Was this an asthma attack?

Hi all. Sorry but it's a long post, bear with me. I haven't really had asthma for long & haven't had what I really class as attacks as have only ever seen people have full on asthma attacks which resulted in paramedics & nebulisers so always thought that was what an asthma attack was.

A couple of days ago I had an 'episode' & have been tired & short of breath ever since then today I was absolutely shattered for no reason (in fact I have pretty much done nothing) then a short while ago I started noticing it was harder to breathe, I had pressure in my chest so I took a puff of the blue inhaler which didn't work, I ended up having 3 puffs in the end & it still didn't work. I sat down to try & rest but I ended up getting worse so went to get my other inhaler & felt like I had pins & needles in my hands & fore arms then basically crawled up the stairs as my legs felt like they would collapse & got my daughters spacer to use. After sitting down I had 2 puffs of forstair with the spacer & my breathing got better & have recovered (chest still feels some pressure but the 'episode' is over).

Is this an asthma attack or is it something else?

Also the earlier episode was the same & the blue inhaler didn't work then either & ended up taking forstair with a spacer. The blue has worked before when I was breathless but didn't either time I was really struggling.

Any replies greatly appreciated

4 Replies

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  • Hi

    Sorry to hear that you're having a rough time of it lately. To me it does sound like your asthma may be playing up, however the pins and needles in your arms also suggests that there may have been a aniexty element (thus is could have been an anxiety attack rather than asthma attack because you were worrying about your asthma/breathing!)

    Asthma attacks can range for mild (mild symptoms easily relieved by blue inhaler at home) to near fatal (hospitalised, intubated, respiratory failure). Typically if it is a 'true' mild/moderate asthma attack the blue inhaler will help (if only slightly), if you find it's not helping I would go down to A&E where they can give more support/different medications if it is a more severe asthma attack. It is very common to feel tired after attacks (both aniexty and asthma).

    Either which I would definitely recommend going to visit your GP/asthma nurse asap to speak to them about your experiences. If it gets that bad again see further medical advice (a&e, 111, asthma uk nurse, GP etc) - I've always been told better to 'waste' 20 mins of a docs time than die at home from an attack. If you don't already have an asthma plan or peak flow meter you could also ask for one to be made up for you as this would help you to know when to get further help and what to look out for.

    Hope that helps and that you start to feel better soon

    Emma

  • Hi I agree with EmmaF91. An asthma attack can be mild or more severe. What you had was an exacerbation ie a worsening of your symptoms over a period of time. I would make an urgent appointment to see your doctor and get tested to see if your asthma has returned.

    If this happens again and you can't control your breathing over time, then you need to call an ambulance as asthma attacks can worsen rapidly. Not being able to breathe is a medical emergency. Don't take any chances.

    Also look up breathing exercises online. If you practise those then they will help if this happens again.

  • Thanks for your replies. I will book in with the doctor tomorrow as nearest available appointment with my asthma nurse is over 2 weeks away. Definitely think my asthma is uncontrolled at the moment as realised for days now I have been coughing & clearing my throat, sighing (only realised due to it getting worse) have been having trouble sleeping etc & using my blue inhaler more but only working for a short period but on top of that think I have got anxiety now as since the attack my heart keeps pounding & I feel constantly shaky. Such a horrible feeling & the anxiety side is new. I guess I'm still learning my own symptoms & trying to work out what is the asthma side & what is the new anxiety side, always thought I was really calm but maybe not. Also definitely need to accept I have asthma & stop down playing it. Had a wake up call! Again thanks it's pushed me to make the appointment.

  • Hi Flowergirl78

    Great to hear you are taking steps to manage and control your asthma, It's so variable that it's not surprising you have different feelings and emotions about it. It's completely natural.

    Just to reiterate the thread, there's some info on signs about your asthma getting worse on the Asthma UK website that might be useful: bit.ly/2t4bwBG

    Hope that helps,

    Dita

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