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re recovering

I know this sounds silly but I still finding it hard to get my head around what is being recovered from an asthma attack. I had one on monday started taking my steroids (as per my asthma plan which says 7 days) and went to the doctors on Tuesday to tell them I had had an asthma attack. So far I am on my four day of steroids taking my Ventolin in the day every 4 hours 4 puffs as advised by the doctor and this is also on my asthma plan too. When I get to the end of the 4 period my chest starts to ache again. I will be finished my course on sunday. I can't get an appointment for next week either monday or Tuesday but can if necessary go to my doctors (5 mins) walk around the corner to go when they are open at 8 am. I did this last week and go and appointment on the open surgery. This is my plan again. I going to see how I am on monday as the day progress with the steroids. I have more steroid if I need them but I not aloud to take them without the doctor's consent.

I am waiting to speak to my asthma nurse who has been told. The doctor thinks I need to double my seretide inhaler from 125 mg as having another asthma attack 4 wks after I saw my asthma nurse means that my asthma is as not as well control as it should be.

So what is the absolute totally definition that I am alright. I think this means in my case that I have no longer an achy chest and I can stop taking regular ventolin. My peak flow has never drop and I didn't have my peak flow meter when I had the attack so I will never know if it dropped when it happen.

Help please

23 Replies

I'm not sure there is an absolute answer to this. For me I think I am over it when I stop coughing and wheezing. Having said that it can be a long time before I get over the exhaustion and aching from coughing, I hope someone on here can give you a better answer,

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Hi thanks for replying. I am still getting achy chest when my 4 hourly Ventolin runs out during the day. Last night I woke up at 3:30 as I was cold and need the toilet. I had some Ventolin at 4 am. Stay awake for a whole hour afterwards. Went back to sleep and woke up at 5:45 am when my alarm went off. I have had my preventer at 7 am as normal and 4 puffs of Ventolin at 8 am.


Recovery from an attack is when you feel your chest is back to normal for you and you are no longer requiring additional medication to manage your condition, just your regular ones. It doesn't mean you are recovered just because you've been discharged from hospital. As a regular hospital in-patient with my severe brittle asthma I've had this argument many a time with hospital care. Hope you feel better and back to normal for you soon.

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thank you for getting back to me too. I think you hit the nail on the head. Its when I no longer need regular Ventolin every 4 hours and my chest no longer aches at all.

My asthma isn't really that bad. It just got colder so my asthma got worse. This is only my second winter with my lungs being like this. Up to last November I was classified with mild asthma with just Ventolin inhaler for 10 years. I never been to hospital. First ever asthma attack last november. One in september and one now this last monday.

I seem to be fine in the summer but bad in the winter. So just still trying to balance my asthma medication to keep me well. I had my review about 4 wks ago. On 125 mg of Seretide but the doctor who saw me after my asthma attack said I probably need to go on a higher dose. She didn't prescribe me as the stepwise plan had been review and she wasn't sure about it. So has asked my asthma nurse to ring me as the nurse has no appointment til December. Still waiting on that call.


Rang asthma UK helpline this morning to get straight in on my recovery plan. Got it in my head now If not better on Monday go to doctors and get an appointment that day. So that means me going round there at 8 am and getting an open surgery appointment at 11 am. So that's what I going to do.

I have had my steroids this morning at 10 am and more ventolin. However after getting off the phone I decided to go to the pharmacy to collect my presinolone and I started off walking down the street and my chest started to ache real bad. So I took 4 puffs straight away. Then popped in to the doctors for advice and the receptionist said would I like acall ffrom the duty doctor an I ssaid yes. Had a call within 20 minutes. Doctor listened to my symptoms and make me an appointment with a nurse practioner at 4:15 pm.

Feeling better went straight home and now taking it easy.

Will update when I get back from doctors this afternoon. Take care all. The nhs are brilliant.


Hi All back from the doctors spoke to the nurse practitioner who spoke to my asthma nurse. Stepping me up today to 250 mg of Seretide. She told me alot of people are on newer and less expensive inhaler. Forgotten the name but I said Seretide really suits me and I need to take through a evo chamber like the Ventolin. She showed me how to break better with my two hands one on stomach and one of chest. Three in and 7 out will be practicing that. The nurse said book in with my asthma nurse three weeks hence so back on the 9th December. Thank her and thank the receptionist on duty and told them that I would have any doctor on staff there as I think they are all brilliant. Without the NHS we would be stuffed. So here is 3 cheers for them!

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Hi I get asthma attacks too though I am only mild. My nurse told me to double my preventer up if I feel extra breathless. I use symbicort which also has a reliever element in it. Also using a spacer might help you. You can get one from the nurser. x


Hi coughalot2 I use a spacer (that's what a evo inhaler basically a grown up inhaler) for my Ventolin and seretide as advised by my asthma nurse as this is the best way for me. Doubling it on the seretide is not part of my asthma plan so I won't do it without consulting my GP or asthma nurse first.

Any way I am all sorted now and just have two more days of prenisolone and then hopefully I will won't have to take any more. Happy to be back on higher dose I think that's me for the winter. Staying well and wrapping up in the cold and looking forward to Christmas have a good weekend all.

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Hi there, can I ask what dose of prednisolone your on? Interesting Iv also had. Another attack taking ages to settle..

Thought I could taper down from 40mg but as soon as I get to 25mg everything fall apart.

I also nebulise with ventolin and ipratropium

Along with seretide/ventolin inhalers, and cocktail of tabs 😟


Hi the amount of presindolone is a an individual thing for me it's 40 mg 8 X 5mg tablets for 7 days then stop as it's a short course so that doesn't need tapering down. From my last year's experience of three weeks off and on due to not getting seeing the same doctor . This took much longer and one of the factors involved was that it sends my blood sugar very high and I had a dip test for possible urine infection which flag up this side effect.

As for how long things take to settle depends on lots of factors e.g how bad your attack was did you need A &E or it got better after treating at home. We are all individuals and keeping a close eye on your symptoms and getting on top of your symptoms if they get worse so hopefully the asthma attack can be avoided. Currently on for myself seretide 250 twice a day + 10 mg monkelaust. Hope this helps you.


Hi elanaoali,

I do realise we all all individuals, with different needs but was wondering if there was a winter maintenance window - so to speak

As this is my 2nd year or roller coasting this takes over your life. 😩

Along with being so frustrating.

I'm not able to work at moment as I work as Nursery nurse in a school with 3-5yrs olds. Difficult but rewarding.

Just hoping consultant has a plan that I can take.

Thanks a lot

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For my limited experience of two winters I think it's September April depending when the weather changes from colder end of September to getting warmer in the spring.

I know what you mean I can resent sometimes when I 've had asthma attack and recover y. I not in work at the moment due to mental health issues in the family but soon I will be looking for work again. again gain. I know we are protected by law but hate being incapacitated like this. ? I am a nursery nurse too. Looking to work in primary school with my level two teaching assistant.

I under the care of my asthma nurse and haven't had to go and see a consultant. I hope and pray you get the help and advice to make the best of it all. No one likes asthma but I know for myself I must learn to live with it and stop resenting it. A kind of grieving process we all go through at some point in our lives. God bless.


HI Elena there is a definition of asthma control that I useregarding to oral steroids on the Asthma UK website

"How to know when you’re ‘fully recovered’:

Having few or no symptoms of cough, wheeze, tightness in the chest, or difficulty breathing

Not needing to use your reliever inhaler (usually blue)

If you use a peak flow meter, your peak flow reading is back to above 75 per cent of your personal best "

I find it very useful, hope you will too.

Take care xx

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I am pleased to hear that you have been able to get an appointment elenaoall and hope that you feel better soon. It's not a good time of year is it?


Absolutely it is not. This is only my second winter of moderate?! asthma after having been diagnosed with mild asthma 11 years ago. Still getting to understand how it affects me in the colder months of the year (sept-march/April) It looks like this is my pattern from now on. Taking it easy today and taking regular venting as per asthma plan. Back to doctors on Monday if necessary. Have a good weekend and stay warm.


Hope your feeling better soon as these are tough times.

Iv had Asthma 20 years but for some reason things change drastically last year with and bad attack hospital admittance and complete change of medication.

Taking many months to feel normal. If you know what I mean.

Then find we are in September and things start to deteriorate after Flu jab.

Apologise for going on a bit...

Trying to struggle on with visits to GP increasing inhalers nebulising steroids etc, now awaiting consultant appt.

During last summer had private allergy testing carried out and found I was wheat intolerant strange I thought. But started to look for alternatives which is hard.

Have done this for a number of weeks.

Since being unwell have stayed home from work as really not been able to walk around with out the constant coughing which has progressivly got worse. I have been taking my tablets with Brichol each morning. Only dawned on me this could be part of my problem.

As Iv not had as much wheat for many weeks, now as not being able to get out as much eating anything which has included wheat based products could I be causing my Asthma to be worse??

Iv since stopped all wheat again and only time will tell.


From what you say you have had a rough time of late. I glad you feel that you can vent here. Perhaps if you post your wheat allergy question here on the forum some one may pick it up and get talking to someone else who is in the same boat as you,


Thanks will do you never know


Day 7of steroids and I am really tired as they are increasingly disturbing my sleep. 2am-3:30 am. Wide awake. So I hope and pray this is it. Will see how today go. Chest is a little achy last ventolin at 3 am. Will dose myself up with ventolin regularly if necessary. Out Today so I will see what happens.


Went out today this afternoon on the bus into town today with my daughter. Dose myself with Ventolin every four hours today. Had 4 puffs at 9am/1pm/5pm. Do some walking around town while she was doing her guide activity at a museum in town. Walk into town ok. Chest little achy and slight cough. Hoping tonight I can sleep right through the night. When I wake up tomorrow I going to make an open surgery appointment by going around there at 8 am tomorrow morning. This is the only opportunity to get into the doctors tomorrow. The open surgery starts at 11 am. I much rather go and be see and say I ok now not to have any more steroids. I going to stick to the advice I was given on Friday by the asthma nurse and go back tomorrow if I still need my Ventolin inhaler every four hours. My peak flow is brilliant and always stays quite normal. So I hope and pray that tomorrow is a better day for me. Today was and I feel much better for getting out of the house.


Yesterday evening wasn't good so it's back to the doctors this morning. I had to reach for my ventolin within two hours of taking it. Not 4 hourly like I have been doing through my recovery this week. I also got breathless after taking on the phone for 30 mins. Took my ventolin and got a reasonable good night with a taking herbal sleeping tablet and having the steroids out of my system.

Woke up this morning feeling okay. Took my preventer and ventolin. Peak flow bang on as usual. Chest is starting to ache as I do more, w we walk around to the doctor (5 mins) walk to get an open surgery appointment this morning. (Nurse practioner same one as Friday).Had to use ventolin on the way home as I started coughing. Feeling a bit fed up.

Not sure what going to be advised . I will fill in later.


Ok back from the doctors feeling very blessed by having the Nhs and the nurse practioner who took the time to really listen and talk to me. My vitals are all fine and been complemented on my peak flow. The nurse is 4 years older than me and can't get hers as high as mine. 5 5 and 48 female.

Said I might have to get use to having trouble catching my breath after talking a lot, need to give my new strength of seretide to kick in day 3 so could be waiting for another few days 7 at max. Probably need more recovery time 1-2 weeks and if I need to speak to my asthma nurse I can call her this week.

My plan is take it easy as possible not easy this week busy household. Keep talking my ventolin regularly every four hours and reduce puffs down to two after Thursday as I going up to London for the day. Keep warm and dry. Any more tips on recovery from others who have had more experience of winter and asthma.


Things are definitely coming back to normal. Feel so much better today and slept really well. My chest just has a small ache in it. I going to reduce my Ventolin from now on to two puffs and see how I get on.


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