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First Asthma Attack Ever - Recovery Time?

Hi there. I have never had asthma before, however do have hay fever, some years worse than others. Back in June 2017 I slept with the windows open in 32 degree heat and there was a thunderstorm in the middle of the night, I woke up with a really tight chest and couldn't breathe properly. The doctor said due to the storm, the pollen and moisture combined to get into my lungs. He gave me a blue reliever inhaler and the symptoms went away after a few days and I was totally fine.

Then when on holiday in India in August 2017, out of the blue I got a tight chest one evening (it had been heavily raining that day too), despite medication the symptoms got worse over the next 4 days and I eventually ended up in hospital for about a week. They said it was an allergic asthma attack due to a combination of the humidity, pollution, dust & pollen out there as it was monsoon season. They gave me IV steroids, antibiotics, antihistamines and nebuliser treatment. Then a course of different pills and nebulisers to take for 10 days after discharge.

Now back in the UK, I saw my GP and explained what happened. He has put on me on the brown preventer inhaler clenil (2 puffs twice day) and told me to use the blue reliever inhaler as needed. Been on this treatment around 2 weeks and have noticed some improvement, peak flow has also improved slightly and I've barely had to use the blue inhaler. He said after another 2 weeks if there is still improvement, he will look to reduce the preventer inhaler dosage.

So in summary it has now been around a month since I was hospitalised in India and 2 weeks since I started the inhalers in the UK.

While I feel better I still don't feel normal. My lungs still feel heavy, I still feel as though when I breathe in I haven't totally filled up my lungs, I randomly experience a tight chest at times during the day which then goes away by itself and still have pain in the middle of my chest and around my back.

I know I am still on the road to recovery, but how long until I start to feel normal again? This is my first experience with any sort of asthma so any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

5 Replies
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It can be months to hours depending on the severity it sounds like you've had a pretty bad run of luck and i would give yourself 8 weeks

They also say inhaler steroids can take 3 month's to take total effect

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Yes you can definitely say I've had a bad run of luck! Thank you for your comment, this is all very new to me so I appreciate the info :)

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You may also need a medication review and a stronger/ different preventer I started on clenil then went to fostair and have recently been swaped to seretide (getting stronger each time)

But sadly it does take time to recover and your lungs are something that you can't just switch off to let heal so they take a bit longer

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I too have hay fever linked asthma .

Everything you describe is classic - attacks triggered by rain and worse at night .

In my case this has been ongoing for about ten years , but a year ago took a real turn for e worse . I now know that I had a continuous attack that lasted for eight months - up until I received the correct treatment for it . Correct treatment , and using the inhalers in the CORRECT way are key .

It has taken me about six months to come off the inhalers . First I was taking a twice daily preventer . When the symptoms had settled down I reduced this to once a day for a couple of months before finally stopping altogether .

As you can see there can be quite a long time scale to all this .

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The scary thing for me was that the tight chest just came out of the blue! Thankfully I spoke with my doctor about proper inhaler technique and i'm also using a spacer so that definitely helps. Sorry to hear you had such a bad time and I hope you're feeling better now :)

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