Newly diagnosed with asthma

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Chrissy71, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Chrissy71

    Chrissy71 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 16, 2008

    I have recently been dianosed with asthma, over the last year I would say. I went to the doctor complaining of a constant cough that mostly effects me at night. My doctor said that since I have had several episodes of chronic bronchittus, this may have brought on adult asthma. I have never smoked, and have always been very active. I have been on 3 different asthma medications, Advair, Flovent, and now Symbicort. Does anyone know more about these medications. They took me off of Advair because they said it was not safe, and I didn't like the way Flovent worked, but from what I have read, Symicort is almost like Adviar.

    They haven't tested me for allergies. Is this normal?

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
  2.  
  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    808

    Apr 16, 2008

    I have asthma, and some kinds are triggered by allergies, and some kinds are triggered by other things (including stress.) One type (allergies) is caused by a problem with you immune system. The other type isn't.

    Here's some information about the two different types of asthma:

    Asthma is a disease of the lungs in which the airways become blocked or narrowed causing breathing difficulty. This chronic disease affects 20 million Americans. Asthma is commonly divided into two types: allergic (extrinsic) asthma and non-allergic (intrinsic) asthma. With proper management, people can live healthy and active lives.


    Allergic (extrinsic) asthma (asthma symptoms triggered by an allergic reaction): Characterized by airway obstruction and inflammation that is at least partially reversible with medication and is always associated with allergy. Allergic asthma is the most common form of asthma. Many of the symptoms of allergic and non-allergic asthma are the same (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and chest tightness). However, allergic asthma is triggered by inhaling allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollens, mold, etc. Through a complex reaction, these allergens cause the passages in the airways of the lungs to become inflamed and swollen. This results in coughing, wheezing and other asthma symptoms.


    Non-Allergic (intrinsic) asthma (asthma symptoms triggered by factors not related to allergies): Like allergic asthma, non-allergic asthma is characterized by airway obstruction and inflammation that is at least partially reversible with medication, however symptoms in this type of asthma are NOT associated with an allergic reaction. Many of the symptoms of allergic and non-allergic asthma are the same (coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath or rapid breathing, and chest tightness), but non-allergic asthma is triggered by other factors such as anxiety, stress, exercise, cold air, dry air, hyperventilation, smoke viruses or other irritants. In non-allergic asthma, the immune system is not involved in the reaction, as with allergic reaction.
     
  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    808

    Apr 16, 2008

    Is it normal?? Unfortunately, yes.

    If the inhaler is doing the trick AND you are only having occassional bouts of night coughing (not full-blown asthma attacks) most doctors are not concerned with what allergies might be triggers -- since the treatement for allergies often involves injecting the allergine into your body -- which , guess what? can make the asthma worse.

    However, if you have allergy-based asthma (most adult asthma is allergy based) and IF you are having asthma attacks (not just night coughing, or wheezing when sick with a cold or flu) then it might be worth it to visit an allergist to help identify the specific trigger.

    Usually, the trigger is something you can't really avoid (like oak pollen) but sometimes it could be your cat or dog, and not having a pet would make things better. (I couldn't do that -- my dogs are my children, but some people do have to make that choice.)

    I'm not a medical doctor -- so please don't take this for medical advice... it is just my opinion as a fellow adult asthma sufferer.

    Most doctors just want to give you the inhaler and be done with it.If your asthma is poorly controlled (frequent attacks, or persistent daily coughing and wheezing) then by all means, look into it.

    When you go to the doctor while having asthma attack, they put a device on you to measure the amount of oxygen getting to the lungs. Even if you are wheezing pretty severely, if you are getting an adequate level of oxygen, they are just going to give you an inhaler and send you on your way. It is when the oxygen level is seriously impaired that they look into "trigger control" (obviously after the immediate attack is taken care of.)

    When I have an attack, I wheeze so badly I can't speak. However, my oxygen levels stay in the acceptable range, so it isn't even considered a dangerous attack. (Try telling that to some terrified bystander who hears me wheezing and thinks I'm going to pass out. Sometimes it looks and sounds much worse than it is.)
     
  5. Chrissy71

    Chrissy71 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 16, 2008

    Thank you the information was really helpful. I have had pets all my life and I couldn't give them up either.

    What medication do you take? I just keep reading the information on Symbicort and it says to use only if other asthma medications do not work due to asthma related deaths. Kind of has me freeked out.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    7

    Apr 17, 2008

    Interesting you should write this. I am beginning to wonder if I might have something like this (my own "professional" medical opinion!) I had a pretty bad bout with pneumonia/bronchitis/flu in February, and it just seems to be lingering. It gets really bad at night, weezing and coughing. Rain, I know you aren't a doctor, but as someone who knows, does this sound like leftover illness, or something else? I have no known allergies either, never have.
     
  7. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,947
    Likes Received:
    34

    Apr 17, 2008

    I have been on advair for years, as well as singular and a rescue inhailer. I have never had an issue with Advair, the chance of an asthma related death is minimal, but I can see with all of the issues with medicines recenlty why they are being cautious. My asthma is triggered by so many things, I do not believe it is related to allergies. I do take an allergy medicine, but that only prevents an asthma attack from gunk running down my throat. (Yuck) I often wake up in the middle of the night coughing, and rarely wheeze. I have become pretty familiar with having this issue. Just keep track of what sets you off, for me, going from a really warm place to a cold place causes it. Viruses make me much worse. Severe stress makes me worse. Get a notebook if you have to to keep track of when you have issues. This will really help your doc figure out what triggers your astma.

    Oh and about the pets, my hubbie was just recenlty diagnosed with adult asthma (doc said he was at 60% lung capacity for years and was surprised no one found it before) and so they did allergy tests on him. He is allergic to all things green, and dogs. But not cats, so he is letting me keep all of my cats. (Our son also gets to keep his dog, but he is a little person not a dog...LOL) He is learning what sets him off and he is getting better at avoiding issues. (doc put him on advair before anything else, oh and my daughter too, never had an issue)

    The only other issue you need to be aware of, no matter what kind of asthma you have, avoid people with colds, or upper respitory infections like they have the plague. You are probably more likely to catch it and it will be much more severe and take longer for you to get rid of the cough.

    Try not to worry to much, you will learn how to control your asthma pretty quickly. :D
     
  8. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2007
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    13

    Apr 17, 2008

    They found out I had 60% lung capacity when I was 3 years old. I have been on every asthma medicine that has come out over the years. I am pretty much allergic to everything. When I was little, my mom took all the carpet out of the house and gave all the pets to my grandmother. They told me I would grow out of it when I reached 18-21 years of age. Well--I am now well over 21 years old and when I got pregnant the 1st time got off all my asthma meds on a daily basis. I keep a rescue inhaler with me at all times and take steroids about 2-3 times a year when get a really bad attack. I really have to watch myseof in school because a simple cold usually turns into pneumonia for me. Once you get used to dealing with your asthma then you can usually work with your doctor on meds. I know to call my doctor at the slighest of symptoms and if he cannot see me right away, they he knows what meds to prescribe without being seen.
     
  9. glenn

    glenn Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2008

    I would get the medical opinion of someone who specializes in allergies. I can certainly understand that you would not want to give up your current pets. I think you should at least find out what kind of allergies you have so you can take that into consideration in the future when picking out new pets. It could very well be something else that you might be able to avoid. I would also have you house evaluated for possible allergens. (i.e. did you just get new carpeting, new bedding, have mold growing someplace in your house etc)
     
  10. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    808

    Apr 17, 2008

    If you are still wheezing, call your doctor for an appointment. He may give you antibotics, a short-course of steroids, and a daily-use inhaler to help you get over it.
     
  11. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Messages:
    4,376
    Likes Received:
    808

    Apr 17, 2008

    I take advair. It works well, but it isn't a rescue inhaler.

    I hope you find something that works well for you.
     
  12. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    3,888
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2008

    I'm so sorry that you've been diagnosed with this and hope you find quick relief.

    My son has had severe allergies all his life and then developed asthma. He carries an inhaler everywhere he goes.
     
  13. sue35

    sue35 Habitué

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    897
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2008

    I have cystic fibrosis and asthma so I am on every medicine under the sun. I am on advair, flovent, and singulair for my asthma. I would really push to get allergy tested. There are allergy medicines you can go on that would actually help your asthma. Once I went on allergy medicine I felt so much better and I only have 40% lung function to begin with!

    For some reason doctors are hesitant when it comes to allergies. I had to beg my doc for medicine. But it will be worth it in the end. Also, I would ask about carrying around a rescue inhaler. Even if you don't have attacks, if you just are coughing a lot and can't stop they can help that.

    I asked my doctor about safety issues regarding Advair and he said that it is a fine medicine and not there is not enough information to suggest it is not. Good luck and I hope this diagnosis can start you feeling better!
     
  14. Chrissy71

    Chrissy71 Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0

    Apr 17, 2008

    I have a rescue inhaler also, but I was given that orininally last year when I had bronchitis and could not get over it. I was weezing and had about 2 rounds of steriod shots and then pills. The cough lingered and now it is asthma. I really appreciate all the advice and everyone sharing their experinces with having asthma. I was just freaked out when I read all the adverse reactions to the symbicort. I will definitely keep a record of when I notice the cough getting worse. I know at night it gets bad for sure, it is more of an annoyance and my boyfriend always asks if I have taken my medicine. I am sure it gets old hearing the same cough night after night. At least he loves me. :)
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 253 (members: 0, guests: 230, robots: 23)
test