Just learning ..: Hi another question... - Asthma UK communi...

Asthma UK community forum

16,283 members20,879 posts

Just learning ..


Hi another question from me as I’m new to this, hope everyone is well. I’m not seeing the GP til the 26th so just thought I’d ask some more advice.

My Gp has given me a peak flow meter, prednisolone for 7 days and a ventolin inhaler. I predominately spoke about shortness of breath in the first appointment and he said take the ventolin (2 puffs) when you get symptoms.

Do you think he just means when I get the shortness of breath or also the Tightness in my chest I get as well? We didn’t speak much about general tightness and cough etc. (I think this is a trial of treatment so I don’t want to do the wrong thing if we haven’t discussed it).

Thank you in advance


9 Replies

I personally would say take it if you have tightness in your chest. Give asthma Uk a call and speak to a nurse, they give good advice and would be able to answer most/all of your questions.

LeiLey in reply to KnPoa

Thank you that’s a good idea, I didn’t realise you could ask them if haven’t been diagnosed asthmatic but they sound like they are great. Thanks LeiLey

Hi LeiLey,

You do not need to limit the amount of Ventolin you take. You can take it whenever you experience symptoms, any symptoms, which includes a tight chest and you don’t need to limit that to two puffs at a time. I tend to take two and if I am not desperate, I wait a while to see the effect that has and if I am not right I take another two and so on. If you are using “too much” then, as you know, it is a sign you need something else. Make a note of how much you are needing and this will help your GP to understand where you are at.

In an emergency you can take 10 with one minute in between.

Are you using your peak flow meter on a daily basis? I take mine 4 times a day. One as soon as I get up, one about an hour after my meds, one before I take my meds at night, and one about an hour later before I go to bed.

However, that is for the future. I notice you don’t have a preventer inhaler at the moment

As you haven’t been given a preventer inhaler yet, I don’t know if this method of recording is suitable for you just yet. Maybe twice a day would suffice.

You can download a chart from the asthma U.K. main site to record your readings. (By the way, it is the best of 3 readings.)

I imagine your GP will be using this to monitor the effect of the prednisone on your condition.

So...a bit of background. It is quite usual when asthma is suspected to do a test called spirometry which involves blowing into a tube 3times which measures how well you can empty you lungs. You then take 4 puffs of Ventolin, wait 20 minutes and blow again 3 times. This is to see how well you respond to treatment. Unfortunately this kind of test is no longer being performed as routine because of Covid. ( Not sensible to be blowing into something someone else has used.)

So why am I mentioning it? Well... I’m thinking you could do a similar thing with your peak flows. When you need your Ventolin take a reading. Take the Ventolin, wait 20 mins, take another reading. Perhaps write this information on the bottom of your peak flow chart. I don’t think you need to do this every time you use your Ventolin, maybe just once or twice a day? Maybe fit it into your routine. For example, if you normally need your Ventolin when you get up, do it then.

Reading through this, it all seems a bit of information overload! I think what I am trying to do, is point you in the direction of obtaining the information your GP might need, or at the very least, would find helpful, in reaching a diagnosis.

Here’s hoping you start to feel better soon.

LeiLey in reply to Troilus

Hi thank you for your reply, it is all very helpful advice just what I was looking for.

Yes I am doing peak flows around 2/3 times a day, first thing in the morning, then have the prednisolone. I feel a bit better after in the chest area after using the ventolin, but I may need to try it in the night as I’m waking up coughing, may be to do with my chest tightness or something different entirely lol, there’s lots to learn isn’t there!

The Gp said he may be able to diagnose me when I go back next week but if he’s unsure he will refer me to respiratory. It may just be long term effects from the Covid in may. I do have evidence of scarring in my lungs after a scan in July but they decided not to refer me for anything further back then.

Thank you for your reply and tips, hope you’re well too, LeiLey

Gareth57 in reply to LeiLey

Hi, I was diagnosed (by an asthmatic doctor) purely on the reversibility test using a peakflow meter, so I would suggest when you don’t feel “right” take a peakflow reading, use your ventolin and take another peakflow after 15-20 minutes. Try to record all these episodes on a chart to show the doctor.

LeiLey in reply to Gareth57

Thank you for your reply Gareth, yes I will do that thank you, and I’ll make sure I write it down on a chart.

I am to take the prednisolone for 7 mornings also but will definitely try the ventolin when I don’t feel right in my chest. Hope you’re ok

Thanks LeiLey

Troilus in reply to LeiLey

Hi again,

It sounds like you have a good GP.

As for Ventolin, it is well worth trying it when you cough at night. A night time cough can be a sign of asthma. I have also found that if you have a productive cough, taking it can make it easier to get the phlegm off your chest.

The thing with Ventolin is, you don’t know if it will help until you try it. So if you have some kind of respiratory thing that is not normal for you, give it a go and see if it helps. You will then get to recognise situations when it is of use to you, and when it isn’t. It’s all about finding what works for you.

You seem to be getting the hang of it! Hopefully your GP will be able to shed more light when you see him next week.

LeiLey in reply to Troilus

Yes he is very good. I have heard of the nighttime cough being associated with asthma, I often wake up with a very tickly cough almost choking sometimes so I will try to take it when that next happens. I agree I will try it more often when I don’t feel right in my chest and just see if it does help. Thank you

LeiLey in reply to LeiLey

Hi just a bit of an update. Could be a coincidence but I’m starting to feel a bit better in myself, the breathlessness on exertion and tightness i feel is improving (hope I haven’t spoken to soon). I have managed a bit higher on the peak flow, still have a tickly cough but I think that will take time. I wonder if the prednisolone has kicked in already after 3 days, also could be the inhaler, but I suppose the gp will advise me on the 26th. Hope everyone is ok, LeiLey x

You may also like...