Question. : Anyone else got asthma and... - Asthma UK communi...

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Dl98 profile image

Anyone else got asthma and their peak flow doesn’t move much but still feel breathless. Also recently been put on Spiriva. Trying to work out my type and severity of my asthma for my next pip form but drs here don’t use severity classes on asthma

10 Replies

Yes I had this last week. Needed steroids for 7 days to stop the breathlessness. My peak flow was going down a bit but not enough for a and e to do anything. I had to stay off work. I have some flare ups where I’m breathless and other where I’m wheezing.

Some people find their peak flow isn't a great indicator of issues as it doesn't drop "helpfully" alongside symptoms. However it should still increase after using ventolin if the symptoms are caused by asthma (take pf when symptomatic, use blue inhaler and repeat pf about 15 mins later).

However breathlessness is caused by many things, even in asthmatics, so it's worth investigating other causes that could be causing your breathlessness alongside your asthma - ie so the symptoms are actually being caused by something else. It's difficult to fathom what's what sometimes but worth persevering because different causes require different treatments and no breathlessness (or cough or tight chest) is going to be improved by any number of asthma meds if the root cause of it is something else, but could be easily sorted by looking bat other options as well. But as I say, it's not easy when someone has asthma as well!

It’s been on my record since I was 3 years old. 2001 it was diagnosed. Was a long time ago

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to Dl98

What has?

My asthma. All I know is my eosinophils are slightly raised 0.71 I think

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to Dl98

Ah ok. I wasn't saying that you don't have asthma but even asthmatics can have breathlessness that isn't caused by their asthma - at the same time as having asthma. So if there are times where your peak flow is ok but you are breathless, it could be something else causing your breathlessness at that time, while your asthma is obviously still there but is actually controlled at that point. Breathlessness caused by something else wouldn't improve with asthma meds but would require a different approach so it would be important to pinpoint a cause so the right treatment could be sought.

Are you on wet or dry inhalers? Very occasionally, patients can have a reaction to the wet aerosol inhalers and do much better on the dry powder inhalers.

If Spiriva hasn't made a difference to your symptoms after 4 weeks then you really should go back to your doctor in order to discuss the lack of progress and to consider different treatments. All new medications should be reviewed in order to establish whether or not they're working as expected and to make adjustments to treatment, if necessary.

Peak flow isn't always useful but the fact that you feel your breathlessness hasn't improved suggests despite medication your asthma isn't controlled. Sometimes it takes a while to try different meds in order to find what works - we're all different and one size doesn't fit all. As long as you give new meds 4 to 8 weeks you'll be able to assess whether or not they're working for you - some meds take a while to have a full affect.

Along side asthma, dysfunctional breathing can also work against the patient. DB can cause breathlessness as the respiratory system is put under stress by incorrect breathing. This is a useful link and DB is something to consider/rule out:

In relation to your PIP application it is irrelevant how you are categorised. It is about how your asthma (and any other issues) affects you day to day. Not want condition is.Don’t know if you have any support with forms but CAB can be helpful including their website. Also a website called has useful information on how to complete forms.

Like I say what is important is how you are affected day to day. And always consider your worse days and if you can do something but takes a long /unreasonable amount of time then you must make that clear and say you can’t do it!

I think all the above advice is spot on really what bev said about PIP absolutely irrelevant what conditions you have it's how it affects you on a day to day.

twinkly29 has sound advice also re breathlessness. As I've learnt breathlessness isn't always driven by the long standing diagnosis of asthma alone which in a way can make things more difficult trying to get to the bottom of things.

But if you've developed anything like dysfunctional breathing disorder which some asthmatics do, also known side affect of covid, also life trauma can trigger it.

although mind boggling no medication will help, you need breathing exercises to retrain your brain and diaphragm to work together again. So basically asthmatic or not, On spiriva or not your breathlessness may well be partly driven by another cause. There's lots of info on here re breathlessness that may help. 🙂

Thank you everyone I agree with everything. Just when I did it with my adhd the first time they asked loads of questions. Like I feel you need to be ahead of them. Like in case they ask what is the severity of your asthma. It’s not due yet but welfare rights was like you best get evidence that’s so strong they won’t be able to mess me about so much. They just say you have asthma here so pip could just take that as someone with asthma who just uses the blue for example as I’m certain none of them are trained properly

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