Great to find lots of useful info in here. But still, I have a few questions and would like to hear some advices.
30 year-old female; Known drug/antibiotics allergy in childhood (face swollen and hives whole body); Moved into a new house 1-2 years ago. Myself have/family history of chronic rhinitis. Consulted w ENT and tested for allergen (blood test), but couldn't find a particular allergen (either allergic or non-allergic rhinitis); Done blood test, pulmonary function test, chest X-Ray and came out normal.
Down with a flu in Feb 2014. Then the dry cough and chest tightness dragged on and off for 2-3 months, especially early morning, cold air/drink and laughs. Symptoms were getting worse and my primary care/PCP prescribed an albuterol inhaler for temporary relief (it helped for my symptoms). 2 months later, experienced coughing fit at night. Could hear a little whistling sound if cough really hard. As it's bothersome and used the inhaler more often, I visited urgent care next morning. UC doc suspected asthma/cough-variant asthma so started 3-month trial of Singulair/generic. Symptoms improved after a week.
I did experience an edge of breathlessness (cough & chest tight) when my co-worker burned her lunch via microwave, which caused lots of smoke in my office. Fortunately, symptoms gradually faded out an hour later w/o using my inhaler.
So now I am on few meds for long-term:
- Flonase nasal spray (generic) x1 daily (recently stop refilling but keep using neti-pot)
- Singulair (generic) x1 daily at bedtime (have been taking for over a year)
- Claritin/Zyrtec x1 PRN
- Proair Albuterol inhaler x2 puffs PRN
I asked my PCP if I have asthma. She said it's only allergies coz I don't wheeze. But somehow she gave me a pneumococcal shot and keep authorizing to refill the generic Singulair. No visit for any review so far. Actually my inhaler expired in Sept 2015. I asked her if I should refill and she said I can keep using it as I don't use that much...
Later, I visited UC for other issue (persistent rash around ears after using Rx cream for scabies). The UC doc, who also a dermatologist, said it may be allergy-related/contact dermatitis as I have atopic diathesis. He noticed that I have record of using inhaler and asked if I have asthma. I said not sure but occasionally used the inhaler (3 times in 2015 so far). Then he said I probably have asthma (allergy-related) as my symptoms respond to the inhaler.
So I wonder...
If I should follow up (or do anything) to confirm the diagnosis of asthma? I do occasionally have symptoms but mild (hope fall-winter will be ok too). The problem is I have to go through my PCP for further progress/referral...Thoughts?
Thank you so much!