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Is there a treatment for my wife's wheezing problem?

Q: My wife has been suffering from wheezing for the last six months. She was alright before that. Basically, it begins with cough and cold, and then she has difficulty in breathing. We have visited a doctor, who informed us that this could be because of changing weather. Is it because of sudden weather change? If yes, will this happen repeatedly? Sometimes, she uses an inhaler for quick relief. Are there any medicines for this problem?

A:It sounds as if your wife has developed asthma, which at her age may or may not be due to allergy. Pollens and mould spores in the air can be responsible, but in any case inhaler treatment is appropriate. For "as required" use, a salbutamol inhaler, known as a reliever, should help. For persistent symptoms requiring daily use of the reliever, addition of a "preventer" inhaler such as beclometasone or fluticasone would be the next step. The patient's inhaler technique needs to be checked to make sure it is effective.

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