Just told I have asthma

I've just got back from the doctors and he has diagnosed me with asthma. I'm 26 so from the reading I've done this is classed as adult onset asthma. I'm relieved in a way as I've been having problems for such a long time and I always thought I was just prone to getting coughs and wheezing. Does anyone have any advice for someone who knows very little about asthma, just what they've managed to gather online? I don't know much about my asthma yet, I have an appointment for the asthma clinic at the end of the month where they'll perform more tests but the doctor said for my age and height I was blowing more than 20% less than I should be.

14 Replies

  • Hi there,

    Love the user name.

    Lots of advice on this site - Look for the lime green banner along the top and click on All about asthma.

    Plus loads of us on here have adult onset asthma. As a newbie, some three years ago, this site was my lifeline. Lovely folk on the forum too.

  • Welcome! Have a good read about asthma, the more knowledge you can gain the more you can control and manage your asthma.

    Feel free to ask questions.


  • Hi

    I got some very helpful advice on this site and got to know a few people too. Your doctor will be able to clarify any questions you should have. So welcome and take care.


  • Thanks all. Just tried the inhaler for the first time (blue one, so reliever I think?). First attempt was a failed one (I saw the smokey stuff coming out of the top of the inhaler), but then I think I got the hang of it. Been reading through the site, learning lots already! Can anyone tell me what other tests they may do when I have my appointment with the asthma clinic? Today the doctor listened to my chest and did the peak flow reading but he said they'd do more tests at the asthma clinic so I was just wondering if there's anything I should be prepared for. Mostly because I am absolutely terrified of needles, so if there's going to be any sort of blood test involved, I need to prepare myself! :)

  • Hi and welcome. I was only diagnosed last year at 29 so I know what a shock it is and how much of a steep learning curve it is! This site is fantastic for information and the forum is great for asking those questions you might not want to bother your Gp about! The 'ring an asthma nurse' is really handy too as they have the time to chat with you, not like at your GPs.

    When I was first diagnosed I was given an easi-breathe inhaler so you don't have to worry about getting your pressing and inhaling timing right, just open the cap and inhale, maybe this is something you could discuss with your asthma nurse if you're finding the one you've been given, a bit tricky to do?

    The only test I have had was a Spirometry where you do some breathing tests, like blow as hard as you can etc etc, then repeat it after you've had some reliver medication. Its hard work and the reliever can sometimes leave you with a fast heartbeat and the shakes but its nothing to worry about. Other than that the asthma nurse will probably discuss your symptoms and if you need other medication to control it. The idea of having controlled asthma is that you wouldn't know you had it i.e. you work out with the nurse, which medication gets rid of your symptoms. It can be a long drawn out battle to start with tho!! In theory you should also work out an action plan so you know what to do if your peak flow/symptoms start getting worse, but not everywhere seems to do it.

    We're all here to help you, just ask!! Good luck

  • Hello and welcome!

    Sorry to hear that you've just been diagnosed, but hopefully it'll be the first step to feeling better and getting back in control of your breathing.

    I agree with what's already been said (I don't seem to have any original thoughts of my own today), in that the asthma nurses on the helpline can be a great help. Sometimes it's just nice to be able to chat to someone who has time and is an expert - it's also nice to be able to ask those 'silly' questions, or the ones that you don't want to ask your GP.

    Fantastic to hear that you've already been referred to the asthma clinic - some people really have to fight for that, so I'm glad to hear that you've got an appointment sorted already. It depends a bit on the clinic and on your symptoms as to what tests they do, but it's often useful to try to find out the things that trigger your asthma so that you can avoid them or take appropriate medication (e.g. antihistamines, antibiotics). If they're not 100% sure about the diagnosis, they may want to do some more tests to check out your lung function. For me, this has included chest x-rays and spirometry, which is like a more detailed peak flow. You blow into a tube attached to a machine and keep blowing until you run out of air (!) and sometimes they repeat this after you take your inhaler to see how much of an improvement you get from it.

    From my own experience (I was diagnosed as a young child), I've found the asthma nurses in clinic to be really helpful. Ask them if they'll give you a written 'asthma management plan'. This will help you to manage your own treatment. My plan is based on a combination of peak flow readings and symptoms, and gives me instructions on what to do when I'm doing well, less well, or really not very well!

    Feel free to ask questions on the forum, or to send private messages - we're all pretty friendly on here.


  • Hi and welcome!

    I don't have anything original to add either - the helpline is really good, I have rung them several times and they even manage to cope with my weird symptoms! I've also learned a lot just from hanging around reading posts and found everyone is very supportive even if you just feel like sounding off after a bad day or are worried about what's going on. Plus there are some silly threads in off-topic for when you want a laugh.

    Don't think I have anything to add re tests either - probably lung function as someone has said which is hard work but ok, chest X-ray maybe. I've had quite an interesting variety but like I said I'm a bit weird and that was at general resp not the asthma clinic.

    Hope to see you around! xx

  • Adult onset asthma

    Hi I had my first astHma attack at 56 years old and my cousin's husband had his first one in his 50S. iI have always had allergies and pollen from a very young age and all my cousins have it too on my mum's side.

    Good luck and take care.

  • Hi, I got diagnosed with asthma when i was 19 and just about to embark on a 2 month trip around canada with a bunch of new medication. I have always had a brilliant nurse at my asthma clinics, i used to go every 6 months but now it is managed i go once a year. All i would say is if your inhalers dont work well for you then keep going back, i have tried 4 different inhalers and some tablets before i could lead a normal, cough free, life. My sister took even longer before she was able to get medication to properly manage it. My brother, sister and aunt were all diagnosed with asthma as adults so i guess it must be hereditary, or our environment was particularly bad! I have had to cut out all chemical cleaning products and use natural ones instead. Hope that helps! Let us know how you get on.

  • Welcome from me also.Its a lovely friendly forum and you will make lots of friends xxx

  • hi like the others have said-you will find loads of good information on here and lovely supportive people. you will have to have some blood tests unfortunately so brace yourself lol. i think it depends upon the hospital what type of tests you have done. mine did bucket loads of breathing tests some quite uncomfortable but with hindsight im glad as at least i know i definately have asthma and not something else. good luck and welcome to the site x

  • Hello and welcome, I'm the same age as you and I was only diagnosed earlier this year. It came as a bit of a shock and I'm still trying to get good control. It does seem to be a case of trial and error to find the right medications that work for you since everyone is different - one of the many things I have learnt on here! The website is an excellent source of information and there are many friendly and supportive people on the forum. And feel free to PM me at any time if you wish. Look forward to 'seeing' you around! x

  • Just wanted to say welcome and echo all the great advice other people have given :)

  • Hi, I'm glad that you have finally been diagnosed, it is scary not knowing what it could be - especially when you are young, and everything should be working fine! The only advice I can give you, is to make sure you pin point your triggers, and have a full allergy test. Also to sort out what is the best preventer/dose for you and to NOT rely on the instant reliever to treat your condition.

    It took me the best part of 14years to find my ideal dose and drugs - and I am only 22 now! I was scared alot of the time and was always ill and getting every bug going - winter was the worst time for me. But since I had two lots of pneumonia and an asthma attack, within 1 month, they decided to treat me properly - dont let the Dr's fob you off and keep you on inhalers that dont work for too long - also avoid prolonged oral steroids - they can trash your stomach and cause long term problems, ok for a short while though. I can finally live and not have to worry about my Asthma now - almost like i dont have it! Good luck, if you need any answers just ask!

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