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I'm new, having flare up, any ideas?

Hi everyone, new here.

I’ve had asthma all my life but it has been extremely well controlled for most of my life, allowing me to do some pretty intense cycling events etc and not need my blue inhaler at all.

I’m 28 now and am in the middle of what seems to be a flare up of sorts. It started about 3 weeks ago following a couple of weeks on Sirdupla, having been changed to that from Seretide 125. I was willing to try that for a few weeks but found things were not as well controlled as usual. I was switched back by my GP to Seretide but the following couple of days things just got worse.

I went back to my GP as my Ventolin wasn’t giving me the relief it usually does and he thought I may have had some type of infection so was on antibiotics (Clarithromycin) for 5 days. Went back 8 days later still feeling the same and was put on steroids (Prednisolone 30mg) for 5 days which seemed to help a bit (also had blood test and chest x-ray done at the hospital, both fine) but then went downhill again.

I was quite anxious on Sunday morning and my wife took me to A&E where I had bloods, x-ray and ecg (heart monitor thing) but basically told that I was just aware of my breathing. I was reassured it was nothing life threatening, but it definitely isn’t all in my head! Back to the GP yesterday and he is out of ideas, has referred me to the respiratory clinic (which is a long wait) and that is it. Said it would be dangerous to be given more steroids.

So I’m off work as I’m too out of breath to move around much with no real signs of improvement and nothing to take except my blue inhaler which doesn’t do much.

In that time I also went to see the Asthma nurse who told me my inhaler technique was poor, which has now been corrected, but still no better after doing that properly for a week.

Could it be a virus of some kind, I haven’t had any other symptoms of the viruses that are going round at the moment? No cough, no real wheeze, no fever etc just had some aches on my chest and back but they could be from the laboured breathing.

We have a second cat that we got 3 months ago, already had the other a few years but seems odd that it would wait 2 months before this happens.

Sorry for the long post. Just wanted to get this out there. Any other ideas?

7 Replies
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Sorry to hear you had such a rough time. Best Advice I can give you is ring the asthma uk helpline 0300 222 5800 open Mon-Fri 9 am-5 pm nurses who are brillant.

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I am like you. I have been of work since November with asthma. Nurse thinks I have had a virus, which has made asthma symptoms linger.

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Do you feel like you've had a virus? I would go along with that but I haven't had many other symptoms except my head feeling congested and achy chest and back. Guess these things affect people differently.

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I felt like I had a cold the first week, but I was really breathless needed 3 courses of oral steroids, had a trip to drs on call, and also got taken into hospital. Now 3 weeks later, and I still struggle to carry heavy things.

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Hi, sorry to hear you are struggling controlling your asthma. I was in hospital with pneumonia over Christmas and on my discharge the Respiratory Nurse started me on a preventative med called Montelukast (10mg tablet taken before sleep). I may not have a true reading of this meds effectiveness at the moment as I am on a course of pred but it appears to helping my asthma symptoms. A fellow asthmatic hospital inmate also recommended it to me. Mention it to your asthma nurse or gp as anything is worth a go. Hope all goes well

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I have been on montelukast for a couple of years, and I am also on fostair 200/6 and I have still found it hard to control my asthma over the last 6 weeks. Xx

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Just thought I'd update this. Currently in the respiratory Ward in hospital to be discharged tomorrow after a 5 day stay. I had a minor attack on Saturday evening, called 111 and the first responder took me into A&E. The doc wanted me to go as my peak flow was fine, but I had had enough at that point and insisted I couldn't leave as I felt the same after 3 Nebs.

For info my peak flow in hospital was 530, benchmark which was set during this flare up is 620, but when I'm fit and healthy I feel like I could probably blow off the end of the thing. I knew I was bad though, so had to insist I wasn't right.

I've now seen a lung specialist, an excellent asthma nurse and a physio to talk about breathing exercises and training my diaphragm to do more work. I've had many tests done which all seem to indicate that it is just poorly controlled asthma. My lungs are slightly hyper inflated but that seems to be because I've been hyperventilating when tight.

Moved to fostair with a spacer, montelukast and ventolin when needed. Prednisilone for a few more days.

Sounds like I'll be coming back for plenty of follow ups with these specialists so that is reassuring. Not sure what has caused it but it seems it could be a multitude of small factors as well as me ignoring the symptoms as I'm usually so well controlled.

This has shaken me quite a bit, as I said I'm normally so well controlled I haven't known how to deal with this especially well. I really feel for all of you who have this really bad, getting back to where I was seems impossible at the moment but hopefully I'll get there in time.

Sorry for the rambling post.

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