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Worried, confused, dont know what to do!!

Ok so I've been having trouble with my asthma since Thursday, symptoms not too severe but persistent - tight heavy chest, prolonged expiration, exhausted. PF down to 450 from 550. 4 puffs of Ventolin (with spacer) is keeping symptoms at bay for about 2 hours.

Cant get in with my GP so went to Walk in Centre. He said chest was clear and no wheeze (I've never wheezed), double your steroid (didn't ask what dose I was already on) and dont take more than 8 puffs of ventolin in 24 hours (ie 2 puffs every 4 hours).

I rang the nurses on the helpline as I wasn't happy with the advice the WIC doc had given me. She said unless my PF drops to 330 ish, I'm not going to get oral steroids so monitor PF before taking ventolin and go to GP if it goes lower.

I'm not asking for medical advice, just advice as to if I should just do as I'm told and live with the tight chest etc when the ventolin has worn off? I'm just worried as I've never had trouble like this before!! Also what if things get worse, i live on my own. At the same time i don't want to cause a fuss if its nothing. I suppose maybe if my chest is clear then there's nothing wrong with me?

6 Replies

i would ring your gp surgery and say you need an appointment today as you have a tight chest. They are to see you within 48 hours. If you cannot get through go to the surgery and ask receptionist.



Hi BooBoo,

You may already have got help but I would go on your symptoms and if you aren't Delong right don't wait for PF to drop. Some people find PF is not always reliable or doesn't drop till things have got much worse, and not every asthmatic wheezes. I have seen on here that they should be listening for air flow rather than just wheeze, but a lot of drs seem to focus on just the wheeze. Your chest being clear doesn't mean you aren't having problems.

I can appreciate you don't like making a fuss when drs are saying it's fine but I wouldn't leave it if you are worried. Hope you are sorted by now though.


I agree that you ought to see your GP as ventolin should be lasting longer than 2 hours. I'm also fairly sure that when bad you can quite safely take more than the recommended number of puffs of ventolin (I certainly have when bad). Even if GP doesn't give you pred they may feel they ought to review the preventer you are on if you are struggling. Quite surprised that the nurse said you won't get pred unless PF drops as I have been ordered by them to go and ask for pred before and my PF doesn't ever drop as much as yours has (and it hadn't when I was admitted for observation, I just had persistent symptoms that didn't respond to ventolin as you are describing).


Thank you for your replies

Thank you all for your replies, I was starting to doubt myself but your replies have given me the confidence to go and check with the GP, I just wasn't confident I had the answers from the WIC doc esp when i'd spoken to the AUK nurse on Friday and she said get straight to GP for pred, yet today she said I won't get it. Also I've never had trouble like this before and my PF had never dropped like this before so I'm quite scared.

Plumie - I have an appointment for tomorrow afternoon, of course my symptoms will probably go away now, always the case when you see the doc!

Philomela - As above, I'm seeing the doc tomorrow so will hopefully get something sorted out but I do worry I'm wasting their time!

spookymilo - Thank you for your reply, I'm glad to find I'm not alone with my symptoms, I was begining to doubt myself! My PF has never dropped this far before either, even when I have symptoms is barely budges!


Glad you've got an appt, hope symptoms stay long enough to present themselves to dr and you get a good one. Let us know how you get on!I know what you mean about not wanting to make a fuss, I once went to OOH when feeling not so great and reliever not working (though it often didn't back then) and felt like such a fraud but the dr was really good, said I was ok and airflow fine (that was reassuring, he didn't just say no wheeze) but could see why I'd come. My PF tends not to drop much either - it was sort of stuck at below personal best for ages then jumped up when I got some medication that worked, but doesn't often go with how I feel. Also to say I've heard the same as spookymilo, don't skimp on Ventolin if you feel you need it - it might make you a bit shaky but I've not heard you're meant to ration it like that - I think that may be the case with other relievers like Bricanyl but not Ventolin.


Been to Docs

Been to see doc this aft, he is the practise Asthma specialist, of course my symptoms weren't that bad when I went so he said my airflow was quite good (yes, no mention of wheeze or lack of it, yippee!!), however he listened to my symptoms and checked PF which was down to 400, the lowest its EVER been and decided I need a short course of pred. So here goes!!

Thank you all for your reassurance and I'm glad I didn't just double my preventer and get on with it as it was suggested.


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