Catching my breath: Hi, I’ve just been... - Asthma UK communi...

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Catching my breath

Greenfingers2014 profile image

Hi, I’ve just been diagnosed with viral asthma and started taking the blue inhaler last Monday. Was also given the brown inhaler last Friday (so on it just over a week). I’m on the last day of a 10 day course of steroid tablets and just in the middle of a course of antibiotics.

Any advice? Im having problems taking deep breaths to get enough air into my lungs - sitting or walking. The blue inhaler doesn’t really help - when I take 6-10 puffs it eases. I’m taking my blue inhaler more than I should. Olbas oil is helping when inhaled.

The soonest appointment I could get with an asthma nurse is in 2 weeks which seems a long time away. Especially when I find it hard to sleep! The doctor couldn’t really offer anything.

Any advice?

12 Replies

Sounds like you've got a very bad chest infection only my opinion , if you dont feel any better soon go to A&E department dont leave it for two weeks .

Thanks. It all started with a chest infection according to the doctor. She has said my lungs are clear, O2 level good, no temperature etc. Will do if not feeling better

EmmaF91 profile image
EmmaF91Community Ambassador

Hi sorry to hear that you’re not doing well atm

If your getting short of breath and your blue inhaler isn’t lasting for 4 hours, or if 10 puffs doesn’t help,or if you can’t eat/sleep/talk without struggling I’d head to a&e. If you decide you don’t need to head in, I’d defo get a GP appt/phone call for Monday!

For ‘home remedies’, I find that a hot bath/shower, and steam inhalation can help to ‘relax’ my lungs and shift any gunk sitting in my chest. If you’re having problems getting to sleep, you can try elevating the head of your mattress (stick pillows underneath or on top til your in a ‘reclined’ position) - it’s not great for the mattress if used long term, but short term it can help if you’re struggling - if your constantly waking up through - a&e! If you find olbas oil helps, then you could also try vaporub... ginger tea (with/without lemon and honey) may also help.

Hope this helps and that things start to calm down for you soon

Emma x

Thank you for the advice. My doctor thinks the blue inhaler is working and wants to wait for the results of my asthma review in 2 weeks! She says my chest is clear, temp and O2 ok. I can’t wait that long :(

I’m taking between 4-10 puffs every 2 or so hours (10 in the evening) depending on effect. Getting off to sleep is hard without Olbas oil! Am doing the head elevation thing.

If it carries on tomorrow I’ll go to A&E

EmmaF91 profile image
EmmaF91Community Ambassador in reply to Greenfingers2014

It does sound like you’ve got a whoppa of an infection! If you’re struggling to breath (esp as your currently on pred) then it defo time to head somewhere now not in 2 weeks. Hospitals can give you different treatments which may help the symptoms a little more (though may not last til the ‘end’ of the cold)

Hope you feel better soon x

Thanks so much. I think if I’m not feeling right tomorrow I’ll head to A&E

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

Ugh some doctors are overly fixated on wheeze and sats. I agree that A&E may be needed if your inhaler persistently isn't helping, but even if you don't go there, could you get an appt with a different GP sooner, or go to out of hours? I think this doctor is not getting it, and should be paying attention to the signs you have of your asthma being poorly controlled despite steroids. I agree 2 weeks is far too long given how you are.

Maybe look on Asthma UK's website so you can go in armed with knowledge if they start saying oh no wheeze sats ok you're fine! I almost never wheeze and can maintain sats even during a bad attack. I can also have a chest infection with none of the obvious signs ie my chest is clear, no temperature or even coughing up gunk - sometimes I have found I have one only because it set my asthma off and they did an X-ray in A&E.

Also just a note that if the steam makes you feel worse don't persist - it can help some people and make others worse, asthma is odd! I can't handle steam or in fact Olbas oil, and once had an argument with a GP who was insisting I had a cold and not asthma and clearly decided I was just being difficult when I said I couldn't inhale with Olbas oil. I hope it does help you though.

Thank you so much. If things continue/get worse tonight I’ll be heading to A&E. I never have a wheeze when I see the doctor, usually in the morning. I do get it though at night! My peak flow is 400/420 which they say is good but I feel bad!

Lysistrata profile image
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador in reply to Greenfingers2014

Yep my peak flow doesn't help much either. It doesn't drop in the expected way, plus my actual best is way better than my predicted so what looks excellent is just middling (predicted best 470, actual best 630!) I have been hospitalised with a peak flow of 400 before, because they thankfully were looking at other things.

Anyone who has ever done a lot of singing/played wind or brass instruments, or played a lot of sport may well have a best that's much better than predicted, plus there is natural variation ie your predicted is a population average, which I don't think they tend to remember. I find a much better test than the number alone is how it responds to Ventolin. Does it go up, and if it does, how long does that last? When I'm heading into an attack it will respond less and less for shorter periods and will finally just stop responding at all. As I get better it starts to climb and maintain better.

Hope you start to feel better!

I haven’t been to A&E because yesterday was a good day and I managed to sleep a few hours. I had a chest X-ray at the hospital and felt quite good so walked home. It was only an hour but the rest of the day has been constant catching of breath.

I’d found some stretching exercises that made me feel better yesterday. I’ve done the twice already. Might need to do them again.

I don’t want to take the reliever too much. Maybe I walked too far too soon? My reliever worked so well yesterday!! I’m really annoyed! Sorry I’m new to this and want to get this managed properly

It’s easy to panic. Just want to see what others have done

Don’t fret. I sometimes think when I read many of the posts on here that most asthmatics are peeing in the dark with some ‘professionals’. Personally, I have found you have to be really persistent - tough when you’re feeling ill though!

Lots of love & luck

Liz x

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