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Smoking Vs Building, whats causing my Asthma?

[*][*][*]Before reading one, i know smoking is bad for me irregardless of what conclusion i come to, but i need any prejiduice against smoking to be removed to get an accurate answer for this question, any advice is appreciated :_

Im 16 and about a month ago I had an asthma attack while playing football. It felt like my throat was clogged up and air couldn't get through, i had to sit down, cough, drink water, and in time in subsided. I got prescribed a relief inhaler a few days later. Over the past month my asthmas gotten a lot worse, and now my doctor has given me a preventer inhaler as well. I have never had breathing problems of anykind before in my life, but as a result of this i quit smoking a few weeks ago. My breathing hasn't improved at all, which leads me to this theory:

I have a lot of allergies and an old dusty house. 2 weeks before my first asthma attack, the roof and attic of my house was ripped up, and all kinds of crap got in the air, my mum, who has mild asthma, had to use her inhaler for the first time in years as a result. I moved out for a couple days, and chain smoked 20 ciggeretes at a party with no adverse effects. When i moved back in my house, week by week i had to smoke less as my breathing became heavily impaired. I couldn't excercie or smoker without feeling like i was going to die. I tried cutting down on smoking and doing less intense excercise, but that didnt help. More and more of my house is getting renovated and more dust and toxic crap is filling my house.

Anyway, i originally quit smoking because i thought my year of smoking caught up to me and i has asthma, but upon thought, an asthma attack a week after house renovations seems to speak for its self. If my breathing had improved after quitting smoking, maybe i wouldn't think this. So my questions are:

- is my asthma caused by these house renovations and aggrevated by smoking or vice versa

- Is this temporary

- Is it worth using steroid inhalers if this is temporary

Thanks for any advice

4 Replies

As stated on the link below, your asthma can get worse for a while once you quit smoking

my advice is to continue to not smoke. you never hear any stories of peoples asthma getting worse from not smoking (in the long run).

It sounds to me like it is numerous factors: the smoking will not be helping, the building work will not be helping and now the giving up smoking might be causing an issue but in the long run it will be the best thing for you. asthmatic lungs are very sensitive to chemicals (although everyone is different).

as far as the steroid inhalers go, do not come off without speaking to your doctor first as this can be very unsafe. my understanding is that you should continue until control is regained and after it has been under control for at least 3 months, then you can consider lowering/stopping a dose. it is not ideal to be taking extra medicine but the alternative is much worse.

hope this helps and hope you feel better soon.


thanks for the reply, but its important to know that i did not have asthma until recently. I got diagnosed with asthma 2 weeks after this house building started, so surely its linked?


Yes I agree it does seem that there is a link. However in the long run I think that the smoking would aggravate your lungs. From my perspective I would avoid anything that is a possible trigger, attacks can be scarey.


obviously there is no way to ever know what exactly caused you to develop asthma. A few thoughts though:

1. there is no reason it has to be one or the other. one could have made your lungs twitchy, and the other could have been the final straw

2.Now you have developed asthma symptoms, both smoking AND the building could potentially cause you problems and so now you should take action to minimise exposure to triggers

3.It doesnt really matter which caused it if both are now likely to cause you issues (as is sadly the case)

4.smoking is bad anyway, quitting wont have increased long term issues, bad housing is bad anyway and reducing triggers wont do you any long term damage

In terms of the steroid inhaler. I would say yes, probably best to take it. The side effects of inhalers are fairly minimal if used properly (spacer and washing mouth out) as most of the drug goes directly to the lungs, whereas the effects of not taking it are much more likely and severe. If you have specific concerns about taking it discuss them with your GP, but steroid inhalers are pretty commonly used, i would expect you to be on a fairly low dose as a starting dose so there shouldnt be any real issues. (also worth noting the distinction between steroid tablets which have many more side effects as the drug is systemic so can go to all your organs which can cause problems with long term use - on these forums there is a disproportionately high number of people using steroid tablets long term, so dont worry about people complaining about the nasty things these can do over time)

Asthma can come and go. Hopefully it'll be temporary while you are being exposed to the extra triggers in the house, although chances are that if you were exposed to similar triggers further down the line your asthma symptoms may return. (you may also find yourself beggining to be triggered by things like smoking which didnt initially cause issues). If the asthma is a longer term thing there are many brilliant asthma treatments meaning that for the majority of people asthma has little or no impact on their day to day life assuming they take there preventors (the steroid inhaler in your case) regularily, even when well!

Hope thats clear and answers your questions :-)


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