Mild asthma

Hi, just another question I wanted to ask as I've been wondering about it for a while; My doctor diagnosed me with having mild asthma. I need to use my ventolin usually a couple times a day and have troubles with my asthma quite a bit at night. Unfortunately I'm not 100% sure what my spirometry results were when I was diagnosed as my doctor didn't really go into them, she just said they were a bit low. I'm just wondering if that seems consistent with mild asthma or whether something else may be interfering with it as well and causing the need to use ventolin more? I just thought with mild asthma, you didn't really have symptoms that often or much at night? Thanks for advice, I'm just a little confused.

18 Replies

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  • I am over weight - I have COPD and emphysema. I sleep on my back or on the side. I was wondering if my body weight does,t allow full lung expansion? Yes, I have central sleep apnea. My pulmonary doctors (one for COPD and the other for the apnea) both say it's my excess weight. I have other health issues one of which is chronic pain in several areas of my body. My sleep doctor said I must do a better job in controlling the pain. I mention these things as possible issues that interfere with your breathing at night.

    PS: I lost my youth and health if you find them please be so kind and tell me where they are.

  • But you never lost your sense of humour! My youth and beauty is sitting quietly next to yours.

  • Hi Grace18, are you using a preventive inhaler morning and evening? It's possible that this one isn't doing it's job properly or that you're not taking it correctly and so not getting the best dose.

    It's always best to use a spacer with the spray type of inhaler, they ensure you get 50% more of the medication than not using one.

    I had a similar problem a few years ago & I asked my GP if it was possible for the preventive to stop working, he said no! I then got worse and worse and all sorts of problems began.

    I suggest you make an appointment with the respiratory nurse at you practice.

    Also, learn as much as you can about the airways, exercises, breathing exercises and best methods of taking inhalers - different types have different methods.

    If this problem is just recent, then it could be because of the air quality at the moment, lots of pollen, pollution and dust hanging about.

    I always believed that asthma is worse at night, it's one of the symptoms. I wheeze more at night and take my blue (rescue) inhaler then.

    All the best, learn as much as you can. Peeg xxx

  • yes, I was wondering if you had a preventer inhaler? That helps keep the airways open, and eases breathing when asleep at night. It is important to discuss problem with your doctor or nurse, and understand and to get the best treatment suited to your needs. I know at the moment in the UK the pollen count has been very high and this doesn't help anyone with chest problems. I wish you all the best.

  • Hi Grace,

    I think you should go back to your GP soon and see if you can get your asthma under better control, as using your reliever inhaler every day and waking at night are indications of poor control and this really needs to be corrected if possible. Asthma is a variable condition so while it might be mild at the point of diagnosis, if you still have symptoms on your current medication and are needing more reliever, that suggests things could be improved. As others have said, current air conditions are not great but these could continue for quite a few weeks more, so you do need to see if your control can be improved. Are you on preventive medication as well as ventolin? If your GP practice has an asthma clinic, you could ask to be seen there as, in my experience, the asthma nurses are usually very happy to explain things like spirometry results, which medications you need, how to take them and how they work. Finally, both BLF and Asthma UK have helplines open 9-5 Mon-Fri (BLF 03000 030 555. Or email helpline@blf.org.uk; Asthma UK 0800 121 62 44) which are run by specialist asthma nurses. It might good idea, before you next see your GP, to contact either of these, note down the advice given and use it as the basis for conversation when you next see your GP.

  • ClaireOB, just a small correction. The BLF helpline is only open from 10 am till 1 pm! Sorry about this!

  • Hello Everyone,

    This is Nick from BLF Direct (Helpine) Just to clarify we did open 10am till 6pm in the past but we now open 9am till 5pm sorry for any confusion about our opening times.

    Kind Regards.

  • Dear Nick, thank you for this correction. Would it be possible for the helpline number to be more visible and more accessible. In this upgraded website, clicking on the red balloon doesn't show the helpline any more. thank you for reading. Mic

  • Hello HelingMic,

    Thankyou for your response i will pass on your feedback to our webteam. I hope you have a good day.

    Kind Regards.

  • Thanks Mike - they need to correct the helpline information on their website if that's the case - says 9-5 here blf.org.uk/Page/Helpline

  • crossed posts! good news anyway!

  • p.s. were you given a personal asthma action plan when you were diagnosed? The Asthma UK site has examples which you can download - asthma.org.uk/advice-person...

  • Hi Grace, as already been suggested you should go back and see your doctor, could be a number of factors, I would say someone that is using their reliever every day AND in the evening either have more than mild asthma or its badly controlled, could be that the medication is no longer working for you and you may need to changing, if you have an Asthma/COPD nurse at your surgery try and get an appointment for a review of your medication it may be just a case of altering your medication for something more suitable for you.........good luck

  • I have problems when flat but I also have a paralysed diaphragm. I agree that it may be the preventer is not correct or you are not getting the right dose into the lungs. The spacer is the best way forward even though they look a little clumsy to take in your pocket :) You may have a problem with pollen at the moment too?

    Be Well

  • My answer might not be relevant - if so, please ignore and just trust that I have only good intention

    I grew upnwith asthma and has not had an attack in more than 20 years, except for occassional wheezing which I ignore.

    As a child, i was not given preventives - only given tablet meds when i had the attack. Eventually, i was given inhalers ( including ventolin) but also used only if having asthma. This was the case even when I became status asthmaticus for a while (i think they use that term when the asthma just wont go away and hardly responds to drugs).

    There is a claim that the buteyko way of breathing could help asthma. In my case, I do not really know what made it go away. I can only hope yours gets away too.

  • Grace18, I can only validate what others wrote here.

    My experience of "bad" asthma is that eventually I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis at the Brompton Hospital; that after having had coughing and recurring infections. I don't think you are at that stage, but do mention the discomfort you have at night in particular. Indeed, as suggested, have yourself referred to a pulmonary nurse team. A doctor is valuable in diagnosing and giving pills. A nurse, usually listens to "the condition" through observation and through what a patient say she experiences. The nurse is, in a way, more practical and down to earth. She can also direct patients to a physiotherapist who will teaches breathing methods and exercises.

    Exercise is a great friend of mine ( and many others here) and has improved my condition, I recommend it to you.

    Also, you could try to sleep with your head on several cushions to make it easier to breathe at night, worth exploring.Ask the nurse. And hope that you get better.

  • Just a thought. Have you considered changing your bedding/ pillows/ duvet or getting a hypoallergenic covers for them? ( a lot cheaper). I usually sleep like a log, only waking myself at night by my own wheezing when my asthma isn't well maintained. When I get wheezy at night for a few nights I buy new pillows.

  • hi this is just a suggestion but try taking a puff of your reliever before you take your preventer night and morning.

    This may help in getting more into your lungs .

    I also think you need to go back to the GP and tell him what you are experiencing, they may want to look at the drugs you are taking and try something else. good luck

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