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Ask Asthma UK nurses your questions

Ask Asthma UK nurses your questions

Hi all,

The Asthma UK helpline nurses will be online on Friday 1st December to answer all your asthma questions as we head into the winter.

No question too small, reply to this post with your question and the nurses will reply directly.



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20 Replies

I have asthma and can' seem to feel good when I take a lot of the other remedies. I have had allergies since I was in my 30's and just can't seem to find much to take for my symptems of the copd.

Hi Malgirl13

Thanks for your question. Could you tell us a bit more about your allergies and what remedies you take?



I have been treated for asthma for around 3 years. I have had a Hospital admission last year when I had a chest infection and bad attacks. Since then, I’ve deteriorated. I was told I have stage 4 asthma.they referred me to see a consultant. He said he’s not sure if I have asthma in his letter. I had lung function, which made me feel dreadful. I don’t understand the results, but my readings were 4 point something, when they should have been 7.0.

I had another letter from the consultant today saying that my breathing tests were normal, but that my blood tests showed some hypersensitivity. He is sending me for a high resolution ct scan. Does anyone understand what this all means, as I’m unsure about it all.

Hi Abc64

Sometimes when you are referred to a specialist, they look at differential diagnosis (different causes of symptoms) which may or may not be asthma. Because you had a normal breathing test, your consultant may be looking for an alternative cause for your symptoms other than asthma. The CT scan is more advanced than a chest x-ray and provides more information about your chest/lungs. This will be able to help him confirm your diagnosis and treat accordingly.

Hope that helps,


My question is.... is it normal to feel so awful for so long after an attack?

I had mild sporadic asthma as a young child but never really ‘treated’.

Three weeks ago age 34 I got the flu, two weeks ago the gp sent me to a&e, I just couldn’t cope. Turns out I had a serious chest infection and was having an asthma attack. A day in hospital and I could breathe again! I was discharged with pred, antibiotics and inhalers.

Since then I’ve only managed to leave the house a couple of times. Day ten post a&e I managed 2.5 hours at my horse. The relief to get out was amazing though I barely did a thing, but my chest was so painful after I couldn’t sleep and felt exhausted. I wrapped up well but it was like someone had iced my lungs!

It’s made me really nervous to go out now the weather is coming in cold.

When I’m feeling better would it be sensible for me to get a flu jab this winter even though I’ve had flu?



Hi Sadielouise83

It's quite normal to have a chest infection and take longer to recover when you have asthma because this affects your lungs more (than if you didn't have asthma). Some people tell us it can take weeks to feel better and you may still have a cough for a while.

Some things you can do to help when you're out in cold weather is use a scarf. When you breathe through a scarf, it warms the air up. This helps prevents the cold air irritating your airways and triggering an asthma attack.

All you need to do is wrap a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth to warm up the air before you breathe it in.

Carry your reliever inhaler out with you.

This year's strain of flu is worse than before so it's worth speaking to your GP about having the jab.

Hope that helps,


1 like

Can montluckcast make you feel hot?

I know I have spelled the drugs name wrong but I hope you can help me.

Hi asthmatim

It's not a commonly reported side effect, but if you are getting really hot speak to your local pharmacist to check whether this medicine is the main cause. Do talk to your GP if this side effect continues.

Hope that helps,


Thank you for relying me. Over here in Hong Kong we do not have local pharmacy. You recive all your medication from the hospital that your respiratory team work at. I have read on your page before that there where other people that reported the same problem as mine. I did conduct my own experiment and found that it was indeed the montelakast that is causing the over heating feeling. In fact my wife said she thought I was going to turn in the human torch as I was so hot. The main reason I posted the question was I hope you would agree and that I could show my professor to convince him that it is causing this issue. I hope you can help me.

Hi, i was diagnosed with asthma at 10 (am now 43) without any significant problems until 14 months ago. Since then i've had 9 chest infections and problems with wheezing. Am on montelukast and high strength fostair. G.P says am on the brink of being referred to a chest specialist but i don't understand why it has taken so long? I have had a chest xray which was clear but i would really like a ct scan. Occy Health are now on my back to a number of absences at work. Help! Thanks, Helena

Hi HMack

Asthma can usually be managed within a GP surgery when it's mild to moderate. Referrals to specialists are made usually when you don't respond to treatment despite taking it routinely or require increased doses of oral steroid tablets or antibiotics for chest infections. When a referral is made, it can be some time before you see them. Some hospitals have a 6 month wait. If your chest X-ray is clear the chances are high that your CT scan will be clear as well. CT scans are normally done by specialists and not routinely for asthma.

Sometimes it takes different medications to get your asthma under control (the effects may take some time), so despite being on Fostair and Montelukast at high strengths, your GP may need to switch this to get better control.

If you've had a few absences to your asthma, it's worth speaking to your Occy Health dept about a referral for a medical assessment. if you're in a union, the union rep might be able to help.

Hope that helps,


1 like

Thanks Dita. Yes, very helpful. Helena

I have had asthma since the birth of my first child which was over 37 years ago . My asthma came on hard and aggressive and has been that way ever since . I am always wheezing , coughing and SOB with physical activity .. despite taking ventolin , symbicort , uniphyllin . Monteklast doesn’t seem to do anything .. I have steroids whenever there is a bad flare up , which seems more often these days .

Questions -

is it possible chronic asthmatics ever have days when they are asthma free and feel normal ?

Does long term chronic asthma inevitably permanently damage airways?

leading to COPD?

There are lots of articles / posts around asthma medication leaving us short on essentials vitamins .. is this a fact ?

Which vitamins are they and should long term chronic asthmatics take them ?

Are there tests the Dr can run to prove this ?

Thank you

Hi Antmara

Asthma is a variable condition so you'll have up and down times. Long term chronic asthma that is poorly controlled can lead to permanent changes in the airways leading to COPD, Poor control means having symptoms despite taking the right level of steroid inhaler. This would mean you wouldn't need to use your reliever inhaler more than 3 times a week.

There is limited research on vitamins linked to use to taking inhalers. We know vitamins are important to have because of the way the inhalers work in the lungs. There is some research about vitamin D: nhs.uk/news/2017/10October/...

Public Health England recommends everyone in the UK to take 10 micrograms dose of vitamin D daily especially in winter so it's worth speaking to your GP about getting tested.

Hope that helps,


Thank you Dita

I use my blue inhaler at least 4 - 6 times a day , everyday and couldn’t manage without it .. should I be taking more puffs of my symbicort vs ventolin ?

Would a CT scan determine what exactly is going on with my lungs ?

My asthma has always been hard to control . I wonder if it is something else and alongside Asthma ?

Thank you for your time

Hi Antmara

If you need your reliever inhaler more than three times a week, your asthma is not as well managed as it could be so we'd suggest making an appt to review your treatment with your GP or asthma nurse. If you don't have a written asthma action plan, you can download one here and fill it in with your GP. bit.ly/2wl1ECh

Please call the AUK nurse helpline on 0300 222 5800 (M-F, 9-5) for further advice and support about your medications.



Hi this is my 6th day of steroids for my asthma only have tomorrrow left. I feel a lot better but still abit of cold and still still it’s in my throat. Is this normal thank you karen

Hi Closey66

If you're not feeling back to normal, it's worth going back to your GP as you may need a follow on course just to get you back to normal.

Hope that helps,


Hello. I was diagnosed with asthma 3 years ago. I didn't have an tests. I've been getting steadily worse over the last 18 months. I can't walk far without getting shortness of breath. They said I'm stage 4. The recently sent me to see a consultant, who isn't sure I have asthma. he ordered lung function and blood tests. I had a letter the other day saying that my breathing test was normal, apart from the way the oxygen moves between my lungs and my blood, so they have booked a high resolution ct scan. Also, my blood test suggests hypersensitivity. I am also aware that my neutrophils are 1.8 and my platelets are 136. What does this all mean?

Hi Abc64

These test results in isolation are difficult to interpret so it's worth going through it thoroughly with your consultant so you can understand your diagnosis. Understanding respiratory conditions aren't easy so do write your questions down for your consultant so you can go through them together.

Sorry we can't be more helpful.


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