Confused and frustrated - Onset of Adult Asthma at 34

Hello I recently had some key hole surgery with anesthetic in February. Then in March I had the cold flu virus. The day I went back to work I had to be brought home as I couldn't breath my breathlessness only seemed to be brought on if I did more than sit on the sofa. Doctors gave me predisoline some antibiotics and blue inhaler. This didn't prevent or cure anything. Eventually Dr gave me Flutiform which appeared to help a lot I was feeling more positive bit still needing the blue inhaler. Then this week after agreeing a plan to go back to work tomorrow. I felt rubbish Tuesday pm my throat was inflamed and my breathing was terrible Wednesday and chest super tight with a peak flow of 310 (it should be 440). Went back the docs and he sent me for bloods to test of some allergen had been triggered in my bloods and prescribed Montelukast 10mg. My peak flow is up around 380 Mark but I can't do anything than pottering around the house without getting breathless. 

I'm so frustrated and finding it all very upsetting. Is the doc doing the right thing? Is this normal? I feel so alone.

On the Monday and Tuesday I came into contact with two dogs. I also ate peanuts on the Tuesday lunch. Also interesting is my tight chest started the first time in the shower. 

Any advice anyone xx

12 Replies

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  • Hi

    There's a lot to try & work out there! I think the doc is doing the right thing because often with asthma it is trial & error. You need to find out what helps you & also what your triggers are.

    The blood tests might give some clues. Dogs are a common asthma trigger, peanuts less so but they notoriously can cause airway restriction (anaphylactic shock) so maybe something there?

    Moist air in showers can also be a trigger. Sometimes all you can do is keep monitoring things & noting any recurring issues then avoid whatever it is.

    I don't know a lot about  Flutiform but I believe it's a combination inhaler (part preventer part reliever) so if it's helped quickly that's the reliver bit; the preventer may take longer or you may need an alternative.

    In the meantime keep tracking your PF & see if you can notice anything that might cause it to drop.

  • Thank you I've got a diary as well as the peak flow diary noting things down hopefully I can see the GPS next week armed with some more information. 

  • Hello, to echo Minushabens, the Dr looks to be taking a logical path and it does take time to work out triggers and treatments to suit. Not feeling yourself can also make things slightly worse - as stress is also a classic trigger - though not always the main trigger. It certainly niggled me when I was diagnosed at 42, but learning to deal with it bit-by-bit, it has got a lot better. You have done the right thing to come here as you will get lots of good advice from a large experienced group. Take your time, notice things, write them down however daft they may seem and work with the Dr. Good Luck!

  • Hi Rach81h, I'm sorry you're having such an awful time! Being diagnosed with any condition isn't easy, but one like Asthma is particularly difficult as it can be life changing. I was diagnosed with Lupus at 29 years of age and then at 39 with Late Onset Asthma. For many years the Asthma was easily managed and didn't bother me too much even though my GP said that asthma developed in later years was more serious and harder to manage than childhood asthma. However this past year my asthma has gone completely bonkers, resulting in many hospital admissions, stage 1 lung failure requiring oxygen 24/7, numerous inhalers, nebulisers, high steroids etc. It Was very scary and frustrating as I've never smoked and tried to eat as healthy as possible.  Now things are beginning to improve, I've learned to live with the breathlessness and adapt my life  accordingly.  I believe your GP is doing the right things it's just it takes time to find the right treatment for each individual.  You will begin to recognise your triggers and the body will heal with time and tender loving care, just go easy on yourself.  Make others aware of your limitations try not to stress and things will improve.๐Ÿ˜Š Bronagh

  • Thank you so much for your reply. It sounds like you have been through a rough time. I have so much admiration for people who don't let their health beat them and I know my situation could be a lot worse. I guess I expected to just improve and the set back this week has really shook me up. I know I need to be patient.... 3 deep breaths and all. X

  • Hi something else which might help is try and learn some breathing exercises.  They are available on the net. 

    One good one I use is to breathe through my  nose for 2 seconds then purse your lips up and breathe out for 4 seconds.   You can also buy yourself an oximeter which shows your oxygen levels.   They cost around ยฃ20 - have a look on Amazon.  x

  • Hi Rachel. I too had late onset asthma, easily controlled initially but prescription inhalers became stronger over the years and my triggers seem to be multiplying. As you get more tuned it to these, and read/listen to others, controlling them becomes a bit easier, but I still feel very vulnerable when out and about from home. You mentioned an exacerbation in the shower.....I've become very sensitive to perfumes. This includes household products, beauty products, especially air fresheners etc but also toothpaste with mint. I've had Montelukast added to my inhalers and this has helped, but has taken time to build up in my system.....two weeks minimum but two months much have a much slower reaction to smells/perfumes but if I hang around them for too long, asthma triggered again. For example, I can now stay in hotels again where I can open a window for a couple of hours on arrival, and ask not to have room long as no tainted air con....some hotels include artificial 'fresh air'! It's a bind sorting yourself out at first but you do get used to protecting yourself, and home becomes best! Another thing I had to change was reliever inhaler, from Ventolin to Brycanyl.....took me years to work that one out. Asthma attacks were spiralling as I sat in hotel rooms, not knowing the air con trigger, and breathing deeply with more n more Ventolin. Hotels were part of my job and had to retire earlier than hoped because of it. So the triggers for asthma can be very individual but you'll eventually begin to master them a bit more easily. I also am sensitive to salicylates.....included in the perfumes but also in some foods, and Ventolin. Good does improve, give or take flu viruses!! You're certainly not alone here. 

  • Sorry to hear this I too grew back into asthma in my adult years having had mild asthma as a child that I grew out of. I now have adult brittle asthma that is hard to control. I also have multiple allergies and that list grows annually. 

    Your GP seems more on the ball than some. Do you have allergy specialists near you? It might be worth asking the GP for a referral though the wait is probably quite long. 

    Have you spoken to the nurses on the helpline? They are very good

  • Go back to the doctors and tell them about your symptoms, if it's asthma which it sounds like. it can take some time to get asthma under control, it's not instant. Being in the right meds taking a preventer  every day is the only way to control it if it's asthma. if your peak flow is low this is normally asthma, as asthma is problems breathing out not in.

  • Thank you everyone for your comments can't tell you how much I appreciate them. The doctor requested I go and see him for the results of the blood tests. They confirmed I have high levels of allergens in my blood. He gave me a nasal spray and some strong antibiotics s as his theory now is it was a virus then I have had an allergic reaction to something on top. I was positive yesterday when hearing this but today I'm not too sure. My peak flow each morming is still below the 400 Mark and even though I'm back at work I'm still getting breathless and coughing a lot. Sometimes dry and sometimes chesty. Seem to have developed an especially dry cough at night.  X

  • Oh I forgot to say I have blood tests booked again in 2 weeks to see the level of allergens if I'm not better the GP will refer me to the hospital. 

  • Your doing all the right things and by the sound of it you have a good doctor. He doing just what he should. I have adult on set asthma at the age of 36 years. It was mild for years and now is worse. So on a combination inhaler for autumn and winter stepping down in spring and autumn.

    My triggers are cold, air pollution, cats, tree spores, strong chemicals and perfumes. It time to work out your allergies. While we can't always avoid them education is the best form of defense. You will get sorted. I am fine now and have a fantastic nurse with 20 years experience. I hope and pray you get sorted soon.

    Ring asthma uk helpline if you need help and have questions they are brilliant.

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