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Grand Designs’ Kevin McCloud has a hidden condition he has to be ‘careful’ about

Dr Ellie says to avoid using brown bags for asthma attacks

A new season of Grand Designs starts tonight on Channel 4 at 9pm, a show that sees Kevin McCloud follow some of Britain’s most ambitious self-building projects.

With dust being a trigger for many allergy sufferers, over the years, Kevin, an asthma sufferer, has found ways to manoeuvre around his condition.

Speaking to the Daily Mail in 2010, Kevin explained: “I can usually feel dust if it’s around me. I’m allergic to building sites.

“I am careful as I must not put myself in situations where I’m breathing it in because I’d be wheezing in no time and would hardly be in any fit state to film.

“If I see any sign of a dust cloud then I move away from the immediate area – I go around the corner because I just can’t take the risk.”

READ MORE… ‘My cancer caused me to shrink after my symptoms were mistaken for asthma’

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The 64-year-old first discovered he had asthma after doing a coastal walk in Scotland with a friend.

He remembered: “As we climbed one particularly steep hill I started to really suffer – I just couldn’t breathe, I was wheezing and my chest was tight.

“My friend has asthma and gave me a puff of his inhaler. That’s when I knew that I should go to my GP and have some tests.”

There have been periods where his asthma has flared up, causing him to wake up in a panic.

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Kevin recalled “having the sensation of drowning and not being able to take enough air into my lungs”.

Asthma attacks

Asthma attacks kill three people in the UK each day. But many of these deaths could be avoided.

Asthmatics are encouraged to visit a doctor or nurse annually to discuss their condition and treatment plan.

By having the best asthma treatment for you, you are at less risk of having an asthma attack.

Symptoms of an asthma attack are listed by the NHS as:

  • Your symptoms are getting worse (cough, breathlessness, wheezing or tight chest)
  • Your reliever inhaler (usually blue) is not helping
  • You’re too breathless to speak, eat or sleep
  • Your breathing is getting faster and it feels like you cannot catch your breath
  • Your peak flow score is lower than normal
  • Children may also complain of a tummy or chest ache.

These symptoms typically come on slowly over a few hours or days.

What to do if you have an asthma attack

  1. Sit up straight – try to keep calm.
  2. Take one puff of your reliever inhaler (usually blue) every 30 to 60 seconds up to 10 puffs.
  3. If you feel worse at any point, or you do not feel better after 10 puffs, call 999 for an ambulance.
  4. If the ambulance has not arrived after 10 minutes and your symptoms are not improving, repeat step two.

If your symptoms are no better after repeating step two, and the ambulance has still not arrived, contact 999 again immediately.

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