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Why am I experiencing breathing problems?

Q: I am a 42 years old female and have developed breathing problems after staying nine months in Saudi Arabia. The doctors told me that I have asthma or acute bronchitis and gave me Nebulizer and Seretide 250. Last month in India I consulted a doctor who told me that I have no problem with my lungs / breathing system. Why am I experiencing breathing problems?

A:Your history suggests that you may have dust triggered intermittent asthma. The medication you mention should decrease inflammation or swelling in the air passages and also open or relax the air passage but it is a maintenance medication and you need a quick relief medication like albuterol to provide immediate relief. Avoiding dust will be important. Make sure the air filter in your airconditioner is regularly cleaned or serviced and cover your nose and mouth when exposed to dust. If not better you may need to consult with a lung or allergy specialist to get more specialized tests and find out if there are other causes; other medications like leukotriene inhibitors or oral steroids may be needed. As always avoid smoke exposure and limit outside activity on days when it is very dusty. Hope you feel better and please share this information with your treating physician.

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