So, you're not supposed to have symptoms more than 2 days a week if you are under control, right?
How bad should symptoms be to "count?" It sounds dumb, but I have no idea. Some days my chest is a little off, but it doesn't get in my way. Other days I have major discomfort lasting for a couple hours or more, or nasty coughing fits. It might be a silly question, but where do you draw the line?
The following user gives a hug of support to janewhite1: MountainReader (04-13-2011)
Anytime you are regularly having to use your rescue inhaler, your asthma isn't under control I know you know that already though.
The rest of my response is totally my personal opinion based upon my personal experiences.
When my asthma is flaring for months at a time, I'm totally happy if I get to the point I'm using my rescue inhaler a couple times a week, even when I feel a bit "off" on the other days. Personally, during that time I consider my asthma to be fairly under control...even when I know technically it isn't. It is giving me hope though when I'm in that state though.
During the times when I actually don't have any asthma symptoms at all, I'm able to really see that any regular use of my rescue inhaler, other than preventative, really isn't "normal".
I know you think your question was "stupid", but I totally understand where you are coming from. When I have months on end of coughing and difficulty breathing any days I can go without my rescue inhaler are good days.
I agree with MR. Sometimes my chest gets tight if it's hot and dry. When we had 2 straight weeks of 100 degree days, I never had what I consider an attack but I sure felt weird. I just had to stay inside in the AC. And cold, windy air? I feel it but not to the point I have to use the albuterol. Coughing, not being able to catch my breath, etc are my criteria for the albuterol. Otherwise, I just ride it out and ignore it. As time goes by, you'll figure it out for yourself.
Yeah, I've never been at a point where I had symptoms 2 days per week and felt well the other 5, the flare-and-recovery cycles just take longer than that! I've had periods where I had almost no symptoms (like the entire month of February!), and I've had times where I had bad symptoms every day.
Lately, I'm trying to avoid using my rescue inhaler, both because all bronchiodilators tend to worsen my reflux, and because I'm now getting lung irritation from a THIRD brand, even WITH the spacer. I really need a nebulizer, I think.
For me, I've found a key sign of bad control is knowing exactly how long the medicine lasts: I use my rescue inhaler, I feel better, but as soon as it wears off, I want another dose. During the better periods, I use my rescue inhaler and the symptoms don't come back that day.
glad I found this thread, I've been considering calling my doctor about a medication adjustment for like 2 weeks now...but keep putting it off. My chest feels a bit tight and I have a dry annoying cough. I was using my rescue inhaler everyday when things started to get uncomfortable. When I don't feel uncomfortable it's just mild and something I can deal with...I don't really know why I'm not calling my doctor lol, it just doens't seem bad enough ya know? I keep saying to myself "lets see what tomorrow feels like"....now I keep saying that everyday lol..plus my family just got over a nasty intestinal infection and I feel like we used up a TON of my doctors time (I know I shouldn't feel that way..I just don't want him to think I'm a hypochondriac)
A couple months after I posted that here, I asked the doctor, "When am I supposed to use my rescue inhaler? Like, on a scale of 1 to 10, if 1 is totally fine, 5 is I'm walking much slower than normal, and 10 is unconscious, when would I want to use my rescue inhaler?"
He said, "About 3 or 4."
Now, you can make an appointment, and see what happens between now and then. Or, you can call and ask permission to take more puffs of your maintenance medicine until you get better. Either way, your control has deteriorated and you don't know why, probably best to mention it.
I kind of had the same question not long after i was diagnosed. My pulmonologist considers any discomfort a problem that we need to work on and he encourages me to be honest about my symptoms. So in my opinion anything that bothers you, or just 'isn't quite right' can be described as a symptom and is something to talk to your doctor about. Good luck!
MountainReader, I'm new to asthma flareups and this board...thank you all for your great insights. You said you had purchased a good cloth mask that had a filter also. As cold, chemicals, deodorizers etc etc trigger my asthma, I need a good somewhat stylish mask to wear in public. Would you mind sharing your find on the web?? Thank you so much.
I did find a good mask on the internet that I like. It works well. I can't say it is the cutest thing, but they do have one with lace on the front.
You might try doing a search on asthma masks with carbon filters. That might help you narrow down your search.
I wish you luck in your search.
Thanks again...wanted to let you know I actually found the lace mask. I wonder if it is stiff...or too hot? Wish there were stores for these masks. Did you notice one of the artists at the MTV awards had a mask on- painted bright colors...when there was that smoke they use. Later when she sang, the mask was gone. Betcha she has asthma.
Glad to hear you found something to try. My mask has a cloth outer shell. The filter insert is a bit stiffer, but not too bad. I don't find them exceptionally hot, but it isn't the same as breathing without one on. I hope you have success when you try your new mask.