothers of Asthmatics, a non-profit organization with literature and a newsletter that can help formulate a “plan of attack.”
Don’t forget that once you and your doctor come up with a plan, you must stick with it.
As for physical changes in your body causing a change in your asthma, that is unlikely. More often, asthma tends to get worse because of environmental changes, pollution, smoking, and other such factors.