I had asthma years ago..up until I was about 4 years old. Im now 20 and have always had fluctuating 'difficulties' with my breathing but never bad enough that I felt I needed an inhaler..just irritating and usually fine. Although in the last month or so I have been having a lot of discomfort especially when trying to sleep or when its been really cold outside so I went to the doctor after trying to ignore it for a couple of weeks..he listened to my chest said things sounded fine (i felt fine at the time)..then made me exhale into a peak flow metre..which came out around 300 which is apparently low for my age/height, fact that im a non smoker and a healthy weight. So he's given my a ventolin inhaler for the time being & told me to book myself in for an asthma test with the nurse..which i havent had yet. Anyway the reason im posting is because from what I've read my symptoms dont seem to quite fit asthma..in that I dont really have any wheezing etc .
.I have: -Much more difficulty exhaling than inhaling...i feel like i cant fully expel all the air from my lungs..when i exhale it comes out in short, rough bursts if that makes sense (not all the time just when my symptoms come on)
-When its really bad I feel like theres sand right at the top of my windpipe that i cant get rid of..i cough a lot when this happens
-My throat/chest feels really congested
-My throat feels very dry no matter how much water i drink
-Lots of throat clearing
-I apparently do wheeze in my sleep (and have always done this) but never when awake
I guess symptoms that do relate to asthma are the fact that it almost always comes on at night and when its really cold outside. I have tried the inhaler twice..only when Ive felt like i really needed it as it makes me feel quite 'jittery' which isnt ideal right before bed! (but then neither is breathing difficulties)...it didnt do anything for about 10mins (in fact it felt worse) then it dramatically helped...it made my throat extremely dry but cleared up all the congestion and my breathing felt smoother than it EVER does (even when i feel 'normal')
I suppose I wont know until I've had the test..theres also the bizarre question of why it cropped up randomly at age 20?
Many people have more prevalent symptoms at night than during the day and have seemingly atypical symptoms of asthma. Does the Ventolin help you? If it does, then it's likely your asthma has quit it's 'vacation'. Because you were diagnosed with asthma when you were younger, it's likely it was never 'gone', but your symptoms were.
Your body will likely be able to tolerate the Ventolin better after awhile--I wasn't on an inhaled corticosteroid with Ventolin for the first six months after I was given the possible diagnosis of asthma and was taking it 2-4 times a day. I'm using it much more infrequently now, and the heart palpitations, hyperactivity and shakiness have pretty much gone down to a minimum.
If you really struggle with the side effects, your doctor may be able to prescribe Xopenex which is similar to Ventolin, but has fewer side effects for many people. [Chemical name: levalbuterol/levosalbutamol depending on where you're from].
I was diagnosed at 17, and had no history of asthma, in myself or my family. I have no clue why I got it when I did either. Like you, I have mild symptoms [cough that's lasted since mid-feb 08, chest tightness] , and I got put on two rounds of antibiotics for "bronchitis" before a walk-in clinic doctor gave me a possible diagnosis of asthma. I have a doctor now, and she diagnosed me and put me on the inhaled corticosteroid FloVent as well as Ventolin as needed.
Another thing to mention to your doctor is if you have problems breathing with exercise. I thought I was just out of shape, but my doctor said exercise is likely one of my triggers. If you have symptoms when exercising, mention this to your doctor, too--it might be a helpful clue in making your diagnosis.
Let us know how this goes for you.
you hold your breath to breathe
--eyes to see, flyleaf
Thank you for the reply. I have my asthma test (I'm sure there's an official name for it!) scheduled for 6th jan so I guess I won't know until then - this is just with the nurse not a specialist. My symptoms seem to have gotton progressively worse the last couple of weeks..some days I feel fine but then I may have 2-3 days where I feel terrible (now!). I've started to feel nauseous & dizzy (before taking the ventolin) and just tired and generally unwell..the ventolin definatly helps some of the symptoms though. I wouldnt say I've ever had an 'asthma attack' as such but when I'm feeling at my worst I seem to have different kinds of 'attacks' - like sometimes it will be focused on my throat rather than chest...lots of throat tightness..heavy congestion..throat clearing..even feeling the walls of my throat touching which makes me gag - but little chest tightness. Other times I will have heavy chest tightness, coughing etc but my throat will feel ok. Is this a normal thing for asthma? And is it normal to feel tired/dizzy/sick when having breathing difficulties? The dizzyness is more of a spaced out/faint feeling than a going to lose my balance feeling.
I was born with asthma so understand what you are going through. The nurse will be good for you they are so helpful and she will take you through your medication the peak flow charts what triggers you and how to deal with it.
Just tell her how you feel and what the medication does to you. Good luck with your appointment in Jan.
I went to see the nurse yesterday who did a spirometry test. She told me to wait until the results had printed and she would explain them to me...but after they'd printed she left the room to go talk to a doctor came back and just told me to try a preventer inhaler twice a day as well as the rescue inhaler as needed. She said I'd have to come back in a month to repeat the test...so I'm assuming my results indicated I may have asthma or 'some' breathing difficulty as I understand this test can't say you have asthma - just that your lungs arent functioning as they should be?
She asked me about my symptoms & agreed that they sounded like asthma but didnt really explain my results or the test and seemed like she was rushed when I asked anything so I left it :/ I've only had the preventer inhaler twice so far and if anything I feel more congested and its made me cough a lot for the first 10mins or so...is this normal when you first start using it?
It also dosent look like it's particular good for you and my concern was that IF i do have asthma it's only mild and I didnt usually have to use the ventolin rescue inhaler every day so is it necessary for me to use the preventer... my throat/chest is always at least mildy congested & I do get out of breathe easily on exertion (possibly unfit though!)...so will the preventer help with general breathing or just prevent 'asthma attacks'.
I was just amazed at how keen both the nurse and doctor were to give me inhalers straight way without getting a definitive answer...they don't seem to be particular good for you so I kind of want to know whether I definately have asthma before being stuck on steroids! The ventolin definately helped when I had difficulty and I was quite happy JUST being on the ventolin as needed...I dont know much/anything about asthma so I may not be understanding the significance of the preventer - do people with just mild asthma (if it is that) have to use one?