Colds and asthma

My husband is a severe asthmatic and has 5 weekly injected steroids. He has a very good respiratory consultant who is trying to reduce his steroid injection from 80 to 60.

Every time we try this his peak flow suffers and he usually needs to top up with oral steroids mid cycle.

Does anyone else have monthly injections?

Do colds always make asthma symptoms worse?

No trigger has been found for my husband's asthma which he developed aged 57.

Sleeping at night with a cough is so hard for him. Even with 4 pillows. Any advice?

I worry about him so much.


6 Replies

  • Hi

    I went through a stage of having to have 2 weekly injections plus 40 mg of oral steroids a day earlier in the year. I too was diagnosed later in life just 2 years ago at 50 and with no allergies or clear trigger have been told it is eosinophilic asthma. Colds do affect me big time. The only thing I can do is really work hard to avoid them, meticulous hand hygiene, not sitting close to people at work if they have a cold and really healthy diet. After my last major exacerbation I started the budeyko breathing technique under the supervision of my respiratory physio and this has helped so much - I can't explain how big the relief is when you get it right. I still wake up breathless most nights but can usually get it under control by using this. It also helps reduce coughing by retraining your coughing habits, sounds daft I know but after several long and scary hospital admissions I was willing to try anything. I am now only on inhaled steroids - quite a lot but inhaled all the same. So please don't loose hope. Take care and have a peaceful Christmas.

  • Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and for your advice. I will research budeyko technique.

    I do not understand what you mean by retraining your coughing


    Keep well.

  • Hi

    I thought the idea of retraining coughing habits was bonkers when I first heard but it works. When you cough you irritate your "tubes" which in turn then makes you cough more. This methods works by getting you to reduce the number of times you cough during the day by really concentrating on a swallow rather than a cough, sorry not explaining this very well! This reduces the irritation and then subsequently reduces some of the need to cough. I have used good old fashioned codeine linctus at night on the advice of my respiratory professor too previously which does help too. Makes you groggy so only at night if he's working......

  • Thankyou.

    That makes sense.

    I will check out whether the respiratory nurse can help with the Budeyko breathing.

  • Your poor husband. Hope he gets some relief soon.

    I get affected by colds a lot too. Although not everyone does.

    My tactic is pretty much the same as Slb's - trying to avoid them through hand hygiene, avoiding people with the cold - sitting further away, asking them to cough/sneeze into a tissue & wash their hands as often as possible (if it's someone I know well enough to ask - they know the last couple I've caught have sent me to hospital!), and healthy diet - lots of fruit & veg & avoiding sugar (when cravings alow) - the research is showing that sugar reduces your ability to fight infection (reduces your number of white blood cells). Also if someone in the house has an infection, doing extra cleaning of door handles, taps, remote controls, switches in the kitchen etc - anything that both of us are likely to be touching.

    Raising the head of the bed if possible might help in a similar way to the pillows - put some books/wood/bricks under top end of bed to raise it 6-10inches. It reduces gravity that your lungs are working against.

    If the cough has mucus, then using I found steam inhalation just before bed useful (I know steam can irritate some peoples airways - so it's a careful trial & error needed to work out if it helps or hinders you). I then was able to go to cough up anything before going to sleep so there was less in my lungs overnight & coughed less overnight.

  • Thankyou for taking the time and trouble to reply.

    I will follow your suggestions.

    I want him to take it easy and rest when he is unwell...he doesn't want to!

    Keep well.

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