asthma or panic attack?

I'm really new to all this...Firstly hi everyone & hope this weather isn't making life to difficult for you all...

I have suffered with an allergy to rape seed oil for many years off & on had a blue inhaler a couple of times but last year I never seemed to recover from the blocked up/runny GP told me I had inflammation in mainly my left nostril after treatment in Nov & Dec sprays & drops I gave up & got used to the symptoms during the colder weather in jan & feb I noticed I was short of breath when hoovering, walking , gradually getting worse during conversation eating running upstairs.

I went to see duty nurse a week or so ago & she happened to be the respiratory nurse & gave me a peak flow meter & blue inhaler, told me to keep a record & go back if it got worse. My breathing gradually got worse until Thursday morning when my breathing was really bad trying to walk my children to school , I rang the dr's & receptionist was very concerned which scared me as I really didn't know what was happening, duty dr rang me told me to take my inhaler I think I took it 7 or 8 times (which nurse said I could only take 4 times a day) & ring back if my breathing didn't get any better it didn't so I rang back & dr told me to get straight to the surgery which I did (my nan happened to be on her way round) ...the dr was quite patronising told me I'm not having an asthma attack as I am not wheezing, I'm talking to her (only just I would like to add, could only just get the first 4 digits of my phone number) & my oxygen levels were fine & that I had just had a panic attack! I went back to see the other nurse later in the day & explained all this & she put me on a low dose of the brown inhaler & used the word asthma & asthmatic. I don't need a 'label' but just need some reassurance my husband is diabetic type 1 insulin dependent & we have 3 scared children at the minute...

Had another episode tonight not felt right all day then this evening started yawning lots, couldn't quite get that breath, needed to cough/clear my throat, 8 or 9 times on inhaler over 30mins & felt better although I have sharp pains in my chest. All through the 'episode' I felt anxious. I'm seeing my own GP but earliest I could be seen was 24th June :(

Any thoughts & advice welcome x

Thank you

2 Replies

  • Hi and welcome to the forum,

    It will take up to 2 weeks for the brown inhaler (steroid) to be working. Do you use a spacer with your inhalers? As this will mean less of the medication hits the back of your throat and more gets into your lungs.

    There are many of us on here who do not wheeze, unfortunately not many drs recognise this. It is natural to feel panicky when short of breath,but try and be as relaxed as possible as this wont contribute to the shortness of breath.Again it is common for people with asthma to have some hyperventilation due to the anxious situation.

    Also, try and find out what triggers your symptoms. If it is being active/exercise take 2 puffs about 15 mins before. It will be trial and error at first. Have a look also at this website as asthma uk has a huge amount of accurate information.

    And feel free to ask questions on here. I hope things improve for you soon.

  • Felt rubbish today just can't get that deep breath, then out of breath from changing the bed sheets, ? peak flow is 250ish and personal best is 350, yes I do use a spacer.

    Is the sharp stabbing pains in my lower lungs when I breathe out a normal feeling for asthmatic's , my lungs hurt & pain in the middle of my chest , not used my blue inhaler as much today although I 've done all my housework (very slowly & with lots of breaks).

    IIf I am feeling out of breath I stop & chill for a few mins, & I feel okish again without taking any inhaler, could it still be asthma?

    I realky can't wait to see my gp need to know what's going on

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