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Old 04-14-2011, 03:49 AM   #1
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Asthma without Shortness of Breath

Hello everyone - I'm new to this site and in desperate need of any advice anyone can give me.

I'm a 29yr old female with no prior history of asthma except for the occasional wheezing/coughing after running in the cold. Even during those previous episodes I never felt wheezy during the workout and never felt short of breath (beyond the usual heavy exercise breathing) either during or after. I never felt like I needed a rescue inhaler and had never used one. I also had a bout of "allergy" asthma for lack of a better word triggered by packing things up for a move in 2007. I had a dry cough/tight chest that lasted a couple of months and then went away - again no meds.

In October, I came down with a chest cold and my life has been hell since. Basically I have this constant wheezing/ rattling that makes me cough - it feels like there's mucus and sometimes it comes up, but it's hard to get it up. I have occasional chest tightness, but nothing that seems alarming or that lasts more than a few minutes. But the wheezing is every day. I was treated w/ a couple rounds antibiotics (for what seemed like infection flare ups) a couple rounds of steroids, dulera, then a higher dose of dulera, also a trial on a nebulizer w/ xopenex. None of them seemed to make much difference. I ended up coming down with pneumonia and antibiotics did clear that up, but I'm now on Spiriva, QVAR, and Proventil (I know this is a "rescue" but I was told to take it regularly til we get this under control) and I'm now STILL left with this rattly wheezing and a feeling of mucus moving around that won't come up). I was tested for allergies (I have pets) and I'm not allergic to the animals, dust, or mold, just to grasses and plants and such. The allergist didn't think this was allergy related b/c it doesn't seem to get better or worse with location (inside, outside, work, home, day, night, etc).

I'm under the care of a pulmonologist, but does this sound like asthma?? I never feel like I can't breathe. I feel the wheeze and the rattle and if i breathe out really hard, holy cow, major rattle and coughing, but I feel like I can breathe fine. I was off all inhalers for a few weeks (prior to the pneumonia) and I noticed no difference at all. Can you have asthma without breathing trouble? Would asthma not respond to all these inhalers/steroids? I just feel like I'm not getting anywhere and I'm SO FRUSTRATED, so I'm hoping I can get some advice to help me ask the right questions next time I see my dr. Thanks in advance!

 
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:37 AM   #2
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Re: Asthma without Shortness of Breath

Might still be asthma but I would look into acid reflux. A friend of mine had almost an identical experience as yours. Her doc finally sent her to my immunologist because they ccouldn't get her "asthma" under control. Turned out to be acid reflux! She's fine now.

 
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:28 AM   #3
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Re: Asthma without Shortness of Breath

Actually, that's interesting. I never have heartburn but I did have an episode of reflux causing problems back in 2007 (made me feel like I had a lump in my throat). I'm actually on a prescription acid medicine to help offset the stomach problems that the antibiotic I'm on can cause (since I had to be on if for 3 weeks). I'm going to mention this to my doctor and maybe being on the acid medicine (when it's not just offsetting the antibiotic) will help.

I should have mentioned this before - but I've had 2 pulmonary function tests throughout the sickness and both were a) normal but for a slight overinflation (he called it "breath stacking") and b) unchanged by administration of the rescue medicine (same results before and after both with inhalers and nebulizers). Don't know if this helps with the "is it asthma" assessment.

Thanks so much for your reply!

 
Old 04-14-2011, 05:47 AM   #4
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Re: Asthma without Shortness of Breath

Now, that is suspicious. In someone with asthma which is badly flared, even if breathing test results are in the normal range, inhaling albuterol should raise them. It may be that you have mild asthma, but there's something else going on. I agree with looking into the GERD issue. If it is that, all the antibiotics, steroids, and even some of the inhalers could be aggravating it.

 
Old 03-27-2012, 05:17 AM   #5
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Re: Asthma without Shortness of Breath

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleHelpHere View Post
Hello everyone - I'm new to this site and in desperate need of any advice anyone can give me.

I'm a 29yr old female with no prior history of asthma except for the occasional wheezing/coughing after running in the cold. Even during those previous episodes I never felt wheezy during the workout and never felt short of breath (beyond the usual heavy exercise breathing) either during or after. I never felt like I needed a rescue inhaler and had never used one. I also had a bout of "allergy" asthma for lack of a better word triggered by packing things up for a move in 2007. I had a dry cough/tight chest that lasted a couple of months and then went away - again no meds.

In October, I came down with a chest cold and my life has been hell since. Basically I have this constant wheezing/ rattling that makes me cough - it feels like there's mucus and sometimes it comes up, but it's hard to get it up. I have occasional chest tightness, but nothing that seems alarming or that lasts more than a few minutes. But the wheezing is every day. I was treated w/ a couple rounds antibiotics (for what seemed like infection flare ups) a couple rounds of steroids, dulera, then a higher dose of dulera, also a trial on a nebulizer w/ xopenex. None of them seemed to make much difference. I ended up coming down with pneumonia and antibiotics did clear that up, but I'm now on Spiriva, QVAR, and Proventil (I know this is a "rescue" but I was told to take it regularly til we get this under control) and I'm now STILL left with this rattly wheezing and a feeling of mucus moving around that won't come up). I was tested for allergies (I have pets) and I'm not allergic to the animals, dust, or mold, just to grasses and plants and such. The allergist didn't think this was allergy related b/c it doesn't seem to get better or worse with location (inside, outside, work, home, day, night, etc).

I'm under the care of a pulmonologist, but does this sound like asthma?? I never feel like I can't breathe. I feel the wheeze and the rattle and if i breathe out really hard, holy cow, major rattle and coughing, but I feel like I can breathe fine. I was off all inhalers for a few weeks (prior to the pneumonia) and I noticed no difference at all. Can you have asthma without breathing trouble? Would asthma not respond to all these inhalers/steroids? I just feel like I'm not getting anywhere and I'm SO FRUSTRATED, so I'm hoping I can get some advice to help me ask the right questions next time I see my dr. Thanks in advance!



I am suffering with the same symptoms. They started me on Zantac for two months which did nothing. I had Chest x-rays done, MRI's done Breathing tests for asthma. All came back negative. I even went to a pulminologist and he did more tests. The pulminoligist sent me back to asthma/allergy Dr. The diagnosed me with an allergy induced asthma. I'm presently getting allergy shots and they seem to work and give me about 65% relief. Every so often I get it back bad and that's how I found your post because nobody seems to know exactly how to make it go away. I use to get it so bad that I felt congested in my chest and in order to cough the stuff up which is not easy, I had to huff the crap up. The mucas is clear which the Dr. tells me is good. Sometimes the phlegm is yellow. It is fustrating, but I did get some relief from allergy shots. I didn't completely make it go away but it did help. Breathing is not a problem either for me. It feels like I have a ton of phlegm sitting in my chest that only comes up when I cough a certain way which I found out is called "Huffing". But after coughing like that all day my eyes hurt. I get headaches and my chest is so sore.

Last edited by Prlauren; 03-27-2012 at 05:23 AM.

 
Old 03-27-2012, 05:54 AM   #6
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Re: Asthma without Shortness of Breath

Lauren, have you tried Atrovent (ipatropium?) Do you have postnasal drip?

 
Old 03-27-2012, 07:29 AM   #7
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Re: Asthma without Shortness of Breath

Quote:
Originally Posted by janewhite1 View Post
Lauren, have you tried Atrovent (ipatropium?) Do you have postnasal drip?
Yes. Dr. First Started with zantac for two months with no relief. Then Used Every nose spray. Currently I have been taking flonase. I don't have a post nasal drip. It is hard to describe but it feels like my upper bronc tubes get cloggged and I sound congested. When I cough regular nothing comes up. I actually have to breath out really hard and then you hear a wheez and it loosens up mucas. Once it is loosen I can cough it up with using the "huffing" type of cough. Then it seems like it loosens up and I will have about a half hour of a coughing fit. Then lungs feel clear but raw and sore from coughing so much. Sometimes If it is tough getting the phlegm out and I have a tight feeling chest I use Prevental and after about 10 Min. I can cough up phlegm a little easier. I Do excersise very regularly. It does not effect me where I can't breath. It just always feels like my lungs are full of phlegm and I can't always get it out of my lungs.

 
Old 03-27-2012, 07:59 AM   #8
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Re: Asthma without Shortness of Breath

I've tried all nasal sprays and currently on Flonase. I do not have a post nasal drip.

 
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