How long does it take to recover after a bad attack?


Had an asthma attack I think without realising the severity of symptoms it had been going on for a few days. Yesterday I wound up in hospital my sats were 88 and i couldn't talk a sentence. Anyway after a few hours of treatment I was sent home. I can get my breath now which is good. I'm just exhausted. Everything hurts and I've got no energy to do anything. I filled the washing up bowl up with water this morning with the intention of doing a bit of washing up bit it left me breathless and I've been in bed since aching all around my lower back, abdomen and chest. Is this normal? How long in your experience has it taken to actually be back to normal post attack? I'm on:




Symbicort 400/12

Clenil modulate 400


Cromolyn sodium

Phosphate Sandoz




Avamys (flixotide)


7 Replies

  • Yep, it's normal. Feeling exhausted, achy, not being able to do anything, lungs feeling weird, breathless etc. Getting back to normal doesn't have a particular time scale, so can't help you on that one, depends on a number of variables, like severity of attack, how prolonged it was, trigger, is it gone etc. Take llots of rest and look after yourself, and gradually start doing normal things. Given the list of meds you're on you prob know this already, so, hope I've not patronised. Feel better soon x

  • Thank you. I know it may seem strange but I'm quite new to all this. Have had asthma for years but the severity of it has really ramped up and I've only actually had 2 severe asthma attacks needing to go to hospital. So even though

    I'm on a big list of medicine it's all new to me. Prior to June I was only on ventolin every now and then and clenil modulate 200.

    So any advice for dealing with asthma like this is appreciated thank you x

  • Big attacks can take a anything from two weeks to three months. This is per attack so each time you have another attack you have to start back at day one. Asthma recovery requires a lot of patience. You can get a lot of set backs especially at this time of year.

    I had a flare up in September and it November and I only just back to my hobbies. It takes time. When you have an attack it is like an aerobic class for your body as it is fighting for air. It can pull or strain muscles. It can leave you achy for a week or so. You must rest. If you can walk to toilet without being breathless reward yourself. Build up each achievements gets a reward. Stood up tasks will be harder.

    Make sure you rest otherwise you will get another bad attack for over doing it. Talking from experience.

  • It takes a long time to fully recover from an attack. For me just now I'm having a lot of very bad ones. Which means that each one is worse than the last because I haven't fully recovered and my airways are more grumpy. which makes the next one even harder to recover from. I'm averaging at about one ICU admission a month at present, so my lungs are very unhappy just now.

  • I understand......currently in hospital recovering. Admitted on 16 Oct and just as was due to be discharged 8 days later, Dr discovered I'd developed pneumonia in here. Thankfully caught early (my reactive chest was actually some use!) But of course it set the asthma back to square one. So eventually discharged after another week (31st) only to be readmitted on Tuesday. It's reassuring that others take ages to recover and it's not just me - though I realise that's no help to you!!

    Hope your chest settles soon - try not to do too much but it's hard because as soon as you can, you want to and it's two steps forward and one back.

  • Another point is rest does not mean sleep. It could be lying in bed listening to radio. I find bbc world service good for resting too. The talking keeps my mind distracted.

  • Thanks everyone for your advice I guess it's a case of put up and shut up till it gets better. Sorry there are so many poorly people out there! Twinkly pneumonia is where all my problems began back in June. Hope it doesn't take as long for things to settle down for you xx hope everyone feels better soon x

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