Asthma UK community forum

Attack, peak flow, hyperventilating & work :@


I had an asthma attack this afternoon but my peak flow didn't seem too bad. could this be due to hyperventilating? it confused me a bit.

Also, work really don't take it seriously. I find it hard enough as it is (got a thing about not liking making a fuss) but they seem to think I'm just trying to get out of working. One colleague asked me why I didn't come and tell her what I was doing first. My symptoms come on very quickly and I deterioate very quickly so I didn't think to tell anyone. I made sure I was with someone but funnily enough my main concern was being able to breathe. Not about who knew.

I do get scared and I'm often shaky and close to tears after. It really shocked me to go back to try and finish my work only to get moaned at by several people - for the fact that the work wouldn't be done.

Asthma frustrates me anyway but this really got to me.

Sorry if this doesn't make a lot of sense - I'm pretty tired.

Thanks xx

4 Replies

Hi zippi,My PF can be not to bad but feel realy bad and alot of people on here also feel that way x. Hope work learn to be more helpful and understanding. I get scared and tearful when bad also x When I have attack at work I go to the office now by me.We are all firstaiders and the head one is in the office and will ring ambo if carnt control the attack. Hope you are ok now and hope you also get a action plan for work just incase you need help xxx


Hello Zippi,

I had a horrible time in my last job with people in my immediate dept, did find others in my workplace sympathetic and concerned though as were my friends/family. I remember going into personnel really scared as I'd just had a really bad attack and was worried it was going to flare up again, did they call a first aider/ask if I was OK, no they just looked at me and smirked.

I get same symptoms as you, including shaky and teary, then will be really tired. My peak flow can go down hill very quickly and I've also noticed sometimes I'll be very wheezy but feel OK and peak flow OK (confusing). I have a really good asthma nurse and the asthma UK nurses are great for information, have a chat with them and make sure they think your symptoms are controlled and if there are any other meds you can try.

One thing I've found useful is doing yoga and if I feel up to it swimming, it's by no means a miracle cure but has helped me control my breathing in bad attacks, if you are hyperventilating at all it will help with that too.

I now feel I have to hide my condition or risk bullying/discrimination again, as I'm sure others do on this site, which is not good, if I had a bad attack at work now no-one would no why or what to do. I think asthma needs a new name and publicity! Then people may start looking at it as seriously as they do diabetes.

Hope you feel better soon Zippi

: )


I'm new to asthma and I'm on a steep learning curve. Being diagnosed at 50, was scary.

I had the paramedics out at 3am the other morning cause I was panicking and hyperventilating! Sorry, but I didn't know what I was doing They were fantastic. Calmed me down and made me feel special.Like you I get weepy when I have an attack. So far my work is fine but don't know for how long.This last chest infection is taking a long time to shift.Done know what response I'll get when I get back to work

I don't worry about using my chamber on work any more, if it give s me my medication I'm using it. My health is more important.

I think We should all have car stickers to make more people aware.


hi zippi

I am new to this messageboard, but not new to asthma since i was diagnosed when i was 13 and now 28.

You are not alone. There are so many people who get confused with this peak flow and how u really feel stuff.

Iam a good example to this. My best ever has been 470. i can be feeling so chesty but my peak flow might not show that and i can have as low as 250 and will feel ok.This means that i cannot depend entirely on my peak flow, rather i have to listen to how i feel .

The advice i will give is, study the relation between your reading and how u genuinely feel so u may be able to conclude better for yourself.

Also, when u feel an attack coming on;

1) relax,

2)use your inhaler promptly,

3) calm down ur breathing by concentrating on breathing out as long as u can, even if u are hyperventilating this will bring the breathing back to normal rate

4) don't worry causing a fuss, and ask for help if u need it.

Hope this makes sense

I know its sad if people at work are not supportive but don't let that get to you too much as it would not help the situaion now. Speak to the adviceline nurses as they will give u advice on how to cope.

Hope things get better soon.x



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