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Out of control

Hi there, I was wondering if anyone has any advice they can give me, I had asthma as a child but it was never very bad, I'm now 25 and the past 18 months have been hell, my asthma is out of control, I've been on steroids 6 times which help for 5 days then I'm back unable to breath, I'm using a blue inhaler and symbicort which doesn't seem to be helping and every time I go to the asthma nurse I don't seem to be getting anywhere. It's just cost me a fortune in inhalers that don't help. My asthma is now controlling my life, I can't do anything without having an attack, even walking up and down stairs leaves me out of breath, I now have constant pain in my chest which the doctor has said is just muscle pains but didn't give me any advice on how to stop it aching. If anyone has any advice on how to control my asthma a little better it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

7 Replies

Hi Wheezy90 the best advice. I can give you is to phone the helpline they are open during office hours good luck :-)

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Make them listen to you tell them it's not doing anything you can't breathe. Prob is medication does need time to work as I found out myself. I found the humidifier helps a little but it's not 4 everyone just in my opinion. I'd say rest as much as you can not easy but drink plenty fluids it can break catarrh down. Chest pain you need to rest and prop urself up at night. Standing in hot shower can help you breathe a bit better does me. It's not magic but just what I try. Hope this helps. Get well soon. X

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Hi there,

Just wondering how long your course of steriods were each time and whether or not you get much of an instant relief from your symbicort? Do you use it as a reliever as well as preventer? My doc told me to take the steriods along with my fostair inhaler (among other drugs) until I'd been a week without any symptoms and until my Peak flow was stable. As far as chest pain goes it's awful. I use a hot water bottle and heat pads for ribs that ache that is if I can't take the bottle with me! Thankfully I'm much more in control than last year. It will get better, hang in there!

Definitely recommend talking to asthma uk nurses, found them very helpful x


Hey ReedB, the steroids are a 5 day course each and I just find them a killer the first few days I'm so zoned out I struggle to do anything they help for tine I'm on them. But as soon as I stop I struggle again. I tried the fostair which only made things worse for me. And had to cone off it after a week or so. Yes I use both a reliver and prevent or but not getting any relief I'm also thinking it maybe stress related I'm having a hard time making people I work with understand. Like today I had been up all night coughing and unable to breath I asked my manger if he could call someone in to cover me and all I got was "well breathing is over rated" I will have to call the nurses tomorrow. And try the hot water bottle thank you for your advice (:


You need a full review of your meds, your allergens and anything else that might be triggering all this. Have you had allergy tests? Are you exposed to any environmental pollutants in work or at home, anything sprayed into the air, fungal spores, etc? A lot of docs are very slow to refer patients to a respiratory specialist, but if the GP cannot get your asthma under control then this is what you need.

Someone else advised a humidifier and steamy showers, but be very careful about following that advice. Steam can help with some lung conditions, but asthma can be badly triggered by humidity. In fact, if your home is at all damp or prone to condensation, a dehumidifier might help. Good luck.


I second what pucageorgie says, has anything changed in your environment, get your allergy tests done and try to remove all potential triggers.

While that is under way get the doctor to listen to your concerns, and find some medication that actually helps.

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Sorry to hear you've had such a hard time recently. I'd also virtually grown out of my childhood asthma and then its flared up badly over the last year.

It sounds like their are issues both with getting your asthma under control (i.e. ideally to the point you're not needing your blue inhaler/ having acute exacerbations) & issues with management of your exacerbations.

With regards to getting your asthma under control: a referral to a respiratory specialist would be really useful - ask your GP. They should review your meds, your history & do allergy testing. In the meantime - Have you tried montelukast? - if not it might be something worth trying that your GP could start you on.

With regards to management of your flare ups: It sounds like your steroid courses are too short if you're relapsing as soon as you stop them. When you have a short course of steroids you should ideally be taking them until you've been symptom free for 48hours - are you getting this? As GP's can't predict when this will be for you, they usually prescribe it for 5-7days. However if you're not 48 hours symptom free by this point, they should extend the course until you are 48 hours symptom free. (I think some GPs forget the 48 hours symptom free rule - its on the asthma UK guidelines for healthcare professionals - emergency asthma care booklet which you could refer them too, it's also what the difficult asthma clinics do).

For general support: definitely phone the asthma UK helpline - ask if they can send you out a pack - it contains lots of useful information & resources. They might be able to suggest something you could give to your employers to help better inform them as well?

Really hope things start to improve for you.

Take care!

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