Charles, age 71, was diagnosed with asthma at age 40. He is white British and married with five adult children. He is now retired from his job as an engineer/manager in the car industry. Charles describes his asthma as very mild, and sometimes he forgets that he has the condition because he only experiences symptoms infrequently.
Charles describes his asthma as very mild. He was diagnosed with asthma when he was in his 40’s after visiting the GP for a routine appointment when he had a flu type virus. His doctor asked some questions about how he had been feeling and he reported that sometimes when he had this type of virus he would feel wheezy or breathless. The doctor did a lung function test, and said he thought Charles had asthma. Initially he was prescribed a Ventolin inhaler which worked well to relieve the discomfort. At his next follow up visit with the GP he was also given a preventer inhaler (Becotide) which it was explained would help to prevent further occurrence. He takes between two and six puffs of the preventer inhaler each day depending on how he is feeling, and uses the Ventolin inhaler as and when he needs it to relieve symptoms, although he says that over recent years that happens very infrequently. At times when he is feeling perfectly well Charles sometimes forgets or stops using his Becotide inhaler, because having asthma is not at the forefront of his mind. Despite this, he always carries the Ventolin inhaler with him because sometimes something may trigger his asthma and so he feels it’s sensible to be prepared.
Triggers include certain plants and flowers, some white wines and certain beers, dust and smoke and he also finds his asthma will be triggered when he has a cold or flu. Charles describes his asthma as being at a very mild level and as more of an annoyance than a serious worry. Most of the time he doesn’t think about it and sometimes he forgets he has asthma. Charles says his asthma has never stopped him from being able to do his usual activities such as walking or playing golf.
Charles feels he is relatively well informed about asthma because one of his sons had quiet severe asthma as a child.