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?
Alicia*

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 and tell him or her what's going on.

It sounds like you may need to adjust your medication or add a new medication. As our bodies grow and develop during our teens, it's very common for people with asthma to need changes in their medications.

The good news about asthma is that lots of different treatments are available. Some people only need what's called "rescue" medications around the times when they're most likely to have a flare-up. Others also need what's called "control" medications 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 keep talking with your doctor about what works and what doesn't.

It's important to get help because your asthma could get worse, and the next asthma attack could be bad. It's best to see the doctor who has treated you in the past and knows your medical history. But if you can't, make sure to see another doctor who can help you or go to a clinic so that you can get the care you need.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: August 2009

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