What next?: Hello All! I was diagnosed... - Asthma UK communi...

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What next?

kshull13
kshull13

Hello All!

I was diagnosed with "mild persistent asthma" this past April and am still having symptoms almost every day. I have improved since April, but now generally it's just tightness/breathlessness and productive coughing that lasts for about an hour every morning. I generally have no issue sleeping (only wake up about one night a month with symptoms).

I'm 75inches, 144 pounds and my Peak Flow Average is 450. My best has been 510 and my lowest has been 430.

I guess I'm feeling defeated it has been so long and have some general questions:

1. Based on what I have said does it sound like I have severe or moderate asthma, rather than mild persistent (which my specialist claims)?

2. Is it normal I am still experiencing symptoms pretty much daily? Does it mean my asthma is uncontrolled or is this just going to be the rest of my life?

3. Is it normal for it to take this long (5 months) for asthma to be controlled?

I really appreciate any and all feedback.

4 Replies
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Hi kshull13

We've got some tips about getting your asthma under control: bit.ly/2J6haur

If you haven't already we'd suggest downloading as asthma action plan and filling it in with your GP or nurse. If you use a written asthma action plan, you’re four times less likely to have an asthma attack. If you've been given a preventer inhaler, take it every day as prescribed - usually morning and evening.

Nowadays, asthma treatment and self-management is aimed at keeping you symptom-free and controlled. Do have a chat with one of the asthma nurses on 0300 222 5800 or via WhatsApp chat on 07378 606 728 (M-F, 9-5), they'll be able to talk you through your symptoms and triggers and advise what to do next.

Hope that helps,

Dita

Hi! I don't have much in the way of advice but have similarly been experiencing issues every day since May (breathlessness/tightness/deep cough). Prior to May my asthma was very mild and I rarely used my reliever inhaler, but now I use it almost every day. My GP referred me to a specialist, who I saw in July. He added a new inhaler to use alongside my existing Fostair preventer - Spiriva handihaler.

My issues aren't as bad as when things started in May, but I am still experiencing symptoms daily. I next see my specialist again in November and will do my best to bring this forward if things don't improve over the next month.

1. I'm no expert on the categories but I wonder whether severe asthma is asthma which seriously affects your quality of life and leads to repeated hospital stays, and is life-threatening?

2. I would say that experiencing symptoms every day means the asthma is uncontrolled.

3. I have read on this forum that asthma flares can take many months to resolve. I think the high pollen we had this summer triggered mine (although I've never previously had issues).

Has your specialist tried you on different medications?

kshull13
kshull13 in reply to Mogget

Hi!

Thanks so so much for your reply! I'm sorry you asthma has gotten worse-- that must be really hard. I find asthma symptoms to be all consuming at times and I hope your next appointment goes well and that you're on your way to NO SYMPTOMS!

1. I think you are right-- judging by what I have read, severe asthma requires annual hospitalization at least once. I think it's just that my current asthma is uncontrolled. My PF is relatively normal for my age and my spirometry was "normal" I believe. I get confused between how severe my asthma is and how controlled it is. Also these symptoms have lasted for so long, I'm worried they will never go away! Hopefully it is just a matter of adjusting my medication. I have my next appointment in two days so hopefully I will get some questions answered and my medication can be adjusted.

2.My triggers seem to be stress, heat and exhaustion. I had a blood test and they all came back negative for allergies. I live in Hong Kong however, and the pollution here is terrible so that may have something to do with it also.

My specialist has experimented with my medication some, but not too much. I see her every month.

Currently I am taking:

Ventolin (nebulizing once every day)

FLixotide-The steriod- (nebulizing 5 days a week)

Spirvia handihaler(just like you) every night before bed

She seems to be slowly lowering my Flixotide as before I was using it 7 days a week.

How has the handihaler worked for you? have you noticed a difference?

Thanks again for your message!

Mogget
Mogget in reply to kshull13

Thank you! I hope for no symptoms too, or at least just occasionally like it always used to be. Wishing you the same too! That's great that you're able to see your specialist so often. My PF is only somewhat lower than normal and my spirometry was fine too when the specialist did it. Yet I still struggle and the reliever inhaler works, so it is asthma. I've been using the handihaler since mid-July, and I do feel better overall than I did back then, but I don't know whether that's down to the inhaler or the pollen levels dropping. How long have you been using yours? It sounds like your triggers are tricky ones to avoid - but your preventer medication should really prevent them from affecting you - so fingers crossed your specialist can find the right mix for you!

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