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My Asthma Inhaler Doesn't Help. What Can I Do?

I love to run but I have asthma. I have an inhaler but it doesn't help much before, when, or after I'm running. Is there anything else like a different medicine that would help me do what I love again?

Yes! You should be able to get your asthma under control. Exercise is essential to good health, and it's great that you love running so much. So make an appointment with your doctor to talk about what's going on.

It sounds like you may need to adjust your medicine or add a new one. As they grow, it's very common for teens with asthma to need changes in their medicines, such as a higher dose.

The good news about asthma is that lots of different treatments are available. Some people only need quick-relief medicines around the times when they're most likely to have a flare-up. Others also need long-term control medicine every day to keep their asthma in check.

Your doctor can help you find what works best for you. Sometimes it can take a few tries to find the best option, so talk with your doc about what works and what doesn't.

Bring your inhaler to your doctor to show how you use it. Maybe you aren't using it correctly and your doc can help with that. It can also help to go over your asthma action plan to make sure you understand the instructions.

Try to avoid things your asthma triggers. You might need to keep track of pollen or mold counts to see when it's OK to run outside. If the air is cold while you run, it can help to wear a scarf or ski mask over your mouth. 

It's important to get help because your asthma could get worse, and the next flare-up could be bad. It's best to see the doctor who has treated you in the past and knows your medical history . He or she can make sure your symptoms are from asthma, not something else. If you can't see your regular doctor, go to another or visit a clinic to get the care you need.

*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Reviewed by: Elana Pearl Ben-Joseph, MD
Date Reviewed: Aug 2, 2018

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