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Allergic to London?!

This is a serious question despite the title. :)

I've recently got back from my middle of nowhere (Hebrides) very active holiday (thanks everyone for your advice/PMs on coping with this). My consultant put my Pred up high before going and whilst there to cover me and despite all the activities, I had very few problems with my asthma - one bad day I couldn't join in a walk and I had the Pred grumps (bad combo!) - but I surprisingly managed days of cycling and out on the boats. I have the photographic proof so I know it wasn't a dream!

However, two days back in London, off the high dose Pred, my cough is back, tight chest, I'm struggling to climb the stairs again and walking to/from the shops leaves my breathless (I've got GP and cons. appts. to keep an eye on things).

So is it not having the high dose Pred now or could it really be something about London that causes the problems? If so, what? I've always thought exercise, cold air and pollen were my main triggers but I have had lots of each of these on holiday but fewer problems, hence I'm confused now.

10 Replies

You're not alone, Ratty! I live in Berkshire and saw my GP last week after being away in Utah/New Mexico for the summer, where it's extrememely hot & dry. My ears always cause trouble when I'm at home and this week I've noticed my chest feeling tighter, too. My GP actually said she wondered whether there's something in my local area that I'm allergic to as I always seem 100% when I'm not here.

I used to live in Coventry and before moving to the country of Wiltshire I struggled allot with my asthma... Although I still have problems at home it isnt as bad as when I lived in the city.

I visit Birmingham allot and after a few hours in the smog I can feel the difference in my chest and can see a drop in my peak flows for a few days after!

I'm sure it could be something about London that has made your lungs stroppy and fingers crossed it settles soon!! I've never found it to be so clear cut though. Having grown up in the West Country and having lived in London for the past 10 years, when I visit home I just find I swap one set of triggers for another. Would be interesting to see a world map that shows how different the rates of asthma are from country to country and area to area though - I wonder if there are places that have very low rates? Hope you feel better soon x

I too grew up in the West Country and now live in London, have done so for the past year. When I used to visit London whilst still living in Devon it used to have a terrible effect on my chest, but the longer I've been here, the less it's affected me...and I get worse when I go back home again!

Sorry not to have got back to everyone, I've spent the last week in costa (not for asthma - this time!) and my asthma was pretty good, the hospital was on the outskirts of London and I had a side-room so no other people bugs and it seems to have given my lungs a rest as much as anything else - but back now and I can just begin to feel the heaviness again.

Interesting replies, and I'm certainly going to talk to my consultant about it, particularly if the blood tests he's taken show fungal spores aren't the problem (I think he was just ruling that one out), I'm not sure what I do if London is the problem as I can't exactly avoid it (at least not for the next year whilst I complete my course - then I can decide if moving would help significantly to the extent it impacts on my decision about where to go and what to do next.

hi Ratty. I stay at a place in Scotland, a B&B. Their daughter suffered terribly with her asthma, ill all the time, off school etc.... Their GP adviced them to move to Scotland, and daughter has never looked back, is very healthy and no probs with asthma.

I spent last week in Wales by the sea and feel so much better than I did.

I live in Manchester, in a semi-rural part but work in city. Would I move? Would like too but family, friends and job here. Would be very difficull decision.

Air Pollution.

The Reason Why Everybody Is Saying They Had Probs In City But Fine When Moved To The Country Is There Is Less Air Pollution In The Country.

London the problem, RBH took a load of asthmatics to Oxford Street, once (so I am told) and all experienced symptoms.

I live in Berkshire and travel to London about two or three times a month. Living in the middle of the Crown Estates, which is mostly forest, I think I exchange one set of triggers for another. After having said that, it also depends on the time of the year. Pollen triggers, including all the tree pollens, grass, oil seed rape (my worst night mare) and mugwort pollen etc, start for me toward the end of February and go on till the end of the fungal spores season at the beginning of October, now'ish. Then, I get the winter problems and multiple chest infections etc. So the problems for me are all year really. I always feel ‘groggy’ and very ‘sluggish’ after my trips to London, I think it is mostly the exhaust fumes that trigger me there and it feels like I am trying to breathe through a thick fog, I get more tired which I think is my body getting les oxygen saturation through the London experience, goodness only knows what would happen if I worked in Town all the time. It has been suggested to me that a move to the coast would help, and my trips to Brighton and surrounding areas always refresh me, I think it is the ionised sea air especially in winter that gives me a break from breathing through the fog.


I live in london and developed adult onset asthma, not neccasarily because i moved here but whenever i go out of london i feel much better (esp the west country, was there for a long weekend and i was fine, then fine for a week in london then symptoms back again!)

I guess you have to expect that for a city tho.... can't wait to move in a couple of years tho! ;0)

kel xx

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