Feeling short of breath and having to use blue inhaler a lot

Hi Everyone,

I'm 21 and I was diagnosed with asthma when I was a child - I have a blue reliever inhaler. I also have allergies to dust, pollen and animal furs. For the past 3 years I have hardly had to use my inhaler, only once every couple months or so, because I was living near the sea at university, where the air was better. But now I've graduated and moved back home where the air is more polluted and I've been commuting to London for an internship. I also stay overnight at a relatives house once a week, and she has a cat which triggers my asthma.

So for the past 3 months or so since I've been back home, I've had to use my inhaler around 1-3 times a week, usually while I'm staying at the house with the cat. That's not too bad to deal with, but recently for over a week now, I've been feeling short of breath - it's quite mild and I'm not wheezing but I have to keep taking deep breaths and it's pretty annoying and uncomfortable. It feels like I have this constant tightness in my chest. I've been using my blue inhaler about once or twice a day but it doesn't seem to be helping much and I'm trying not to use it too often when it's just a mild shortness of breath.

I've been a bit stressed lately with work related things and going for a job interview, so that is probably a factor.

So I was wondering what you guys think, should I just keep monitoring my asthma and using my inhaler when necessary, or possibly go to the doctors? I know there's the option of using a daily preventative inhaler, but I'm a bit hesitant to use further medication.

6 Replies

  • Hi :) Welcome :)

    Definately go and see someone. At the end of the day, it's better to have a preventer than an attack! I know how you feel though, I was only diagnosed this year. It was the first time I'd even seen a doctor for 6 years and I'd never had any meds before. It was hard to adjust, and I kept foretting it but eventually it just works it's way into your routine. Whilst at uni, I leave mine next to my toothbrush now so I never forget it, unfortuantely I can't do that at home so I still forget there!

    It'll get easier once you start using a preventer. I moved to uni where I'm in a city centre from the peak district- I noticed a change too! I had my preventer changed to a combination inhaler and I'm lot better now, apart from this stupid cough!

    It's worth it in the end! If you're not sure maybe have a chat with the AUK nurses?

    Out of interest, was it like this before you moved away?

  • Hi, thanks for the response :) I think I will go see my GP soon. I'm just a bit worried about possible long term side effects of using a preventer but I suppose it's better than to keep using to keep using the reliever for attacks.

    And yes, it was mostly like this before I moved away, using my reliever about once a week and occasionally having periods of having to use it more often.

  • I agree that you should see your GP. Using your reliever more than 2-3 times a week is not classed as good control. A preventer/steroid inhaler at low or medium doses is very unlikely to give you any side effects, but will probably have good benefits by reducing symptoms. It won't take long to adjust to taking a preventer every day. x

  • There are no long term side effects of using a basic preventer, so there's really no need to worry about that. If you are frequently having to use your reliever and you feel your symptoms are getting worse you definitely need to see your GP.

  • I wonder if you would benefit from the use of an antihistamine... I have severe asthma and allergies, and am prescribed high dose telefast which I take all year round. Its not a cure, but if you have allergies which affect your asthma it does help. It may be that living with the cat which you are allergic to is really exacerbating things.

    I know how you feel about air pollution, I live rurally and its very rare that I go into the city or a large town, as it simply takes the wind out of me, the old windbags just seize up :(

    Hope you feel better soon :)

  • argh, autocorrect... that should say Telfast!

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