Adult onset asthma

Hi I was told I have adult on set asthma in December 2015 at the moment I'm having to use my ventolin inhaler 5 or 6 times some days I'm due to see my asthma nurse next week last time I went 4 weeks ago I was really struggling and had been for a few days as I hadn't been given the brown inhaler. The nurse said I should have come to see the Dr if I had been struggling but the point is I'm my own worse enemy and struggle through. I don't even like using my inhalers in front of people (stupid I know) I'm worried that will I know when to get help

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  • Lyngal, I really do recommend that you make an appointment to see a doctor. If you are needing to use your ventolin 5 or 6 times a day that is a sign that your asthma is not under control. To give you an example of what well controlled asthma is like, mine is well controlled; I hardly ever need to use a ventolin inhaler. Don't struggle on. If you go down with a viral infection when your asthma isn't controlled you could up very unwell indeed!

    I think most of us (even those who have had the condition for decades, of whom I'm one) feel a little uncomfortable when taking inhalers in front of people. I get round this by reminding myself that the opinion of others takes second place to me being able to breath. If others don't like it, that's their problem; it certainly isn't mine:-)

    If things get really difficult for you over the weekend, is there a walk in centre near you where you could go for help?

  • One further question: have you been given a peak flow metre? If so, what is your current reading like?

  • Hi peak flow reading was 400 but has dropped today to 300

  • That's getting a little low. My own GP starts to get twitchy if my peak flow drops to about 80% of what it should be - yours is now at 75%.

    I recommend that you get some medical advice - don't wait until Monday. There is a reasonable chance that your peak flow will have dropped again tomorrow morning (it's usually lower in the morning). Right now you have two options: call your local surgery - there should be a message telling you what to do if you require medical help out of surgery hours; or dial 111, explain the situation, and see what they say.

  • Thank you'll much for your advice as I'm new to the asthma at the moment I'm ok but if I get worse I will seek medical advice

  • Sorry thank you so much

  • Hi Lyngal. In October last year I was diagnosed with asthma, (at the age of 51), and I would urge you to go to your GP or asthma nurse to get your medication sorted. My asthma unfortunately still isn't under control and as MaggieHP said if you end up with a viral infection as well it can be nasty. That happened to me as I ended up with a drop in my peak flow readings due to a really bad chest infection, thankfully I didn't require hospital treatment but two lots of antibiotics were needed as well as a considerable hike in the times I used my inhalers including the brown one- the "preventer" as advised by my doctor. I'm still not 100% as I woke twice last night feeling I was suffocating and wheezing so had to use my blue inhaler to relieve the symptoms. I would hate for you to end up in a similar position and PLEASE don't worry about using your inhaler in public- it's your health that's important at the end of the day... Keep us updated re how you are. Thinking of you :-)

  • Get yourself to out of hours and get sorted. Emphasise to them that you need Ventolin 5-6 times a day, that is not controlled asthma. Don't wait - you may be doing damage to your lungs in the long term if you put off seeing someone every time. And I totally feel you, I hate taking my inhaler in front of people, I get stupid questions every time. I usually just excuse myself and go to the toilet and do it in there XD

  • Hi Lyngal I was diagnosed with cough variant asthma about 18 months ago at age 39. I had been having the same symptoms for years and it was always dismissed as an upper respiratory infection.

    Last time I went into see the nurse I was told off because I had waited over a week with a bad cough instead of going in after 2 days! I got quite stroppy and pointed out that I had been getting told off for years for going in with 'just a cough' and I hadn't been given any advice on when I should be going in, upping the brown inhaler etc.

    I would repeat the advice given above. Go see your doctor if you are struggling right now and get your medication sorted out. Take time during your appointment with the asthma/practice nurse and put together an asthma plan (I think you can print out a blank one from this site). Ask about what to do when you catch a cold, do exercise, when you should go to the doctor or worse call an ambulance, think about triggers etc. These are all things I had to learn about as adult diagnosed. Take peak flow readings regularly so you know what your normal reading should be, my normal reading is about 650 so I sometimes have to argue with nurses who will say 'well, its 500 so you must be ok'.

    If you get your asthma under control you shouldn't need to take your inhaler in front other people very much at all but until then think about how much more embarrassing it will be if they have to call an ambulance for you instead ;D

    Good luck

  • I would recommend that you definetly seek some medic advice. Over the festive period i was struggling with my asthma but did not do much about it and have just been discharged after 8 days in hospital trying to get on top of things!

  • Hi, I'm not really the right person to give advice on this bc I am terrible at the whole doctor, hospital thing, but wulfy 1010 is right, an ambulance is much worse, it happened to me at work and it was the worse thing, much more embarrassing than taking my inhaler!

    I've learnt to take my inhaler in public now, still working on my nebuliser which I have to carry round with me when things are bad.