Asthma Problem

Hi All,

I haven't been diagnosed with Asthma however I have peak flow done quite regularly and I get a reading of about 380 - 400, what does this mean?

I have been waking up in the middle of the night wheezing and having to take my inhaler (reliever), last night I woke up at 2:30am and had to take my inhaler and then again at 7:30am, I woke up trying to catch my breath and this morning I have a terrible headache and feel unwell.

The problem is that preventer inhalers that I have had in the past make my symptoms worsen more than doing it any good. I was put on many different inhalers to (try) that word gets on my nerves, Doctors should be able to give you the right medicine and say that will definitely help you but they don't. I paid for many prescriptions of tablets, inhalers etc and they don't work for me. My Doctor will not send me to have a further examination of my lungs / chest as he states it won't show anything, but surely the inhalers should be helping prevent the wheezing If I take them so to me it could be another problem that's causing me to wheeze.

It would be good If a Doctor would reply on this topic or send me a message.

Thanks for reading

3 Replies

  • Hi, You say you havent been diagnosed with asthma, but it sounds as if your doctor is treating you as an asthmatic if they are giving you inhalers etc. Unfortunately asthma is a very variable condition and every one is different. It is often the case that one has to 'try' different inhalers to see what helps (sorry, I know you dont like that expression but it is true).

    There is a lot of very useful information in the 'All about asthma' section at the top of the Asthma UK page. Identifying triggers is a step forward.

    I know you are a bit fed up with your GP but it is best if you go back to him/her, or try to find another GP within the practice. You also say you have spent a lot of prescriptions - I know that is a bugbear amongst us asthmatics as we are not entitled to free prescriptions. However, you can buy a prepayment certificate - the annual one is over £100 but you can pay monthly by direct debit. This covers you for all your prescriptions, and if you have a lot of them, saves money in the long run. I have a big bag of meds every month, and also steroids/antibiotics/cream for ezcema every now and again, so it's saved me a lot of money.

    Hope things improve for you.

  • Hi Hooked,

    Thought I might see if I could answer a few of your questions;

    You predicted peak flow depends on your height, age and gender, you can calculate your own predicted peak flow on a website like this; (Sorry if the link doesn't work but you can just simply Google peak flow calculator to find it)

    You mention that you wake up wheezing, this is a sign of uncontrolled asthma, but you are right in saying that this could also be due to another condition. Does taking your reliever help your symptoms? Do you have your own peak flow? It's normally a good idea to keep a record of your peek flows morning and night during the diagnostic stages.

    Your GP may feel that he is still able to manage you in a primary car setting which is why he has not referred you for more tests. Sadly the only way you can find out what medication is right for you is by trying different ones, the problem with many asthma drugs particularly steroid inhalers is that they take a while to work (around 2-3 weeks), so make sure you try each one for a decent period of time. If you wanted a 2nd opinion you could always ask to speak to another GP in the practice?

    One other thing this is a public message board, so although there are a few doctors lurking around on here (tho not so much these days) a few nurses and a couple of medical students, you'd be better off giving the asthma nurses at Asthma UK a call to chat over things, they have a much greater knowledge of asthma than your standard GP because GP's have to deal with every medical problem that walks in to their office where as the asthma nurses are specialist (and very good) so should be able to offer you some sound advice!

    Hope you get things sorted. Good Luck!


  • Hi,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I get the wheezing when I am exercising and sometimes just randomly get the same problem. I often take my reliever about 4 times before it works, last time I spoke to Asthma nurse they told me that I shouldn't be being prescribed a certain tablet unless I had a preventer inhaler due to this being the current law. However I was getting the tablets prescribed with a reliever inhaler. They told me that this shouldn't be happening but thats what my doctor said would be the best option.

    I have tried to use the preventer including the steroid ones they just set me off with wheezing and tightness in my chest they do more harm than good and I don't want to be having attacks due to the preventer inhalers so I stay away from them. I also take anti-histamines which sometimes prevents me having any wheezing during the night, as I did last night and I slept like a log.

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