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Old 12-10-2010, 04:18 PM   #1
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What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Hi all,

Hoping you can help me out here.

I have never had an asthma attack before. My doctor thinks I have asthma because I get a lot of congestion and mild wheezing after exercise. I had live with this for all my life thinking it was normal. But for about a year now, I have this feeling in my lungs when I breath a full breath (or more accurately, anytime I breath deeper than normal). It is hard to describe the feeling. The closest I can come to describing it is to say that it feels similar to that feeling you get right before a cold moves into your chest. My doc put me on the steroid inhaler, and since I responded, he believes it is asthma. If I go off the inhaler for more than a week, the feeling comes back. Is this what asthma feels like to anyone else when not having an attack?

Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Hey jolleyhearted,

Yer thats what i get sometimes not all the time, mine isnt that bad i only really suffer in the summer and after exercise.
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Sounds just like my asthma. And what you feel after exercising is an attack. You should use 2 puffs of albuterol, 60 seconds apart, 15-20 minutes before exercising or any other cardio. This will keep that from happening.

Last edited by Titchou; 12-10-2010 at 05:03 PM.

 
Old 12-10-2010, 07:06 PM   #4
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

I frequently get a cough.

Sometimes though I get a feeling of heaviness or tightness. Occassionally, it feels like a "burning" sensation when I try to get a good breath.

Is it only when you exercise that you feel this way? You say this has been ong-term. If it continues, you might want to consider a daily preventative medication.

 
Old 12-10-2010, 08:06 PM   #5
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

That sounds a lot like what I deal with, also. Many, perhaps most people with asthma rarely or never have the classic "Oh God I can't breathe!" attacks.

When my symptoms are severe, my chest feels tight, and almost like someone is sitting on it. When they are milder, I might just have a funny feeling when I fully inflate my lungs to take a deep breath. I only developed asthma this year, and I didn't used to have that feeling, so I'd say there's a connection.

 
Old 12-11-2010, 10:52 AM   #6
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Thank everyone for the responses.

To MountainReader - THe congestion (which is mild with no associated difficulty breathing of tightness.. just flem build up) only happens after exercise. I am currently taking a daily inhaler (and a puffy/rescue inhaler for exercise).

For the others who replied, the feeling in your chest when you aren't having an attack. Does it feel wet? Not like congestion, but sort of like you swallowed a little bit of water or just came out of a steam room? That's the best way I can describe it.

It is really wierd because all the other asthma symptoms don't seem to be there (including a cough). Sometimes I get an itchy lung... well, more like an itchy trachea all the way into my chest. Anyone else experience this.

Lastly, I have a benign arrythmia... but I notice that when I don't take the daily inhaler (after a few days) and start getting that feeling in my lungs, I can really feel my heartbeat in my chest. Anyone else?

Thanks in advance.

 
Old 12-11-2010, 08:41 PM   #7
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Tonight I read a article on a 37 year old man dying from asthma. Well some of the reponses completly baffle me. With this disease we live buy a rule, "What are my Triggers!". These are what we know that will bring on a allergic reaction which will trigger a asthma attack. Funny thing about that word attack it really isn't that at all, Asthma is the constricting of the bronchi in the lungs. It usually starts by the silia trapping an allergin and the body trying to expel it the best way that it can. Therefore there really isn't such a thing as an attack. If we are careful and we watch for our triggers and take our prescribed meds we can live a very normal active life. It is when we put ourselves into harms way by not listening to our body when it is saying that gee it's really hot in here maybe I better turn on a fan or maybe I better leave then we our trying our fate. There is no answer for what triggers this disease, everyone with asthma knows what they are allergic to and the severity scale of which is 1 to 4 and is done by a scratch test in which the doctor monitors the reaction to the irritant and then we know what allergin will effect us and to what severity. Don't mess with this disease, it will kill you and it will do it quickly. If you respect it, it will tell you when you are getting into trouble. These people that come on here and want us to tell them if they have a problem or not are flirting with disaster. Go to your doctor and get tested, it could and probably will save your life. Remember if you think you have a problem and you are having a hard time breathing around a cat then that is a trigger, go to your doctor and get a diagnosis. don't take a chance that could take your life.

Last edited by NorthenWarrior; 12-12-2010 at 03:04 AM. Reason: Needed to change some of the language.

 
Old 12-11-2010, 08:59 PM   #8
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Yeah, I do tend to have a vague irritation in my lungs a lot, and sometimes that itchy feeling right behind my breastbone. And, yes, a very steamy room can cause that feeling! I think your doctor's right about that one, jolleyhearted, especially since the inhaled steroids are helping.

NorthenWarrior, I'm not saying that asthma isn't dangerous, I'm saying it's possible to have asthma even if you've never had the extreme symptoms we may have seen on TV. And even if it never gets bad enough to result in sudden death (God forbid), chronic asthma can seriously degrade your quality of life, and, over time, permanently impair your lung function.

 
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Old 12-11-2010, 09:32 PM   #9
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

I created a list of common asthma early warning signs that not everyone is aware of. It has been turned into a sticky at the top of this board. You might find it useful.

I agree with jane. I think much of the time, people with asthma are dealing with other symptoms more often than the extreme ones we most often hear about.

I've been diagnosed with asthma for 8 years now. I know I had it longer without diagnosis but my symptoms were attributed to other things. Personally I've only had one of those "I can't breathe" attacks and that was enough for a lifetime. Talk about scary. The majority of the time, I'm watching my body for other kinds of symptoms. They seem to be a bit different for many people so it takes monitoring yourself and learning what your symptoms are.

If you think you have asthma developing, I'd recommend seeking out a Pulmonologist. They can do testing to confirm and help you establish a good asthma action plan for personal treatment. At the very least, you should have a written plan from your primary care provider. (I'll bump another post so you can see an example of what one looks like.) It is an individualized plan to your needs that both you and your doctor agree upon for your course of treatment. It helps you know what to do if your asthma happens to get worse.

 
Old 12-12-2010, 11:17 AM   #10
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Thanks for the responses. One last question for you all. I only developed the constant irritation (wet steam room feeling... not after a stream room, just a similar feeling) in the last year or so. My wife and I were staying in a basement suite (for 6 months) that was riddled with mold. Is it possible that the mold exposure has increased my overall sensitivity? If not, is it odd that I am experiencing these symptoms only in the last year (I am 34) and not any earlier in my life?

Sorry for all the questions, but it is difficult to find answers that don't speak in general terms (mostly about children and teens with asthma).

Cheers.

 
Old 12-12-2010, 11:26 AM   #11
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

Yes, if you are at all sensitive to mold, that's very possible. You might have had a slight tendency to asthma before, and then the mold worsened it to the point that it started causing problems for you. If allergies play a role in your asthma, then avoiding allergens and maybe getting allergy shots could help reduce symptoms.

Also, it's possible to develop asthma for the first time at any age. I'm 29, and I always had really remarkably healthy lungs. Even when the bad chest colds went around, I always recovered quickly. But over the last few years, my allergies have been getting worse. Then, during last spring's big pollen bloom, I just woke up one day feeling like somebody was sitting on my chest.

 
Old 12-13-2010, 11:40 AM   #12
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Re: What does asthma feel like when not having an attack?

I developed asthma in my 50's. Mine is cough variant which is triggered by most irritants. In the beginning it was terrible. I'd cough until I blacked out briefly. Then when I came out of it, I was disoriented for a few minutes.
I don't have allergies that I know of.It puled my pulmonolgist so he sent to an asthma specialist at the center for advanced medicine. The asthma specialist at the center for advanced medicine said I probably have allergies that didn't show up on the test. My coughing at first was so bad that he prescribed inhaled lidocaine to numb the coughing urge. I don't know if that would work, my insurance didn;t approve it and I couldn't aafford it.

Fortunately, after a lot of testing and experimenting I'm finally on a regimen that works for me.I always seem to have sore rib muscles though. I guess it must be from all the past coughing. I still have to be very careful about exposure to my triggers though.

 
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