Triggers : Hi All, I am new to this... - Asthma UK communi...

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Hi All,

I am new to this group, I have been an asthmatic from birth, however with age seems to get worse!

So I am on preventative & blue plus nasal sprays plus singular before bed! And every now and again steroids! Flu jab once a year! Also done salt cave exp!

Two hospital admissions in last 12 months! Nebuliser help and don't seem to provide?

So I have a chest infection at the moment and wanted to know why it's so bad when you have asthma to the point you can't talk or breathe or do anything! All you do is sleep when not wheezing and coughing! And how do you get your work to understand that simple illness impact you more than those who do not have lung conditions!

I am a sensitive asthmatic and my triggers are:

Nighttime /sleeping


Change in weather

Hay fever

Pets (cats or furry dogs)

Illness (cough /colds etc)


Mould /damp

Air freshener

I wrote a letter to my gp stating this is controlling me now and it's getting me down! My peak is mostly ok just cough and wheezing! I saw asthma nurse tried new things and then she didn't know what else to do! I have been re referred back to a specialist and so far been waiting since 2112/2016!

I only 30 and feel like this stupid condition is taking over my life! I have never smoked!

When I am Holiday I cannot attemp hills or steep walks because I literally can't breathe by time I get to the top and my heart is racing!

I am just really struggling and no one understands unless you have what we have?

Any advice welcomed?

12 Replies

Hi charlotte,

Sorry to hear of your bad asthma time.

I too have exactly the same triggers. I went back and forth to the gp every 4 to 6 weeks with chest infections it was taking over my life. This happened for at least 7 years since the birth of my first son. Anyhow they just kept giving me prednisolone and antibiotics and sending me on my way. I was on seritide 250 and ventolin at the time. My chest would clear up in a few days but always cone back a few weeks later. UNTILL I went to see this doctor who sent me to see a specialist (I waited 6 months for a appointment) who told my iv not been having chest infections at all and that the gp was wrong basically it was my asthma flaring up because it wasn't well controlled. So he put me on tiotropium and symbicort my asthma is now well controlled and I havent had a so called chest infection for nearly 20 weeks since starting the new drugs. There is other drugs avaliable. I would definitely push toget to that specialist. All the best


Sorry that you are having trouble. Spiriva may help. That's an add on on top of your preventer. You could ask if you could try that. I found that really helps boost my peak flow up.


RM19 in reply to S4r4L0u153

Hi charlotte, I'm in exactly the same boat as you , I'm 42 and feel like I don't have a life, I get constant chest infections, little or no immune system , bounce on and off steroids constantly. In and out of hospital with asthma attacks

My triggers are believe it or not , damp air after it's rained?!! I know , try avoiding that one!

I've just started on spirva , and I'm seeing a consultant that hopefully fingers crossed I qualify for a new injection that will boost my immune system

Keep on at your consultant, make a diary of your life, daily routine, peak flows, when your on steroids etc - what your not doing because of your asthma is restricting you and what your effectively missing out on in life-

I've just tried going vegan to see if that makes my asthma better, cutting out wheat / and dairy

Try different avenues to see what works and what doesn't , try and stay positive Charlotte talk to your family and friends to get support that you need.

Keep smiling x

Thank you for all your replys really appreciate them and will take on board everything mentioned.


I have recently had to try and get to grips with my asthma big time. I am 33 with 3 kids under 8. In May 2016 my asthma went from mild only effected by coughs and colds to severe atopic asthma. It has taken me a while to get where I am and 24 a&e visits, 7 hospitals stays all within the last year. I managed to get referred to St. George's in tooting and have had all sorts of allergy tests and immune system tests. I have been on steroids since may 2016 to try and control it. In February this year I was started on xolair injections which help the allergic side to my asthma. It doesn't solve the reactions to tiredness stress cold weather viruses and infections but it has certainly helped with some of the unpredictability of allergies. May be pestering about your referral and seeing what a specialist can look into. A high dose antihistamine like fexofenadine may help too. Xx

RM19 - I noticed recently that my breathing gets much worse after rain showers. I then read elsewhere that rain brings down the pollen, so that immediately after rain and for some while afterwards the pollen strength at ground/person level is much higher than normal, so that irritates your airways - and I don't suffer much from pollen related wheeziness except at that time. Maybe that is one of your triggers too?

RM19 in reply to beech

Hi Beech, it is. Mine is known as environmental asthma, I have to be careful travelling to certain countries as damp humid conditions can set me off..... are you like that too?

beech in reply to RM19

I found in a trip to Vietnam a whole new set of triggers I hadn't encountered before - woodsmoke in a hilly area where wood fires were used for cooking, and there was a lot of low cloud and mist which kept the smoke at a low level; then exhaust fumes in a very hot humid environment with heavy static traffic; and cigarette smoke! That last from a long term smoker who developed asthma after stopping, but hadn't found it irritating until then 😏

Rurally of course there are the crop irritants, oilseed rape, sprays and general pollens, and the dust and chaff at harvest time can be awful. Luckily we don't have stubble burning any more!

I stumbled across Montelukast by accident, after a friend who was taking it for skin rashes noticed how much better she was breathing, although she doesn't have breathing problems. My GP let me try it, and it has really helped along with Symbicort.

But I still find woodsmoke is a very big trigger - I live rurally so pubs, houses and gardens often have fires and wood burners - but I don't have so much of a problem with static traffic!

I keep coming across new specific triggers, so whilst I try to avoid my known ones I get caught out - but luckily a puff of Symbicort usually helps when I get wheezy.

I learn lots from here too, so that helps as well! 😃

Oh that does not sound good! Yeah I am on that tablet at the moment been on it about 6 months and does help until you have a trigger 😑 Crazy what impacts it!

If you have had a hospital admission you should have immediately been given an appointment to see the respiratory specialist.

This is nhs protocol to stop re-admissions. As previous poster said, there are lots of other medications that could be added in to your treatment plan. You should follow this up with your GP or the hospital where you have been referred. But if you are not feeling well this may all seem very hard. I would give the Asthma UK help line a call and they will advise you about how to get the best care.

Let us know how you get on and welcome to the Forum. You are not alone. Asthma can be mostly well controlled for most people.


Thank you, however the hospital did the care to then get me home, however said it was down to my GP to sort seeing specialist! So I went to asthma nurse and I have now reached the point she has nothing further to add! The GP has referred me and been waiting 7 months! Only two places and obviously hospital have resources where I am! I am now thinking of going private! The doctors at the hospital said they are there to treat and not do a care plan etc etc! Thanks though

You can ask your GP to refer you to a different asthma specialist center. If you have waited so long, and or get the code from them to make your own appointment through NHS choices

Although my consultant now does my written Asthma plan with me. Originally a few years ago when my asthma started getting much worse I did my care plan with the respiratory nurse attached to the respiratory team at the hospital I went to, in consultation with the registrar. She also gave me a direct contact line to her if I was having problems, in order to get an emergency appointment with the specialist team.

The good respiratory teams have a knowledge base that Gp's just can't be expected to have, they can also prescribe medications which GPs don't usually prescribe.

On the NHS, you can go to any hospital if your GP will allow you. Through NHS choices online, where you see who has appointments available. If you are prepared to travel. The best asthma research comes through the following, Birmingham Heartlands, Royal Brompton Hospital, london, Leicester Glen Parva, respiratory unit, Southampton and Dundee also have good respiratory units. Also St Thomas's in london, combines allergy and Asthma together.

Do try the Asthma U.K. Helpline, as they can help you navigate all of this

If you do choose to go privately choose a consultant who also works in the NHS as well, and ideally based in a specialist Asthma unit. I always look for published research that any doctor I see has done. It's no good seeing a specialized lung cancer doctor if you have asthma !!!, but they can all come under the respiratory banner.

A private appointment will cost between 200gbp and 250gbp, and you may need to pay for specialist spirometry, which will be between 60-100 gbp , as well as blood tests, although you may be able to get those done by your GP



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