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Old 06-28-2009, 06:50 PM   #1
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Can mild asthma be left untreated? My Doc says lung Fibrosis possible if not treated

Hi-

I hope a few people can help me make a decision about treating /not treating my mild asthma.

I've had very mild asthma since I was about 12-nothing I've ever needed an inhaler for at all. When I get colds, they usually go to my chest, and I wheeze and cough a few days. If I laugh too hard, I'll start to wheeze. Also, I have VERY bad allergies, particularly to dust mites, and pollen, so I have year round post nasal drip from this, which leads to mild chest congestion and sometimes wheezing.

I'm 42, and concerned about the ramifications of chronic lung inflammation due to all my allergies constantly flaring up my lungs. I saw a pulmonlogist recently, who scared me when he said that if left utreated, mild asthma can lead to lung fibrosis-and that taking preventative meds now is the best option. He listened to my chest, and said he heard very mild wheezing, (which I was unaware of.) He then gave me Symbicort, 1 puff daily, Astepro for my sinuses, and said to use sea salt nasal rinses, which I do anyway.

The meds are sitting in my bathroom-I tried them all once, and that was it. I'm really reluctant to take meds if I can live without them-but I'm scared of this fibrosis thing.

I had a breathing test done by my allergist last winter-it came back at 86, and I know anything over 80 is normal. My Pulmonologist said that by using inhalers, I can get my breathing up to 110-which he said is obviously better than 86. I also tried allergy shots, but stopped after about 2 months, because it got to be a pain going 2 days per week.

Can anyone offer me some info about any of this? Is Symbicort safe for long term use? What is everyone else on here using for an inhaled med? Would you or would you not treat mild asthma, and what do you think of this whole fibrosis thing?

Sorry about the long post-I tried to cram all my questions into one here, but I'm sure I'll be back with a lot more questions about all this.

Thanks!!

 
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Old 06-29-2009, 05:24 AM   #2
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Re: Can mild asthma be left untreated? My Doc says lung Fibrosis possible if not trea

Well, I've been on Flovent for about 15 years. One puff per day so I've got mild asthma like you. The last time I had to use my rescue inhaler (other than before jogging as a preventive) was 2 years ago when the temps were 100 and above for 2 straihgt weeks. And I've never had a chest cold since I've been on it. So I would say that it was definitely a benefit.

As for the fibrosis, my mother had it and it was pretty awful. Marlon Brando died from it as did the wife of a former governor of Alabama just around the same time. So that is nothing to ignore.

I'd use the symbicort - esp since it's just one puff per day. Max dosage is 2 puffs twice per day so you are on the very low end of the spectrum.

 
Old 07-04-2009, 07:51 PM   #3
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Re: Can mild asthma be left untreated? My Doc says lung Fibrosis possible if not trea

Hi Titchou, we've "met" on the Foot Board. I have mild asthma in which my only symptoms are chest tightness and SOB. If I have an "attack" it is violent coughing but that only occurs if I have been exposed to a trigger to which I am extremely sensitive My hubby tells me I sometimes wheeze at night but I have never heard myself wheeze nor has any doctor heard me wheeze

I am on Singulair daily and Xopenex as needed, which is very rarely The last few days have been awful as far as SOB and chest tightness I actually had to use my inhaler two or three times yesterday alone You had mentioned that you had a flare when the temps were over 100. We have had record breaking temps for the last two weeks I had never heard of this being cause for a flare. I really don't have a question. I just found this interesting and something I never considered. I am very sensitive to extreme cold. I attributed it to the air quality being in the unhealthy range but never considered the heat. very interesting.

emmie

 
Old 07-05-2009, 05:38 AM   #4
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Re: Can mild asthma be left untreated? My Doc says lung Fibrosis possible if not trea

Hey, emmie! Good to make contact again. Yes, any time air quality is poor it can be a trigger. Very cold doesn't bother me unless I'm jogging. I cam usually handle it dueto pre-medicating with the albuterol but not always. Since I live in the South, it doesn't get that cold often but once or twice a winter, I can't make my jog.

Take care!

 
Old 07-05-2009, 07:26 AM   #5
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Re: Can mild asthma be left untreated? My Doc says lung Fibrosis possible if not trea

Dawnmn- I have had asthma for 35 yrs. I don't like to take meds either and did allergy shots but had same problem with getting there every week with two kids in tow. All the allergy meds and asthma meds got expensive and I quit taking them. Eventually ended up back at office with acute attack. My doctor explained rather emphatically that if I continued to not take my meds and allowed the daily inflammation to continue that scar tissue would form and then when I got older that no amount or kind of medication would help me. I used to draw blood gases in the hospital and have seen people with COPD on their knees on their bed trying to get their breath. After that "lecture" I take my meds daily.

Have you ever had explained to you the physiologic response going on in the lungs with asthma? (ie. Inflammation and mucous production). The Symbicort is one med designed to take care of both issues in just one med! We used to have to take two different inhalers to take care of those.)

You should use a spacer when you use your Symbicort inhaler. I just recently received the "scoop" on the necessity of using a spacer from a supervisor of Respiratory Therapy as she has an office right beside mine. If you are interested in that info just let me know. Oh, that and necessity of having an "asthma action plan."

Hope this helps encourage you!

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