Spring cleaning may not be good for your health. This was the experience of one Maynooth resident following her enthusiastic assault on a long-neglected oven. The cleaning agent used by Orla Keane, 56, triggered a serious respiratory reaction, but the cause of her problem was probably a predisposition to a particular genetic disease.

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In 2005 I started to attend Pilates classes as my back had begun to grumble again and I knew that the exercises would be helpful. I soon realised that when I had to lie on my back or on my left side and do the recommended breathing for the exercises that I had a wheezy and noisy breathing pattern.

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Not many people have heard of Alpha-1 and it was new to me until about nine years ago when my brother died.

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Since I was first diagnosed with Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency in January 1990 my life has been a bit of a roller coaster.

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