SHIMWORLD.com Weekly Column in THE BRUNEI TIMES
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As a child I had asthma but I grew out of it. Several months ago, I asked my mom if by some stroke of luck she had kept the inhaler device I depended on for a while. Too bad she had thrown it out or else I might have an opportunity to write about a medical device that has quite literary allowed generations of asthma sufferers to breath and live better. These once propeller-driven “puffer” have been replaced by the metered dose inhalers that you see below. For asthma sufferers, Ventolin, Becotide and Flexotide are household names we’ve had to grow up with including the purple coloured Seretide that reminds me of the time when Barney the Dinosaur were my kids’ favourite.
© Jan Shim Photography
Below is the Volumatic™ Spacer Device that my daughter uses for easier administration of Ventolin and Becotide metered dose inhaler. In cases where her wheezing coughs have progressively worsened, one or more Nebuliser treatments at the clinic becomes necessary.
© Jan Shim Photography
Like any concerned parent, I worry about her depedency on the Ventolin™ Evohaler (Salbutamol). As it turns out, Salbutamol is a non-steroidal bronchodilator which from experience is extremely effective in opening the otherwise blocked or constricted airways that makes breathing difficult. In fact, Ventolin’s effectiveness is so widely used and proven that a Chinese medical supplies stockist recommends it for immediate or emergency relief.
The link between asthma and allergies. Allergy-induced asthma is the most common type of asthma in the United States and I suspect this is also true in most countries. Ever since we moved to our present residence in Kg Sg Bera in Seria, Jewel has had on and off complications. It does help that we live in a semi-industrialised location where two ready-mixed cement factories operate. Then one day, I discovered that they’ve been visiting a neighbour who has a number of dogs and Jewel had been regularly playing with their new puppies. I found out from our physician that the protein in dogs saliva (or cats and rodents for that matter) is a known allergen that triggers asthma. If you Google this you’ll find the common triggers being pollen, mold, dust mites and animal dander (skin flakes in an animal’s fur).
If you didn’t know this before, you do now. Keep fury animals away from your child and have fish instead. Now you know another thing, how we ended up having Lionhead Goldfish instead. I found looking after them overwhelming just learning and understanding ways to keep them alive. I might have just develop an allergy myself!
If you’ve been brought up with asthma or have a sibling who has, please let me know how you or a loved one have coped growing up!