Asthma UK community forum

vicious circle, asthma and panicking


It's funny how your body reacts to asthma. With me i feel breathless or start coughing, take medication if it works fine. But if it doesen't your body seems to go into overdrive - well mine does anyway, run for freshair. Next if the ventolin does not seem to be working take more doses and peakflow. By this time i start to feel panic. I also get pins and needles anywhere in body and feel asthough somone has got my head in a vice. So the cycle goes on .......... Also how long should you leave it before calling 999? I would hate calling them and then feeling not so bad but then on the other hand its the unknown if the attack restarted again. Also where i live we are about 40 minutes from the nearest hospital.

Has anyone else felt like this or is it me panicking as in horse bolted before stable door locked!! sorry my sense of humour!!!!

Replies gratefully received

2 Replies


My son has asthma and I think quite a lot of the time he gets like this too- panicky breathing and getting scared, and sometimes he seems to overbreathe, and the ventolin doesn't always help when this happens. The other day he said he could feel his heart beating very fast - before he had the ventolin. I tend to give him as much ventolin as he needs/asks for , even though I sometimes think it's not working and he needs to slow his breathing down and calm down.


HI Lola,

Just wondering if it would be worth asking your GP/consultant about seeing a respiratory physio. It sounds like your breathing technique goes out the window when you have an attack (not surprising really; my GP says this is very common with asthmatics - struggling to breathe doesn't exactly give you good technique). A physio should be able to evaluate your breathing pattern in general and give you some tips about how to control it and not hyperventilate so much when you're already short of breath.

Re ambulance: if you're 40 minutes from a hospital, and even in general, I'd err on the side of caution - you wouldn't want to go downhill and then have to wait! I think there are fast-response paramedics/EMTs though like the bikers, so it's quite possible someone might be able to get to you sooner even if you have to wait for the ambulance if you need to go into hospital. Also I believe they can treat you there, you wouldn't necessarily end up going in.


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