New to asthma

Hi all, I am a 50 year old female who was diagnosed with asthma last week. I'm not coping too well with the news as it came out of the blue after a chest infection. I don't smoke and have always looked after myself and none of my family have it so it came as quite a shock. I have been given a preventer and reliever to use. Please could someone tell me how long it takes for the preventer to improve the peak flow readings as I have been using it for a week so far and my readings are still round the 350 mark, should be 450 for my age and height. Also I have some nights where I don't get any sleep because I get waves of breathlessness whilst in bed. This is affecting my normal day to day activities as I am now becoming paranoid about symptoms and not wanting to go out anywhere sociably. Even going to work is a struggle, not so much due to symptoms but more the anxiety associated to them. I'm so glad to have found this site and hope that someone will be able to answer my questions.xx Julie

11 Replies

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  • Hi Julie, welcome. I was diagnosed this year, about 6 months ago, and like you I found it all quite tricky to get my head around it all. However, as you've identified there's a lot of really nice helpful people here, and I've found it so useful to ask questions or just have a moan.

    Getting your medication right can take a while, and it's also sometimes better to go on how you're feeling than your peak flow. If in doubt see your dr or try the Asthma Uk helpline.

    I know all about the tiredness, anxiety, etc. It all began to subside once I'd got used to managing my symptoms and made some lifestyle changes (amongst other things I ended up getting a new job).

    I think the best advice I could give is listen to your body, and be patient. But also think positive! It does get easier once you get a handle on it.

    Best wishes.

  • Hi Julie

    Gamba has got it down perfectly so nothing I can add. But welcome to the message board and I hope you find it of great help and support. Feel free to pm me at any time for a chat, I have had the condition for much of my life, so sure I can be of help if not an ear to listen if required.

    Cheers Katina

  • Hi Julie and welcome. Asthma is a very variable condition and also peak flow readings are not an exact science, so it's difficult to answer your questions. But if you don't see an improvement I suggest you go back to your GP, just to be checked over. You have obviously had a shock and tension could be playing a part in your symptoms. Take your reliever as instructed and try to relax and keep calm. But if anxiety is a real problem, it might be a good idea to discuss it with your GP.

    I am a lifelong asthmatic, so don't know any different, the same with my son. But my husband was diagnosed in his late 40s with mild asthma and prescribed a reliever and preventer. After a year or so his asthma completely cleared up. That's not to say it won't return, but it shows what a variable condition asthma is.

    So try not to worry - you are not alone and there are lots of friendly people on here who understand how you feel and can help out with your queries. I hope you feel a bit better soon. xx

  • Hi Julie

    Hope your asthma is ok and your coping well, no matter what age you are it is a shock at first easpically if no one esle in your family has it i am the same, but this forum is full people of all ages that are going through the same thing and will always listen to you and offer advice. i know it is hard but try not to get worked up and anxious as that will make the asthma worse, asthma varies and is normally ok for people as long as it is closly montiered and controlled, Have you seen a asthma nurse yet or just a GP, as seeing a asthma nurse is very helpful and they will check your method, peak flow and answer any qestions you have. i see mine every month.

    with your inhalers you wont see any effect straight away as only been a week, the reliver will be working, but it takes a month for the preventer to start taking effect, as that is what i have been told everytime i go onto a new inhaler. give it a chance to take a effect, so give it a month and after that book a appiontment with a asthma nurse. but if you feel the reliver is not working. go back to your doctor

  • Welcome Julie,

    Hope your meds start working for you soon.

    IF you do start to feel worse then should go see your doctor etc.

    Had Asthma 2 years now and can tell now when I need extra help and

    alter my meds on a action plan.

    Would ask your doctor or asthma nurse about a action plan,

    it gives you a bit of control on what to increase etc when having a bad time.

    Hope you start to feel better soon. love Glynis x

  • i feel the same

    Hi Julie

    Although the doctors have mentioned asthma as being the reason for my cough that started about 18 months ago, it has more recently been confirmed as full on asthma now my symtpoms are those of classic asthma and i too have found this really hard to digest. Especially as i am 28 and have never had asthma before? I also get anxious like you especially at work where i feel i have to cover up how i am really feeling which makes me feel worse. Its a complete worry knowing you have to deal with something that effects your breathing, as most people (and me up until recently)take this simple thing for granted. Its not easy but there seems to be a lot of support out there. I have been taking the preventer inhalers for a couple of months and they do start to kick in after a few weeks but there will be times when symptoms just appear... when this happens its very easy to get anxious but if you always have you blue reliever inhaler with you, you will be fine. I am new to this site and hope that we can both find some support here.

  • Hi Julie

    Like you I'm new to asthma I was diagnosed 3 years ago at 50

    It does take a while to get used to always taking

    your inhaler every where with you. Do see your asthma nurse,i see mine any time I'm in trouble

    And have found her so helpful, and she checks that I'm using my inhaler and spacer properly

    So that I'm getting the benefit of my medication.

    T hisis my first time spending do long on here but I've learned a few things myself tonight.

    I wish you all the very best. Everyone on here is so

    Helpful. Xx

  • Hi Julie, Firstly Welcome to the website, I hope you find everyone as helpful as I have done. I'm new to asthma as well. I got a firm diagnosis on Thursday of last week, bit of a shock, but my GP has refered me to the asthma Nurse at the practise. I got a Chest Infection whilst on Holiday in Maderia, and it developed from there really. It is difficult to get used to the medications and spacers but I have to carry alot of medications round all the time so I'm getting used to the new regime. Good luck I hope you stay well in this next cold snap.

  • hi

    hi i have had asthma since i was 18 months old i am now 14 and it does get a little bit scary when you have an attack x but it is nothing to worry about

  • Chazzybabe96 welcome to the forum. I'm glad your asthma sounds well controlled, but please remember that the majority of members here represent those with severe/brittle asthma and for us asthma is a life-threatening condition and is something to worry about. Hope you continue to stay well.

  • 1st asthma attack and told I was NOT having one at the time I was seen by the Dr

    I was recently diagnosed with asthma(last week) and had an attack at about 7.30pm this evening. I'd struggled on until I couldn't breathe. I knocked on a neighbours door and she called an ambulance, was checked over and taken to hospital, just been discharged and basically the Dr I saw told me I was NOT having an asthma attack at the precise moment of being seen in A & E but a panic attack, because it is newly diagnosed, I told her my asthma attack was BEFORE I was taken to A & E. I had a friend with me and was told I was very Gray as well! but she just discharged me.

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