Asthma and getting older

I have always wondered what happens when an asthmatic gets older. As mine is adult onset asthma which was diagnosed 12 years ago. Mild for 10 years just had ventolin to now into my second winter on high dose of combination inhaler seretide like last winter. If I stay well then I will be switched to just a preventer for spring and summer. Then back to combination in the autumn/winter.

What could happen as I get older?

22 Replies

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  • I'm currently in my mid fifties and mine hasn't changed much since I've been on my current medication (went on it twenty years ago). Some years are better than others; I do have a seasonal variation, and that I have noticed more as I have got older. Menopause can cause issues for some. I did become more sensitive to certain triggers when I became peri menopausal, but it affected my allergic rhinitis - and I got appallingly itchy eyes at times - more than my asthma. But I have no doubt it will be different for others.

  • Hi MaggieHP,

    I've had asthma since I was a pre-teen but only during hayfever season. This was not diagnosed as my mum was not one to bother a doctor unless we were really unwell. The asthma didn't bother me in my twenties but I was diagnosed with seasonal asthma in my 30s.

    I'm 53 (today!) and have been ill since before Christmas with a virus then chest infection. After 3 weeks with what I believed to be a chest infection I finally saw a Practice Nurse. She diagnosed asthma, and having winter asthma is a new experience for me.

    I am concerned that, having struggled on with what I thought was a chest infection and have caused damage to my lungs. I did start coughing up blood stained mucus at one stage.

    I've also just started with peri-menopausal symptoms from the autumn. I am wondering if this has made me more sensitive than in previous years.

    We have a multi-fuel burner and I'm wondering whether it could also be the soot from the fire - it gets everywhere! So, I'm not going to use that now and see how I get on without it.

    I don't feel that my asthma is controlled after several days of a new regime - Fostair x2 in the morning and at bedtime as well as my reliever inhaler.

  • Happy Birthday Mrs Meniere!

    Yes, it is known that hormonal changes can sometimes cause issues for asthmatics. It's also known that allergic reactions can change throughout life, so something you didn't used to be allergic to may be causing problems now.

    I'm curious about what you say concerning your multi fuel burner. I'm surprised that soot is going everywhere. Have you had it checked out/serviced recently? Might there be a problem there? We have a multi fuel stove (though we normally burn wood in it) but we don't get soot from that going everywhere. I also know someone with an open fire who also doesn't have that issue.

    Regarding your Fostair, it can take a while to adjust to a new medication, but if you have any concerns about it you should go back to your doctor, particularly if you are having to use your reliever on a regular basis.

    Hope you have a great birthday!

  • Hello Maggie HP :)

    No, we bought the burner in 2012 and haven't had the burner serviced lately. However, I've been researching bio ethanol fires and could get a burner to use inside the multi-fuel burner.

    I'm finding that soot is building up everywhere, we have a piece of furniture next to the fires and it has sooty dust on it every single day. I cannot keep up with it and there is soot on the ceiling too. I could spend all my waking hours cleaning. I'm going to have to go through the room like a dose of salts and redecorate this spring.

    Thank you, I am considering making an appointment to see the Nurse Consultant next week. I am taking the reliever quite regularly and am finding that I'm sometimes coughing so much that I'm almost vomiting. I do feel better today though, yesterday wasn't great.

    Thanks again, we were too ill over Christmas and New Year to do any feasting whatsoever or even have a roast dinner. So, today we are having Christmas dinner for my birthday - turkey crown and all the trimmings. We were going to eat this evening and pop over to the coast this morning but it's rainy. So, we are about to enjoy our Christmas dinner on my birthday. Happy Christmas! ;)

  • Hi I was diagnosed with asthma in my mid twenties and mine has improved over the years, thirty years to be precise. I used to always end up quite ill, on steroids if I had a viral illness, cough, cold etc but since being on seretide ( touch wood) I have been very well controlled. Currently got the horrible coughing virus going around ( hence why reading this at six in the morning) but so far just needing my ventolin a little more but no major problems. I don't know if this is because you get to understand your triggers better combined with improved treatment and understanding of the condition but hope you find you too are well managed.

  • I believe that I know all my triggers now and with the excellent help of my asthma nurse I hope that I be well now and in the future.

  • Me, too, diagnosed 2 years ago in my sixties, but I believe the signs have always been there. So far this winter I am fine. After my asthma attack last summer (hospital for 4 days) I was put on high doses of symbicort, and it has worked. Now it has been reduced to 50%. Still good, but some coughing has returned and I do occasionally feel a bit tight chested. Nothing shows on my peakflow, or just a very little. So, so far so good! But what will happen if I get a cold.........

  • HI Elana 72 years of age over 40 years chronic asthma, now asthma free take a strong probiotic every day and if possible proteolytic enzyme capsules. I have not had a chest infection for over 2 years now get yourself better eat well.

  • wow! that sounds good

  • I have a healthy diet and lifestyle . My diet has to be good as my other long term condition forbids process food e.g. bacon chocolate fizzy drinks. Nonething acid e, g tomatoes and orange. Only 3 kinds of fruit. So I have no choice but to be healthy.

  • Try & cut out all refined carbohydrates and especially sugar or anything containing sugar except stevia

  • I don't eat refined carbohydrates only brown rice, grainy bread and potatoes. Is stevia artificial? No sweenters, colours, preservatives night. I.e sulphite, sacarine. No caffeine I could go on but you would get bored. ;-)

  • Stevia is from a S.American plant & allegedly does not harm the friendly bacteria in your gut.Hope your Asthma improves

  • Oh yes now I have heard of stevie. I too understand that 80% of your immunity is in your gut. Yogurt is another thing people wax lyrical about to help repopulate your gut after antibiotic. Yogurt for me is a no no.

    My asthma I is very well controlled at the moment not due for a review til March as per 3 monthly on step plan.

    Very pleased to hear that good control limits the possible damage asthma can do to people. Of course as I age my lung capacity will decrease but that's normal well assured by the comments on this posts replied thank you.

    My other long term health condition which makes m my diet restricted to a healthy diet intersial cystitis. Painful yes but diet is 90% of the treatment.

    Good night all

  • I am not a big fan of yoghurt but the capsules have made an outstanding difference for me and my family

  • I was diagnosed with asthma 30 years ago in my mid 30's. It has not got any worse but I do have copd now to add to the mix. Stupidly I didn't stop smoking when diagnosed... x

  • Mine is perhaps a more cautionary tale! I was diagnosed around about age 3 (c.1967) by a GP who had a view that children shouldn't have inhalers & that they'd grow out of it.

    So, for a variety of "it's a long story" reasons, I only started correct treatment in my late 20s.

    From around age 28 until approx. 47/8 give or take I had very few problems. However, I started to deteriorate & I remember my 50th birthday being awful, as I could hardly breathe. As I understand it, my lungs were badly damaged in my younger years, but that only really became evident as I approached 50. That has developed into a type of bronchiectasis (not exactly that, but some type of airway damage), plus ABPA/SAFS. So I think that the weaknesses in your lungs can start to come to the forefront as you age, especially if, like me, your lung health was not well cared for at points in your life.

  • Part of the reason for this post what was said by an asthma nurse who looks after elderly people with asthma and now has copd because they didn't look after their asthma when they were younger. So I took it as a warning to be good and look after myself well.

  • With the right medication you should go on as you are doing now. I have had d asthma since I was 47 and I am now 85. A few years ago I developed COPD due to me being a heavy smoker in the 25 years before I took asthma. Again with the right medication it is under control.

  • Hi i'm 44 now and diagnosed at the age of 18 months and now i'm on high steroids 60mg and having iv hydrocortisone every two months in London rbh hospital to help me afloat and go into my local one a lot as well so basically mine has got a lot worse but that's me x

  • Mine has got worse as I've got older! Adult onset at 32. Always have to have extra meds added!! 8 years later and I'm on a daft amount of meds!! Wonder whether it is worth staying on the seretide all year rather than just in winter. You might be able to just maintain on a lower dose!! Just a thought!!

  • Don't know who's replying to who? I am sorry to hear yours has got worse. Seretide for me is my best autumn/winter treatment. Only second year ofthis regime for me. Will be reducing to just a preventer in spring as it was like last year mix with monkelaust and aantihistamine as my asthma nurse thinks this is the best course of action for me. (This is based on her 20 years of experience) I feel very safe with her and she gives me confidence to manage my asthma.

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