Yes I have late onset asthma. I am not allergic to anything, but I do get very breathless on exertion and so on. I take 3 different types of inhalers, and again like you sometimes think they are not actually helping. The thing is with these inhalers, you really need to have the right instructions on how to take them. Twice I have had asthma checks with my practice nurse to find out that the way my inhalers have been prescribed was wrong. Hey ho !! Thanks a bunch, no wonder I couldn't get my breath.
I am in the UK so I can only speak of the names of my own medications. I use a Ventolin inhaler first, which opens up the airways. Then 15 minutes later I use Atrovent, which again opens the airways, followed by Serotide Evohaler which is what is called a 'preventer' and 'protector', this contains steroids. I use all 3 first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I then use the Ventolin if I do overdo things and get breathless. The Atrovent I also take mid day.
Just one thing you speak of which I would like to reassure you about, the steroids contained in these inhalers would not mask any other physical symptoms of any other illnesses you may have. I obviously am not a medical doctor, and I am only giving you this information in response to your request for help on this topic. I only talk from my own experience.
My diagnosis was made because I had had heart surgery and the doctors thought my breathlessness was because of the result of the exertion on my cut, stitched and stapled chest hee hee !! I had the usual lung function tests and hence my asthma diagnosis.
My asthma has never been put down to my having SLE, which I have had for over 30 years. I would honestly think if I was going to develop asthma as part of my SLE, then it would have come on a lot sooner than a couple of years ago.
Hope this helps.