Asthma UK community forum

Can not diognosing asthma/treating it for a long time make it worse?

I cant change it now, but I was ment to put this in the ""general"" forum.

Hey, my name is Isabel, and Im new here *waves* I'll apologise firstly for any spelling mistakes and secondly that I have a tendency to waffle and go off topic. Please bear with me.

Im almost nineteen years old. I was diognosed with Asthma just before I turned seventeen. It was 'triggered' by me having a very servere cold/flu and having alot of difficulty breathing after the illness had gone. I went to the doctor who prescribed me a short course of anti-biotics to clear out any infection and a small blue ventilin inhaler to help with my breathing, especially at night. He was pretty convinced on the spot it was asthma from what I had explained to him though he wanted to clear away any infection that might be there before he could be sure. Going back a week later and running a few short tests he confirmed that I was asthmatic.

I had alot of symptoms of asthma as a young teenager, even with alot of regular excercise (a 2 hour bike ride everyday) I would still get wheezy and out of breath. I found I needed to avoid any forms of spray, deoderant or cleaning product if I didnt want to be gasping for oxygen. I requested on more than one occasion to visit the doctor, but my dad would always give me the same answer ""your just lazy, thats why you cant breathe""

In the space of two or three years, Ive progressed from one ventilin inhaler occasionally, to a ventalin, a 200mg beclazone inhaler four times a day and a 25mg serevent inhaler, four times a day, every day. And Ive also had one asthma attack -which was not so pleasent-

My doctor was pretty sure when he first diognosed me that the asthma would ""clear up"" in a few months, but now Im being told its likely to get worse and I'll be on medication for it the rest of my life. Its not so much that taking the medication bothers me, but Im wondering if its rapid worsening(sp?) is due to the fact that I never sought out treatment when I was younger.

2 Replies

Hi Isabel,

Welcome, and hope you find us a friendly and helpful bunch.

Firstly don't think that your asthma has gotten worse over a short period of time, or that it's due to not being diagnosed. If you were fit like you say with the cycling, and only diagnosed a few years ago now, then it would have more than likely got worse before, from what you have said I would be inclined to say it was never fully controlled before, and thats why you get extra inhalers.

The medication you are on is similar to my own, and I am a fit and active type, but only diagnosed last year, just that I had no symptoms before. The addition of extra medication from the ventolin, then belazone and also serevent is a natural progression if your asthma requires it. Mine was the same, so don't worry. i would consider asking for the beclomethasone and serevent to be combined at some stage into either seretide or symbicort, as these are a single inhaler that contains both. Don't know if you get the sore irritated throat, but they do help with reducing that.

I hope the medication has now suppressed any symptoms you had, Ok the irritants like deodorants and smoke will still be there, but you should be able to do everyday activities, and enjoy your bike rides if you still do them. If when you do any form of physical activity, you still get a little wheezy or breathless, then you may have been told to take a couple of puffs of ventolin 10-20 mins before exercise. If that still doesn't help, then does the cold air make it worse, etc, find a trigger or connection, and one of us will have been their and offer a possible solution.

What your doctor meant when he said your asthma will clear up was not a cure, you will still have to take the medication daily, but you should not have the wheeze/cough/breathlessness/tight chest if it's under control, that was what he meant by clear up.

Their is however some evidence that not treating asthma can had adverse effects, but not so much in symptoms, but peak flows, and lung function. The lungs become scarred over time with the untreated inflammation, but you are young, only had mild symptoms in the past, and I wouldn't worry about that, because chest infections and other factors can also do the same, which we have no control over.



this makes interesting reading, Shortness of Breath in Exercise Not Always Asthma -


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