New here and looking for advice... - Asthma UK communi...

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New here and looking for advice...

KatieJ28
KatieJ28

Hi,

I'm new here and I'm not really sure how things work but I've been struggling with my asthma over the last couple of weeks quite a lot, having chest pain and tightness, difficulty breathing - my breathing has been quite shallow, especially at night - I've been coughing a lot and using my reliever 3-5 times a day.

I was diagnosed with asthma a few years ago and I've never really been told what is normal and when I need to get help, as in go back to the doctor, or what an asthma attack would look like, and when I would need to call for an ambulance.

Over the last week or so my peak flow has been around 400 in the mornings and around 450 and occasionally 500 at night, my best score is 520. I'm not sure if it being 400 in the morning is too low or not and if the symptoms are to be considered normal?

Just looking for some advice really on what to do now, how to deal with having asthma and what to expect in an attack or when to call the ambulance for help?

Any advice would be really appreciated,

Thank you,

Katie xxx

18 Replies
oldestnewest

Best advice is to visit asthma uk website for information and advice. They have an asthma hepline Mon-Friday 9-5pm. Number on site. They are very helpful. You need to educate yourself and need an asthma plan. This tells you when you are ok,flare up and what to do with an asthma attack.

Google to get your peak flow calculated on male/female and age. Mine should be 420 but best is 500. An asthma told me its so good because I swim.

It sounds like your asthma is not under control. You have been having symptoms of breathlessness and tight chest. The golden rule is if you use your ventolin more than 3 times in a week then you need to see your doctor asap. Using it 3-4 a day is not under control.

So go back to your doctor and get an appointment with an asthma nurse.

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to elanaoali

Okay thank you. I will be sure to check out the site and educate myself, the helpline sounds very useful and I think I will give them a call.

I will also make an appointment with my asthma nurse as soon as I can so I can get advice and get it back under control.

Thank you for your response,

Katie xxx

Superzob
Superzob in reply to KatieJ28

Good idea. I wouldn't get too hung up on peak flows, as these vary widely between individuals. The important thing is how you feel and, if you're getting chest tightness and needing the reliever often, then it might suggest that you need a higher dose or different preventer. Hope it works out for you soon.

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Superzob

Okay, I will try to keep that in mind and thank you.

Katie xxx

Hidden
Hidden

Ideally you should only be taking you reliever a few times a week, it sounds like you need to be taking a preventative inhaler, something like clenil, which should help with your tight chest and breathing.

Im sure the nurse will go through this with you, if not make an appointment with the doctor.

Cheers

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Hidden

Yeah I am taking a preventer 2 puffs 2 times a day. I've also now got an appointment with the asthma nurse at my doctor surgery so should be getting sorted soon.

Thank you,

Katie xxx

Hi katie,

So asthma isn't a one size fits all...

And generally 80% or above of your peak flow is good (green)

Below 80% and above 50% is (yellow)

50% or below is a medical emergency and needs an ambulance (red)

But you can also do it from symptoms

No symptoms (green)

Slight breathlessness/cough (yellow)

Can't string a sentence together for breathlessness (red)

Taking reliever medication with little to no effect (red)

If your in orange and are having trouble returning to green (peak flow or symptoms) you need to be seen ASAP if your in the red you need an ambulance

Chio

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Chip_y2kuk

Thank you so much, this is really useful.

Katie xxx

Chip_y2kuk
Chip_y2kuk in reply to KatieJ28

Don't suppose you've got hayfever have you??

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Chip_y2kuk

No I don't...the asthma nurse asked the same thing.

Chip_y2kuk
Chip_y2kuk in reply to KatieJ28

It's pollen season and would explain why your asthma symptoms are getting worse if you had hayfever (that's why i asked)

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Chip_y2kuk

Yeah that would make sense...she's put me on an allergy tablet and a stronger preventer inhaler so hopefully that'll help.

Chip_y2kuk
Chip_y2kuk in reply to KatieJ28

I've noticed I need more preventer and an extra antihistamine helps with my peak flow lately... I'm also allergic to nearly every pollen going and dust

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Chip_y2kuk

Sounds good that it helps and that sucks, it must make summer difficult to enjoy....?

Chip_y2kuk
Chip_y2kuk in reply to KatieJ28

As long as i stay dosed up no not really... if I forget the extra antihistamines then yes it certainly knocks the wind out of me sails

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Chip_y2kuk

It's good that you can keep on top of it and know what to do to stay well.

Hello, I’ve suspected my own asthma since 2005 but it wasn’t terrible. I was diagnosed 2017 and I’m still unsure about my own symptoms. My peak flow right now is around 410 in the morning and varies from 420-450 in the evenings at the moment. I find if I’m using my reliever inhaler more I need to be more careful and possibly contact my nurse again. The thing I find the hardest to deal with is that sometimes when I’m struggling to breathe I don’t use my blue inhaler because I think I’m fine, or that I’ll be fine - however when I get round to using it I feel better pretty quickly and I feel like this is me preventing my own attacks. So really I’d just watch out for changes yourself. You’ll (eventually) learn what sets you off, what to avoid, when to take your reliever and when you can cope with out. I’m still learning :)

KatieJ28
KatieJ28 in reply to Carriejen

Hi,

Yeah I'm not that good at recognizing symptoms but my nurse helped me when I went to see her earlier this week. The new inhaler and allergy tablets are working really well and the symptoms have pretty much gone away!

That's really good that you can prevent your own attacks and know that the blue inhaler helps.

I will be sure to look out for changes. I'm sure with time we'll both get better at recognizing symptoms, when to use our inhalers and when to get extra help!

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