Riina, age 22, was diagnosed with asthma at age 12. She is from Finland and is currently studying History at university in the UK. She also works part time in a fundraising caf‚Äö√†√∂¬¨¬©. Riina was diagnosed when she noticed on some occasions that she was finding it difficult to breathe properly. Since then she has used a preventer inhaler and occasionally she uses a reliever inhaler. Overall though she is rarely troubled by symptoms and hardly thinks about her asthma.
When Riina was in her early teens she lived at boarding school during weekdays and so was not always with her parents. One weekend when she was at home her mother noticed that she seemed to be coughing a lot and that it was stopping her from sleeping. Her mother thought this may be caused by asthma as her father had asthma and she recognised similar symptoms. She tried giving Riina a few puffs of her father’s inhaler which helped to relieve the symptoms. Riina then went to see the GP who gave her a peak flow meter to test her breathing over 2 weeks. She was then prescribed a reliever inhaler which she has used twice a day ever since that time. She was also prescribed a reliever inhaler, but rarely has to use it. When she came to the UK she registered with a GP and was given a repeat prescription for her inhalers, but she is not monitored on a regular basis as she only experiences symptoms infrequently. Triggers for Riina are things like cold weather, having a cold or virus, and pollen.