Jayne Torvill health: Ice skater opens up about ‘frightening’ health battle – warning sign

Jayne Torvill, along with her ice skating partner Christopher Dean, became a formidable force in the ice skating world during the 80s. 
The pair, who won a gold medal at the 1984 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 1994 Winter Olympics, have consistently scored perfect marks for their world-beating performances.   

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Her ice skating glory did come at a cost however. Speaking to Mirror.co.uk in 2017, Jayne revealed she was diagnosed with asthma in her late 20s, and her asthma attacks were triggered by ice-skating.

She divulged: “I was suffering badly with hayfever and the pollen count was particularly high when I suddenly began to wheeze. I had shortness of breath, a tightness in my chest and I was gasping for air.

“It was very frightening and I went straight to the GP, who diagnosed asthma and prescribed an inhaler. In the years that followed I started to have sporadic attacks and found skating brought it on.

“The sudden change in temperature going into a colder place like an ice rink proved problematic – but changing career wasn’t an option.” 

Revealing the extent to which the lung condition affects her, Jayne said she experienced mostly asthma attacks while touring America with Christopher in 1996.

During that time, the professional skater was administered oxygen by a medic backstage, she revealed. 

Jay’s asthma calmed down after retiring from skating in 1998 but in 2007 the attacks started again.

As a precautionary measure, Jayne carries her blue inhaler around with her just in case she gets an attack or becomes too breathless. 

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What is asthma?

Asthma is a common lung condition that causes occasional breathing difficulties.

According to the NHS, it affects people of all ages and often starts in childhood, although it can also develop for the first time in adults.

The main symptoms are listed by the NHS as:

  • A whistling sound when breathing (wheezing)
  • Breathlessness
  • A tight chest, which may feel like a band is tightening around it
  • Coughing

There’s currently no cure, but there are simple treatments that can help keep the symptoms under control so it does not have a big impact on your life.

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Asthma is usually treated by using an inhaler, a small device that lets you breathe in medicines.

As the NHS outlines, the main types are: 

  • Reliever inhalers – used when needed to quickly relieve asthma symptoms for a short time
  • Preventer inhalers – used every day to prevent asthma symptoms occurring

Some people also need to take tablets.

How long does it last?

Asthma is a long-term condition for many people, particularly if it first develops when you’re an adult, explains the NHS.

In children, it sometimes disappears or improves during the teenage years, but can come back later in life, notes the health body.

The symptoms can usually be kept at by with treatment, however. 

“Most people will have normal, active lives, although some with more severe asthma may have ongoing problems,” said the NHS. 

A key part of managing the condition is to identify and avoid your asthma triggers to help keep your symptoms under control.

 

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