Asthma UK community forum

Feeling quite poorly all the time, is normal in winter for asthma?

Hi Everybody, wishing you all the best for 2018. I posted a couple of months ago about how my (late onset) asthma suddenly went out of control this autumn and started reacting all over the place to anything and everything. It seems to have calmed down a little, that is, it's not so volatile, but has 'calmed' down to almost a constant 24/7 asthmatic feeling of un-ease, congestion and tightness, breathless if I walk too fast, as if the exacerbation has made everything permanently worse, peak flow is down quite a bit too. GP trying me on some antibiotics in case there is some underlying infection (mucus is thin and clear but more than usual); but am not seeing much improvement in symptoms, although peak flow seems to be back on the way up, at least a little for the couple of days I've been on the ABs. As a relative newbie, am still trying to get to grips with asthma and its management, and so wondered if some of you find basically exacerbations generally grumble on for a few months, or if in winter it is 'normal' for some to feel generally poorly and asthmatic for large portions of the time? My previous winters have all had their challenges but nothing like this. Thanks for any help or reassurances, feeling a bit worried and low.

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There's no definitive answer to this unfortunately as we all experience triggers in different ways. This winter so far, I feel much the same (I'm currently on a 4-month steroid programme because my asthma hasn't been well controlled for a good while now.

I would suggest that, assuming the sputum samples come back clear, that you speak to a medic about your management plan. It may well be that you simply need something stronger, or more of what you have to settle it back down again.

Your PF might be an early sign of recovery, so that's positive anyway.

Also, check for possible triggers; winter can cause damp to develop, or the kind of humid, airless atmosphere that occurs when we shut ourselves inside out of the cold can cause bugs to thrive. Plus make sure the usual suspects (pets, smoke, etc.) are not a factor.

I'm sure once you get your medication & everything sorted you will feel much better.

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Thanks for your reply, Minushabens. I am also on several weeks of steroids, which though they were very slow in helping I am attributing the decrease in the volatility to, but I would have hoped they would have been more effective currently. I wasn't asked to provide a sputum sample, but think sounds like a good idea.

I am due to see a consultant quite soon, as the asthma went so out of control in the autumn, so will see if there is any more/ different medication they can suggest (feel as if I am on max inhaler meds so not sure where else there is to go). I know that aspergillosis is on the list to check for. I am trying to air the house/ or at least the bedroom each day with the window open to mitigate against central heating stuffiness. Our heating seems to be either too hot or off, thermostat does not seem to allow for a happy medium. No pets or smoke here, but a neighbour's all-day bonfire which filled the house and garden with smoke at the end of August set me off badly and may have precipitated the autumn flare I suppose (but felt I was heading downhill in August already as it was so wet and damp).

Thanks again :)

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Such as it is, my experience is that steroids can take their time to tackle an embedded attack. It's good that you are seeing a consultant, as you probably aren't on any maximum as such, just the upper limit that your GP feels comfortable with.

If aspergillus becomes an issue for you, let me know as I suffer with ABPA on top of the asthma.

Neighbours lighting fires are right up there on my 'come the glorious day, you'll be first up against the firing squad' list :D

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Thanks again. So looking forward to that ‘glorious day’ 😊. He (neighbour) is very difficult indeed.

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Very good advice from Minushabens, especially the bit about the glorious day! 😂 Hope you’ll be feeling much better soon. At least we’re out of garden bonfire weather for now. It’s what we all dread!

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