Question for those with Asthma in the 1960s.

When I was young, I was sent to Newcastle Hospital, because 'they' wanted to look up my nose. Does anyone know what that could have been for, and would it be connected with my Asthma? I used to have loads of ear infections as a child, as well as Chronic Severe Asthma and Eczema.

The other thing is, I don't suffer from a blocked nose or runny nose when I come In contact with allergens. Either my Eczema flares up, or I start wheezing. I get the impression that the Asthma Clinic do not believe me (she claims she does not get Rhinitis). Is it just me? Just curious.

17 Replies

  • Interesting.

    In answer to your first query, I don't recall anyone looking up my nose when I was referred to a paediatrician for asthma. It was already known by then that I suffered from allergic rhinitis; it took the medical profession a little longer to acknowledge that I was asthmatic. It was also rare for me to get ear infections as a child. I can recall two, somewhere between the age of seven and eleven (in other words whilst I was at junior school) but that was it. I've had one since then (when I was in my thirties). In all three cases the earache was preceded by a really intense itchy feeling deep within my ear a few hours earlier.

    Eczema I had quite badly from the age of two months to around a year - or possibly a bit longer - and then it just vanished (to be replaced by asthma when I was three). After an absence of over fifty years it returned a couple of years ago around my mouth and nose, triggered by wearing dust masks for work around the house.

    My parents never told me when I developed allergic rhinitis but I can't remember when I was put on piriton, so it must have been fairly early.

    I suspect you are not the only one who does not get all three of the eczema/asthma/rhinitis combination. It's one less thing to worry about, and believe me, a really bad rhinitis attack may not be life threatening (unless it triggers an asthmatic response of course) but it is very, very unpleasant.

  • I was covered head to toe in Eczema, and was hospitalised many times for Eczema and Asthma as a child. I remember my pillow being covered in blood when I woke up in the morning, and Mum having to wash my hair as it was all stuck up. I remember screaming in pain. I was given sedating antihistamines, but they did not work very well, and often gave my nightmares. Also on piriton, double dose. I remember little of my childhood because of all the drugs. When I was 9 they put me on weekly steroid injections for my Asthma. I remember also being on the Intal spinhaler and a tablet called Alupent.

    The Eczema started to improve mid teens, but never went away. Unfortunately it is mostly my face which reacts now. I was bullied at school, called names, as I was covered in Eczema. I was a very lonely child, and still am.

    My skin is paper thin now because of all the steroid creams, inhaler and oral steroids. Both my skin and lungs are rediculously sensitive.

    Very rarely, my eyes will itch. If I use my sodium cromoglycate eye drops, it goes away again.

    I noticed that there are masks made out of cotton material on sale now - have you tried any?

  • I have no recollection of having eczema as an infant. I understand my parents had to put something in my bath water apparently to help with it.

    I sympathise with the 'lonely child'. Being an undiagnosed asthmatic for five years meant that I was vulnerable to infections, and if I picked something up I tended to get it worse than the other children in my class. Then a combination of disturbed nights (due to asthma) and piriton (for rhinitis) meant that I was often only half with it at school, and I could rarely join in with playground games involving a lot of running around: PE lessons were not great - inevitably I was not really wanted on anyone's team. Being put on IntalCo (and later on having piriton replaced by Dimotapp) made a huge difference.

    I have tried cotton masks. I think the problem here is sweat - it was worse in the summer and I was perimenopausal at the time. I was prescribed a steroid cream but it only really worked if I never wore a mask. I'm hoping things will calm down once the menopause is well and truly over. The itching was not great.

    Going back to ears, I have wondered whether the appalling itch that preceded my ear infections was somehow allergy connected. I also wonder whether the frantic pulling and rubbing of the affected ear may have contributed to the resulting ear infection. As I said, I rarely get them. When I do they are horrendous. The last one I had was so bad that my balance was affected - unnerving for someone who did a weekly ballet class. I can recall sitting down on the wooden bench at our kitchen table and promptly falling backwards off it:-).

  • Oh dear. I just remember earache, as a child. Yes, I think you are right about the allergies. My head and ears being covered in Eczema and the skin being so so dry, it is no wonder we got ear infections. I still use piriton occasionally, and I have various steroid creams as well as anti bacterial bath stuff and moisturisers, and Betnovate Scalp Application, which I was also using as a kid. It is alcohol based, and it made my head sting itch. Not sure it did any good as a child. Now I can bear it. It is a good job Asthma treatment has moved on further than Eczema treatment, otherwise a few of us would not be here to talk about it. Been good.

  • Could have been looking for polyps or ear, nose and throat are all connected

  • This is what I was going to say. My asthma started when I was 7 or 8 and I had nasal polyps removed when I was about14. My GP said at the time that polyps were sometimes associated with asthma.

  • Or adenoids. I had those. From memory it involved looking up my nose, and throat, then having them removed. This was in the mid fifties. I was very young, 6 I think.

  • I wondered about Adenoids

  • Hi. I was born in 1965 and was diagnosed with asthma at 2 following pneumonia and had recurrent chest infections and asthma attacks and very bad eczema as well (lots of steroid creams and Cold Tar bandages night and day - did anyone else have to have those? That didn't help as a teenager having to wear those to school) all through my childhood and teens. I had problems with my sinuses so they were always looking up my nose (thin sinuses one side of my head apparently!) and doing 'wash outs' and had my anenoids removed. I was very 'allergic' and yet did not really suffer from hayfever or allergic rhinitis. I was never put on anti-histamines but was frequently on Prednisilone and Intal etc etc. Like a lot of you, quite lonely as a child as covered in eczema and always wheezy and ill so a lot of name calling etc. My eczema was mainly on my legs, arms, hands and body , not my face. However, in my late 20's I suddenly developed it on my face where my face was swollen and very 'wet' with it. Was told to put very strong steroid creams on it etc. Eventually went to alternative therapy and diagnosed with a yeast allergy. Went on a diet avoiding all yeast products and face and rest of body improved drastically.Now don't have eczema ...just severe asthma and allergic rhinitis! The eczema went and the hayfever/allergic rhinitis started so now take anti-histamines every day as well as high dose of Prednisilone / nebs etc virtually all the time - maybe they are keeping the eczema at bay?

  • Yes,I think the oral steroids could be keeping your Eczema under control. I remember being bandaged up and also having to use coal tar shampoo, but I was never wrapped in coal tar bandages. My skin went quiet when I was in my teens. I think I had other things to think about.

  • Some doctors treated ashtma suffers with valium even in the 80's

  • Interesting. Those doctors were obviously still living in the 1950s when they believed Asthma was purely psychosomatic ( I have been reading up on the History of Asthma). It was not until the 1960s when they recognised the inflammation in the lungs apparently. Luckily, I have never had Valium, just lots of other sedating antihistamines for my Eczema.

  • had polyps from 1972 see my post to mrs.M

  • I was born in the 60s and have had severe eczema and asthma all of my life. I have major allergies to all animal fur, dust and mess and the usual things. I think they may have been looking for polyps ad I was checked in Darlington and had a couple removed at 14 and in late 20s Newcastle General to see the immunologist due to severe allergies. I was due to return there but didn't, another mistake.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it now but if you get runny nose or itching I've also got food allergies which I've found out myself over the years, soya, Kiwi, eggs, banana, tomatoes, some fish so don't eat spicy foods just kind of plain English meals. Have you ever had your Ige tested which is a blood test as I've a very high one and found out about 3 years ago I had allergy to Aspergillus fungal spores which are in the atmosphere and around woodland areas. It's only specialist respiratory clinics that would do these tests.

    It's good you don't get runny nose with allergens but it's obvious in your eczema flare ups and wheeze. Also the tubes from your ears nose throat all connected. I've got tonsils the size of golf balls but they wouldn't take them out and regular white lumps.

    If you very the Ige test it's a good indicator of an allergy based asthma but I had to push for a referral to Darlington respiratory clinic. Unfortunately 3 years on and I decided not to see the consultant I was under and am having major issues back with eczema which I haven't for several years, come back with a vengeance. They are now starting me on theophylline slow release and I've been on the strongest antihistamines and was under dermatologists for many years. I know stress plays a part with mine but the tubes in ears noise throat all connected so don't worry. Maybe just looking for inflammation or infection. PS I'm a early retired nurse but only pop in now and again but hope to get back to work maybe early next year.

  • I am under the Asthma/Allergy Respiratory Team at Addenbrookes, and yes, they have tested me for Aspergillus. I have been on slow release Theophyllin for more than 20 years now. They have just increased the morning dose to 2 and 1 at night. What antihistamine have they got you on? They may not have the dose right. I say that because Ceterizine does not work if I have only one, so I am on 2 a day, and they seem to help.

    I am waiting for an appointment to see the Immunology clinic as I am unable to produce my own antibodies to the pneumonia vaccine.

    Next month I have a CT Scan. I had one 3 years ago which showed a 'potential infection site,'. Also I had a reversibility test which showed 10%. They have not repeated the test yet, as they feel I am not well enough.

    Regarding the Rhinitis. I was wondering why the Specialists are skeptical when I say that I don't get Rhinitis, that I go straight to wheezing or skin flare up.

    As a child I was advised to stay clear of spiced foods and artificial coloured sweets, perfumed sweets. Now I do eat spices,but go back to pain foods if I am not well. Loads of allergies,but only food allergy is Peanuts for which I have a 'Jext' adrenaline injection. I suspect Kiwi fruit, blue food colouring, sulphites, and coconut. I am fine with walnuts and almonds, though have to be careful. I am medically retired now.

  • My granddaughter has infantile asthma, with that comes eczema. Eczema causes patchy dry skin, itching and lots of scratching generally on the inside of her elbows and behind her knees and now on the back of her neck and lower abdomen. Foderma serum is the best I have found. We have used this serum since she was 2 years old and now she is 7. We did see a dermatologist for the problem and he prescribed a cream to go with Foderma Eczema, it did help, but it was not to be used long term. Fodema serum can be applied more than once a day. I usually rub her down good after her bath and sometimes in the morning. There are times during the day that she asks for the serum to be put on to stop the itching.

  • I will have to look that one up. My skin is fine at the moment, with various moisturisers, and antihistamines. On lots of inhaled steroids and oral steroids permanently for my Severe Asthma. So glad skin behaving itself. Thank me for the tip.

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