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Old 01-23-2012, 08:09 AM   #1
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Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

Hi

My names Dani and i've had asthma since I was about 5. I'm 24 years old now and I'd say I've used my rescue inhailer once a year give or a take a few times since I was very young. I recently developed horrible anxiety towards my asthma. I'm constantly in fear of an attack, always checking my peak flow. Since I have anxiety, my chest is tight any ways, and there has been many times i thought I was going to stop breathing, and it all ended up resolving itself without my inhailer.


My problem is I just recently found out that asthma is most classified by a cough and wheezing when you breathe out. I dont know if ive ever truly had an asthma attack, I pray that I dont, and i pray for all of you that regularly do.

My question is, if i feel like im wheezing, but cant hear any wheezes with a stethoscope and my peak flow is above 400 (i generally run 450 to 500, I'm 24 years old, 5'4 and 120 pounds) is that an asthma attack or just anxiety cramping me up? I'm afraid of having one of those asthma attacks people die from. I live less than 10 min from a hospital, but like I said. I've used my inhailer maybe once or 2 times a year, I'm not on any daily meds for it, and though i have some allergies to dust and pollen and dogs i've spent nights over friends houses who have carpeted floors and indoor dogs and not had problems.

Thank you so much, and sorry for the lengthyness

 
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Old 01-23-2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

It sounds like you have relatively mild asthma and have recently developed anxiety. It's possible to have asthma even if you don't audibly wheeze.

Yes, people do die from asthma attacks, but it doesn't come out of nowhere. Generally there are warning signs, sometimes days or weeks in advance, that asthma is getting worse. (More coughing, frequent mild attacks) People may not recognize the signs, or might not have access to medical care. Generally fatal asthma occurs among people who have badly. I've never heard of someone with mild asthma and no history of severe attacks suffering a rapidly fatal attack that came on with little or no warning.

Now, logic doesn't always work against anxiety. I suggest you seek treatment for the anxiety, and maybe see an allergist to be sure that your asthma/allergies are optimally managed.

Meantime, if you have your rescue inhaler and a cellphone on you, you will not die from asthma even if it does get worse one day.

 
Old 01-23-2012, 12:17 PM   #3
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

Thank you so much

I've been having this new anxiety for the last month or so, my allergist is amazing. Everytime i had been feeling tight in the chest or short of breath he had me come to his office, sometimes 3 times a week, and listened to my lungs and had me do a lung function test. He told me everything looked good, xrays came back good. My problem is I dont know whats asthma or just my severe anxiety. I dont get out of breath hardly ever, my chest just feels tight.

He told me its truly asthma causing it if my peak flow dips to 350.

thank you again for the much needed assurance/wisdom

Last edited by Daniiii; 01-23-2012 at 12:43 PM.

 
Old 01-23-2012, 03:58 PM   #4
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

My doctor advised me that panic attacks and asthma attacks can sometimes feel very similar. It's very possible that you feel like you can't breathe from anxiety. I would recommend talking to your doctor about it.

I also have anxiety sometimes and I know that if I take my peak flow and it's good then it's just stress.

 
Old 01-24-2012, 10:08 AM   #5
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

One thing that might help and may allay your anxiety would be to get on a daily med. That could great cut down on these "episodes" and make you feel more secure.

 
Old 01-24-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

Medication for the anxiety? Or the asthma?

I just started seeing a therapist, were doing cognitive behavioral therapy. My DR put me on an anti anxiety/depressant earlier this month but I read the side effects, which I then became incredibly fearful of. I have ativan if I need it but I'm also afraid to take that too. The only medication I'm actually not afraid to take is my albuterol when I need it, but like I said, when I think I need it, my peak flows are great and if I wait it passes. I usually only need it if I get the flu or bronchitis.

 
Old 01-26-2012, 01:43 PM   #7
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

I have a severe panic disorder and also mild asthma. I know you are afraid to take the ativan, but, it may help your symptoms. If you are having an anxiety attack, and you take one of your prescribed ativans, it can help you.

Hang in there!

 
Old 01-27-2012, 11:50 AM   #8
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

A daily asthma med - like Flovent. very mild one...

 
Old 01-27-2012, 09:39 PM   #9
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

I have an appointment with a pulmonologist in 5 days, so we'll see how that goes.

2 days ago I had a period of about 12 hours where my chest felt incredibly tight, and I felt it was difficult to breathe. my peak flow was 450/470..I took my inhaler as a sort of a challenge to see what it'd do...My highest peak flow I could get about 30 min after taking the inhaler, trying as hard as I could, was about 520, and all the rest I did was 480/500.

I'm just hoping I dont have a serious asthma attack before my appointment. The only time I get out of breath is when I talk excessively, which I really hope is just me hyperventilating because I'm a lady, and I talk like one (too much at times!).

Thanks for the advice, I'll ask my pulmonologist about flovent, and also maybe one of those challenge tests, seeing as about a month ago my spirometer test came back fine.

 
Old 02-17-2012, 10:45 AM   #10
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

How does one know how "severe" one's allergies are? Is there an indication on the spiro results? Also, what is the peak flow and how does one measure this? I have been given a 2-week trial inhaler which has numbers on the top. What are these numbers? Does it indicate how many more puffs I have in the inhaler? Thanks.

 
Old 02-17-2012, 01:33 PM   #11
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

By having allergy testing. Your reaction to the allergen shows how sensitive to it you are. Are you seeing a pulmonologist?

 
Old 02-18-2012, 07:56 AM   #12
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Re: Asthma, Anxiety, and Peak Flow Meters galore!

Yes i had an allergy (skin test) test 2 yrs ago. It showed allergy to grasses, weeds, some trees we have locally, dust mites, dust, animal danger, roaches.

i did see a pulmonlogist and another allergist recently. Put on an inhaler trial for 2 wks b/c she doens't think it's exercise induced asthma, but vocal cords dysfunction, but says i shd still get allergy shots.

 
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