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“Before, I found it hard to know in certain situations what to expect in terms of my asthma”

Klara, aged 13


It all began when Klara was five years old. Following a severe bout of bronchitis and recurring flu-like infections, the little girl suddenly developed asthma. Klara is now 13 and measures her FeNO value about once a week. This tells her the degree of inflammation in her lungs and gives her more confidence in managing her asthma.

“Despite everything, I have to say it came as a complete surprise for us,” Klara’s mom explains. “In the early days, I found myself constantly watching out for her, how she was doing, or if she was coughing. When her condition grew worse, I would immediately take her to the doctor. Then straight to emergency services. Back home, I often felt completely helpless. That was a pretty rough time. In the time after she was diagnosed, I was unable to go to work because I was constantly on call. Klara often couldn’t go to kindergarten or had to be picked up from school because of her asthma.”

When asthma takes over family life

The diagnosis drastically impacted the life of the S. family, because from then on everything revolved around Klara’s asthma. On the one hand, there was her parents’ anxiety – monitoring her every breath to enable them to respond as quickly as possible should there be an emergency. On the other hand, the family’s day-to-day life changed dramatically, because their daughter’s chronic illness meant that they had to make regular visits to the doctor’s office. In first grade, Mrs. S. and Klara had to deal with yet another obstacle: because Klara was not yet old enough to self-medicate and her teachers were not allowed to administer her medication for legal reasons, Klara’s mom had to make regular trips to the elementary school. Mrs. S. reports: “The phone could ring at any moment and I had to drop everything and drive to the school to give her emergency medication. I had to be on constant stand-by to help my child quickly.”

The big asthma shock on St. Nicholas Day

Shortly before Christmas, Klara kept experiencing severe breathing problems and at one point was literally gasping for air, with the result that she ended up in the hospital. She spent over a week in the hospital and needed close monitoring. Today, Klara can barely remember her stay in hospital. The severe asthma attack came like a bolt out of the blue for the family, with no advance warning signs.

Unpredictable disease

To enable her to more reliably monitor the course of her asthma, doctors recommended that Klara take regular peak flow measurements. However, the S. family didn’t get on with using the peak flow meter: for one thing, Klara had trouble performing the measurement and for another, it failed to produce any clear values.

“Asthma can be pretty unpredictable. “Before the attack, I felt quite confident that we could give Klara the medication and that it would quickly bring relief. But when that no longer worked, we were suddenly so helpless. And that fear never goes away.”
Klara's mom

More confidence again

On a recommendation from friends, the S. family decided to try out the Vivatmo me FeNO home measuring device. “Regularly measuring the inflammation value helps us recognize much sooner when Klara is unwell or could become unwell, even though she might not be showing any symptoms,” Klara’s mother explains. In the meantime, Klara performs the measurements on her own and measures her FeNO value about once a week. This tells her the degree of inflammation in her lungs and gives her more confidence in managing her asthma. The measured values are automatically transmitted to the corresponding app on her smartphone. This allows Klara and her mom to monitor the progression of the disease and recognize early on when the values are edging toward the red zone and her asthma could worsen. If, on the other hand, the values are in the green range, they know that Klara’s asthma is under control and she can undertake any activity she feels like.

A better feeling: everything to hand that you need!

Since Klara has been regularly using Vivatmo me, she carries the measuring device, which is about the size of a hairbrush, with her at all times. While it is not suitable for acute emergencies, it gives her and her parents a reassuring feeling. And in case of doubt, she can always take a quick measurement if she’s unsure of how much she can exert herself. Klara is relieved: “Before, I found it hard to know in certain situations what to expect in terms of my asthma. Now I can see the readings and judge things better!” And Mrs. S. can also be more relaxed about her daughter participating in activities that for others are perfectly normal.

Keeping an eye on the values

What’s more, the Vivatmo me even helps the family identify new sources of risk they might never have recognized as such without the measuring device. “Our neighbors have a cedar tree that blossoms in the fall and produces a lot of pollen dust. I used to be quite relaxed, thinking that Klara doesn’t show a reaction to this tree. But then the measurements showed that her values shot up when the tree was in bloom. And no sooner had it rained and the pollen dust was washed away than the values improved again. That’s really cool to observe.”

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