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Beginning to think I have severe asthma - any advice please

I'm 48 and recovering from an asthma attack after a combined bad cold and allergic reaction to pet rats.

My history in brief - I had bronchitis/hayfever as a child. In the last 10 years my allergies have got progressively worse - lots of oral allergy syndrome plus the normal stuff like cats/rats/pollen/fungi spores/feathers/household cleaners etc.

I'm on regular blue and brown inhalers and just started 5 days ago on steroid pills.

The really scary fast breathing/coughing/sneezing/having to rest all the time has gone but I'm just generally feeling that I'm not getting enough breath; short of air all the time; coughing; just the air passing over my throat makes me feel out of breath. everything I am doing is at snail pace. I usually sing in a choir but at tonight's rehearsal I was out of breath just following the score silently.

I'm a wife/mother of two/dog-owner and main walker/hold two part-time jobs/a million and one pastimes and usually on the go all the time. Now I'm just slow at everything; although trying to carry on with the basics of domestic life.

Already my treatment from GPs in and out of hospital has varied. Last Saturday my peak flow was ok (although the GP wouldn't show it me) and my oxygen levels were ok. So why do I feel like this?

I know I need to go back to my GP but have this feeling that I have to start being a bit more assertive.

Oh, and I'm also having a few side-effects from the steroids; hence being at the computer at 5am.

I'd be very grateful of any suggestions about what to do next.

3 Replies

Hi there, have you thought about ringing the helpline for some advice on where to go next? Do you see a respiratory consultant? Im a bit puzzled why your GP wouldnt show you your PF results, thats just weird and silly!

It can take a while to get over an asthma exacerbation and it does make you feel pants at times. Your description sounds like you have something called air hunger, which I get daily. Like you just cant fill your lungs up. Its a horrid feeling.

Have you had allergy tests recently? I wonder if your triggers have increased since you are clearly quite an allergicy person - have you had more contact lately with any of your allergy triggers?

I certainly would suggest going back to your GP but maybe giving the helpline a call first, and getting some advice from one of the asthma nurses :)



Thanks Lynda

I did go back to the GP - this one really listened. I came away with 8 items to take - I'm now on daily 6 Preds, Atrovent inhaler, blue inhaler, brown inhaler and a 3 day course of antibiotics just to rule out any new bacterial infection.

I have also got myself my own Peak Flow Meter so I'm checking that three times a day.

They seem to think it is just a very bad viral infection on top of allergy triggers. I haven't mentioned the ""air hunger"" bit or having my allergies rechecked, but I'm going back next week so intend to ask about that - good idea.

It feels like the Atrovent is actually making a difference and I even went out for a family day yesterday; albeit at snail pace. But today I'm back to the routine of getting in the shower and getting dressed and then having to lie down again cos I feel knackered.

Thanks also to the nurse who I spoke to just as I was about to go into the surgery - you really did make a difference.


Good news, hopefully you will be feeling better soon :) Lynda


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