Currently being diagnosed

Hi all, I'm new here. I'm currently going through the long process of confirming if I have asthma.

When I was around 5, my doctor at the time said I was on the borderline of being asthmatic, but at the time I didn't really have symptoms so it was left at that.

Fast forward 20 years and my hay fever started causing me breathing problems.

I saw a doctor who prescribed a blue inhaler which was like a miracle cure. Over the last couple of years my breathing troubles have become more frequent, but also quite sporadic.

I have been back a few times to the doctor and been prescribed inhalers. Due to the amount I have been using the inhaler, I underwent a spirometery test and blood test for allergies. Blood test shows I am indeed allergic to something but couldn't point out what it was (I'm not allergic to any pet hairs etc) and the spirometery was inconclusive. The results show a lung function slightly less than the doctor would expect of someone of my age, but the asthma nurse said it exceeded her expectations due to my build (I'm overweight and trying to lose some of it; hard with my breathing troubles).

I went to the doctor yesterday who prescribed fostair on top of my regular ventolin prescription to see how this goes.

I'm hoping this will improve the situation and when I've managed to lose some weight, it may improve my breathing.

What should I expect next? I'm on fostair for 6 months and I'm hoping this will solve my problems.

How long does it take to actually get a diagnosis? I've not been given a peak flow meter or asked to keep a diary. I'm guessing that would be next?

Can you buy peak flow meters from a pharmacy? I'd be interested to keep a log of it myself even if it's only for my own reference to see if there's anywhere/anything that triggers me.

Thanks all

6 Replies

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  • First off you should be referred to a hospital consultant. That's the crucial thing.

    Have you asked your pharmacist about buying a peak flow monitor? Asthma UK have a great peak flow recording chart.

    Also call Asthma UKs helpline as they were so helpful to me during the 5 months it took for my diagnosis.

    I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma aged 35 after a bad cold turned into a chest infection which just would not quit and that was badly affecting my breathing.

    Like you initially my doctor prescribed ventolin when antibiotics had no effect. When after a fortnight I went back for more ventolin he put me on a low dose of Clenil and arranged for me to see the practice nurse for spirometry.

    After having to prescribe me a second even stronger antibiotic and a higher dose of Clenild my doctor also referred me to the Thoracic clinic at my local hospital where I had a battery of tests. Eventually approx 5 months after I first had my cold the consultant diagnosed me with asthma.

  • Montelukast might help you too, sorry you're unwell. But keep on at your GP to ensure you get the care that you need.

  • Thanks for the useful info, I'll definitely keep on at my GP to get a referral. The problem is, whenever I go in to see them, I'm miraculously cured so it looks like I'm making it up.

  • Thanks for the useful info, I'll definitely keep on at my GP to get a referral. The problem is, whenever I go in to see them, I'm miraculously cured so it looks like I'm making it up.

    Don't worry about that, they'll know that happens.

    Take care ✨

  • Hi, hope it's all going well.

    I was diagnosed based on a peak flow and symptom diary over a few weeks, but then I had been using loads of ventolin for about 10 years before this without review!

    It depends on the circumstances for how long it will take. Just stick at what the nurse and docs are telling you to do and hopefully you'll get there in the end. When it comes to miraculously being cured, that happens to most of us I think. I'm still amazed by the time my pf was very low before I left home, but then was perfectly normal after the mile long uphill walk to the health centre!

    I think you can buy pf metres on Amazon, they may even have them at large chemists. If not, I'm sure they wouldn't object to prescribing you one.

    Not wanting to hijack your thread, but I have a quick question which kind of goes with this. I see a lot of people on here telling people to get referrals. Why is this, and at what point is referral necessary?

  • I wouldn't say a referral is needed yet. Referrals are usually made when you've had poorly controlled asthma for a while and GP has run out of meds for you to try or your GP is unsure of the diagnosis or other influencing factors. When going through the process of diagnosis your GP should be seeing you sooner than 6 months after starting the Fostair, 4 weeks is more like it, by which time it should have had an effect. They should also be asking you to do a peak flow chart. So I think it would be worth chasing these up. Maybe your GP surgery has an asthma nurse who might be more helpful. Also phoning the AUK nurses is a good idea.

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