From very mild to uncontrolled asthma

Hi everyone

I'm Sam. 27 years old and I've had asthma since I was a small boy. Only, I don't feel like I've had asthma at all up until this summer. Prior to that I could count the times I needed to use my blue inhaler in any given year on one hand, it was just something that didn't really effect me.

Then suddenly in July, I had a pretty noticeable exacerbation. I was using my blue inhaler a lot and it wasnt really lasting as long as it should so in the middle of the night I went to A&E and got a course of steroids. Took these and things were relatively better but not completely. A few days passed and I was having to use my blue inhaler a couple of times a day. My symptoms would come on with exercise, car fumes, cigarette smoke etc. All of which previously didn't cause me any problems. All the while I continued to take my preventer inhalers and switched to a combination inhaler which had little effect. About a month after the initial course of steroids, I was put on another, longer one to see if that helped. I took a peetering off doze for about three weeks in total. My symptoms seemed to improve over the 3 days I was on 15mg per day (having come down from 30mg per day) but then they came back again as I lowered the dose.

I'm now on the highest dose of clenil modulite and taking seretide daily, as well as montelukast. Despite all this, my asthma isn't really any better. Triggers like smoke and perfume seem to set it off with out much fight at all.

I wouldn't say my symptoms are severe as I can still speak in sentences most of the time, my peak flow moves from 540-590 so not a huge fluctuation and walking isn't really a problem but I feel rather run down and am constantly aware of my chest feeling tight, not being able to take in a full breath and a feeling that my throat is going to close in.

I've also started taking nexium to see if that helps, I read there's a link between gerd and asthma and that it can stop medication working. Been taking it for two weeks so far with little improvement.

My main symptoms are chest tightness, pain between the ribs in my back, a twitchy throat feeling and coughing up mucus. I also often feel hoarse when it's flared up.

Has anyone else been in a similar situation where asthma has suddenly flared up and not go back under control despite throwing everything at it? If so, have you managed to sort it out and how?

I usually gym 4 times a week and run every weekend. Not being able to do any exercise is really getting me down.

Yours hopefully,


9 Replies

  • Hey,

    Sorry to hear your feeling rough, it really does get you down. My asthma has stopped me dancing and going to the gym the last few months and it makes me feel c**p.

    may seem obvious but have you had allergy tests recently?

    It maybe worth asking about, just to check. there are lots of different preventers so if it's not working make sure you go back and see your GP or asthma nurse again.

    Hope it gets sorted for you


  • It's really hard but go back to your gp and ask to maybe try different inhalers

    See if they will swop you from Clenil and Seretide to others - sometimes different options work for different people

    Symbicort is a combi that is equivalent to Seretide but can also be used as a reliever and available in different strengths

    I presume you're taking Seretide and Clenil to increase the steroid component but if you're also on oral steroids they are far stronger anyway...

    You may also need a much slower taper off prednisone if you've been taking it for a while.... If you were ok at 15, then stay there for longer, and reduce very gradually

    Also ... If you are still symptomatic then I would challenge any reduction for now - ask to stay on 15 plus inhalers etc

  • Should also have said ...,

    Don't think it's forever- you can get this under control and you will do but you need to be persistent with gp

    And if you're taking regular pred, ask for a consultant referral - they'll help sort you out with spirometry and changing inhalers etc

    I've been there and back and have since run half marathons etc whilst still taking daily cocktails of pills and inhalers....

  • Hi both, thanks for your responses and advice. I actually stopped the pred about 2 weeks ago. I went back to the GP and that's when she prescribed the montelukast, been taking that for 10 data so hopefully that'll have some effect in the next week or so.

    I'm going back this week to ask for a referral and to maybe try an inhaler called Relvar, has anyone used this and is it any good?


  • Hi. Sorry you are going through it. I have had similar problems. Using the blue, the purple and the grey (spiriva) Been on several courses of antibiotics and prednisone but no improvement. Coughing was really bad so in desperation i tried antihistamines and find that has really helped. It might be worth you asking your doctor if it would be worth you trying. I don't know if I am doing the right thing i can only say i am not so exhausted now the coughing is better controlled. Good luck!

  • I would try an antihistamine as Rayswife suggested. Allergies can make asthma worse. My asthma was non existent or mild until approx seven years ago when the farming of rape seed increased in my area due to it being used as a biofuel. I went from no treatment to seretide 500 and flixotide 500 twice a day as recommended by consultant. I have suffered Cushing's syndrome due to the high steroids so I would recommend trying to come off them slowly or change type of inhaler to minimise steroid load,

    The mucus you are coughing up is probably from post nasal drip. If your exacerbation started around July that is the peak time for summer allergens so maybe instead of increasing your inhaled steroids a steroid nasal spray may decrease the mucus which is causing the cough. All my symptoms are similar to yours and they are allergen based. My colleagues can tell what the pollen level is outside due to the hoarseness/absence of my voice.

  • Hi all, thanks for your replies.

    I have been taking an antihistamine as well for the last few months, forgot to mention that!

    Tonight I've come back from holiday. My asthma has been playing up over the last few days despite my taking all the meds. Seemed to get worse on the plane and in the car ride home. Now waiting for a call from the overnight doc to see if I'm ok to take a new course of pred (3rd in 3 months 😱). Peak flow is around 520-30 and is normally 600 at best so not a huge difference but my symptoms definitely feel like they're getting worse each time I have to take my ventolin. Ugh.

  • So what happened in the end? I'm going through similar problems.

  • Hi there, well I'm still waiting for my referral to come round. Stopped my pred at the start of the week and taking 2X4 puffs of Clenil a day and 2X2 of Serevent along with montelukast. Things have been ok the last few days! Hopefully the consultant will be able to shed some light on what's stoked it up.

You may also like...