Reached a diagnosis

I had my spirometry this morning both before and after taking an inhaler. The nurse said that the results, along with my monitoring, show that I do have asthma.

I was supposed to make an appointment with the gp to discuss the results, but she said that I need to be on a regular preventer as soon as possible so she arranged this with the gp before I left. I am going to collect the prescription from the chemist this afternoon.

So I'm a little overwhelmed and don't know what to expect next. I am happy that the ventolin helps to relieve my symptoms but I do seem to use it quite often. The nurse said to keep using it when I need it and not worry about how much I use, but that soon the preventer should stop me needing it as often.

18 Replies

  • If the ventolin is the only inhaler you have just now and it helps your symptoms thats a good thing. The not so good thing is that your using it a lot but hopefully that will change in a few weeks now you are being started on a preventer inhaler. The preventer will help dampen any inflammation in your lungs and help with keeping your airways less twitchy and more open making it easier for you to breath. You may not notice a big change straight away as they can take about 10 days to have full effect in your system.

    What preventer are you being started on? I hope they have explained to you about how to use it and given you a plan. If not don't worry but I would get a GP appointment and get them to go over everything with you.


  • The preventer is called clenil modulite, I have to take two puffs morning and night. Yes once again the pharmacist showed me how to use it fortunately. I have no plan other than to try this and keep using the blue inhaler when I need it. I have to make another appointment in a month .

  • Glad the pharmacist told you about it etc. Also good to go with that plan for now and see how you respond to the inhaler and if you find it makes a difference. When you make your next appointment with your GP in a months time I would see if they will do you an asthma action plan. They have them on the AUK website which you can order for free and then get your Dr to fill it in with you and it just helps you to know how to recognise when your asthma might not be as well controlled and also what to do to help you get it back under control. It needs to be filled out by your asthma nurse in your GP practice or your GP. Its a really handy tool and you can get wee wallet cards for what to do in an attack.

    I know a lot of people have found them quite helpful when newly diagnosed. But do shout or message me if you have any questions more than willing to help if can.


  • Thank you, I shall take a look for the action plan and 'what to do in an attack' card. This particularly worries me as I'm not sure if I would know I was having an asthma attack and I imagine it's easy to panic. Hopefully as I've only just been diagnosed, I'm unlikely to have to worry too much at this stage.

    I am sure I will have lots more questions in the coming months but am glad to have found some supportive people on here!

  • Personally I'd try not to get too hung up on the idea of an 'attack'. My consultant uses the term 'flare' which I actually find a lot more helpful. Some people do literally get "attacked" by it but for many people it either builds up over a period of time (you might for example see your peak flow dropping over a few days) or comes as a reaction to a trigger & eases when the trigger is removed.

    Your challenge really is to learn how it is for you personally & what you need to do as & when you recognise symptoms kicking in.

    Part of the management plan they give you will be to learn that. So my guess is that they will say something along the lines of 'if your peak flow drops below xxx, take an extra dose of the brown inhaler or double up, etc. If it gets to yyy, come & see the GP & if it drops below zzz call an ambulance.

    Hopefully if you learn good asthma management you won't ever get to that point but for all of us you have to read your body & not be afraid to do whatever you have to do if you are worried. You will learn over time how your body reacts & recovers.

  • Thank you, I guess I watch TV too much where they depict things differently to how they truly happen!

    Having a plan will be very useful and something I will bring up when I see the gp.

  • Haha yes; it's portayed in a very silly way on some TV programmes! They never do their research either on how to take inhalers.

  • Hi Butterfly so sorry you have asthma. I got the dreaded thing late last year It is one of the things you have to learn to live with you cannot beat it as you can with many other conditions but you seem to be getting excellent care. Be kind to yourself try not to worry too much the preventer should help you a lot ♥♥♥

  • I'm sorry that you're lumbered with asthma but take it from someone who has never known life without it that once you get on top of it & learn how to manage it you'll hopefully feel fine again.

    What dose of clenil modulite are you on? I think it's what used to be known as Becotide (or the stronger version Becloforte) & it's a tried & tested preventer. You will probably start on a low dose with the option to keep increasing it until your symptoms come under control. Be patient though as it takes a while to properly take effect.

    There are lots of other options as well but the ventolin/becotide combination is really common & successful in most cases.

    From this & your other posts it very much sounds that you have a sensible GP practice that are working with you to get you the right balance of treatment.

    If you have any questions generally go ahead & post them!

  • It's got 100 on the packet, is that the dose? The nurse did say that they'd give it a go for now and explained that it's a case of playing around until you find something that works. I do hope it helps because I seem to relying on the blue inhaler a lot now, in fact I don't know how I managed before without it! It's such a relief to be able to breathe freely rather than struggling.

  • Yes that's the dose; 100 micrograms per inhalation so you're on 400mcg/day. 200-400 is pretty common really.

    A lot of inhalers nowadays have dose meters on but the last time I used that inhaler (a while ago now to be honest) it didn't, so it's important you either keep track of how much you have used or learn how to recognise when it's running empty.

    Ideally you need to be working towards minimal use of the blue one as that just fixes the problem for a few hours.

    The brown inhaler is what's known as an inhaled steroid (not an anabolic one so you won't end up looking like an East German shot-putter!!); as far as I know it helps to reduce the overall inflammation in your airways to alleviate the need for the blue one which just kind of forces them open (known as a bronchodilator).

    One thing you may need to start thinking about is triggers. There are different types of asthma but the most common is atopic (allergy-induced) although if you've worked in any kind of dusty/industrial environment that might also be what has started it off. Be aware of your surroundings & see if anything flares it up or leaves you out of breath. Cut grass, animals, perfumes are common ones although I believe dust mites are the single most common trigger; unfortunate as you can't see the buggers diving into your lungs.

    Final thought from me is that stress can also be a trigger; so don't worry too much about all this; I'm sure you are well on the road to controlling it :-)


  • Thank you for your reply. I hadn't really thought about what might be making it worse so thank you for mentioning that. And I wondered why the nurse asked if I had any pets. I will try to be more aware of what is in the vicinity when my symptoms are worse and make a note. Obviously exercise always sets it off so I'm avoiding that at the moment.

  • Has the nurse shown you how to use your new inhaler? If not ask the chemist for a demonstration. It is important you know how to use it correctly.

  • Yes the pharmacist has shown me, she said that actually most of the dose doesn't make the lungs so it's important to do it properly

  • Sorry to hear about your asthma diagnosis. Try not to worry. I take a steroid inhaler(Qvar) but tried various ones before finding the best one for me. Different ones suit different people. Be patient as it takes time for the preventer to begin its job of preventing!

    I have been asthmatic my entire life(now59) and by checking my peak flow a few times a week and taking my preventer( qvar) I can do pretty much anything.....not much good at sprinting though!!..... I need Ventolin about 3 times a week unless I have a old when I need it more. Without the preventer I would be using ventolin all the time.

    Ask for your own peak flow meter and make sure you are shown how to use it. This will help you monitor your progress especially during these first few months. You will get much better at knowing yourself in time.

    Hope this helps.


  • I have already been given a peak flow meter, it's been very useful already although the results look up and down and all over the place, I hope this will calm down when the preventer kicks in. Hopefully it won't take too much trial and error!

  • It will calm down when the preventer takes effect. patient as it may take a little while to get the correct dosage for you.

    I have mostly allergic asthma and have found over the years that if I avoid using spray polishes and air freshener etc. I am significantly better. Or at least always open a window when using such products.

    Look forward to hearing your asthma is more evenly controlled soon.

  • Thank you for your support!

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