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Old 01-28-2012, 05:45 AM   #1
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Question Asthma cough won't stop

I am in China and have gone to an international part of a Chinese hospital. The lung specialist says I have asthma and put me on an inhaler from Sweden. The company is AstraZeneca and the number is 1604.5. I cannot read the rest. After two weeks of puffing, I still have some shortness of breath and cough. I have to do the hack to cause any movement of the tightness in my chest. On ocassion I cough up some almost clear sticky mucous. The doctor said my breathing tubes were just inflamed and not to worry about mucous. Last year I got this condition following an infection and it lasted four months with inhalers also of a different kind. I am older now... 68 and while in the states was told I had adult onset asthma and also allergies. I also have been treated for gerd... which I do not seem to have now. From time to time my nose runs too... I am at a loss as to stop this cough. It bothers my English teaching and is very frustrating. Somehow I think my asthma must not be controlled by this inhaler but I do not know what to try or even what to ask for... any help appreciated...

John in China

 
Old 01-28-2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: Asthma cough won't stop

I assume that medical professionals have taken xrays and that they have ruled out anything physiologically wrong with your lungs.

I also assume that you have had complete blood tests and that nothing irregular has shown up in your blood-work.

Has the presence of either a pericardial or pleural effusion been ruled out?

Have you been tested for any kind of heart disease? Heart Enlargement? Heart valve dysfunction? Heart rhythm problems? High Blood Pressure?

Do your "asthma" problems seem to get worse at night?

Are you on any medications?

Asthma medicines help to prevent serious asthmatic attacks, but they won't necessarily prevent the labored or difficult breathing that is typical of Asthma when the patient is exposed to irritants and allergens.

Before you started having these increased asthmatic-like symptoms, did anything change in your life or environment? Move to a new apartment? New clothes? New cleaning chemicals? A smoker moved in next door? New furniture? New diet? Move to a more heavily polluted area? Pollution levels higher than normal?
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Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

Last edited by Machaon; 01-28-2012 at 12:06 PM.

 
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Old 01-28-2012, 05:53 PM   #3
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Re: Asthma cough won't stop

x-rays were taken in the states two or three years ago and nothing was found. At that time I seemed to have bronchitis at least twice a year that would linger for three weeks and leave me with this cough. I am an avid tennis player and when in my early 60's I had some strange to me attacks when playing. I not be able to breath correctly...it felt like a band around my chest. I would try to push through it but had to stop a few times. The docs were perplexed and came up with exercise induced asthma. A few years later an allergy doc. tested and started me on weekly shots I took for over a year but which I had to stop because I could not get the meds shipped to China due to their customs. Last year I got sick with an untreated cold and had this horrible cough for four months. It came back about a month ago and I immediately went to a Chinese doctor at the international clinic. x-rays revealed nothing that was diagnosed to be related to the coughing and wheezing. I was given to puffs of symbicort powder and tested on my air outflow with a 10% beyond expectation result. I was given the symbicort inhaler but my symptoms did not improve. I went back a week later and it was found the inhaler was empty. The doctor said in broken English that my airways had inflamation, to not worry about the feeling of mucous as I was only feeling the restriction. I received two symbicort 160 4.5 inhalers and told it had two medicines...one being for flareups and the other for long term maintenance. I just figured out this medicine with an AstraZeneca logo and from Sweden is Symicort. I checked their website and found the medicine does have two ingredients but neither are for treating a flareup. The website said the medicine was to be prescribed for those who had been on a mild inhaler with poor results. That did not apply to me. I was also told I could use the symbicort as often as I needed...even up to 8 times a day. The website said to take two puffs in the AM and two in the PM which I just started doing. I get the idea the lung specialist here may not be all that knowlegable. I did not have blood work at this point. Previous blood work has never shown abnormalities. My other organs seem fine, but I do have high blood pressure, most likely hereditary. I have taken meds for 15 years for that and am currently on something prescribed here in China. There is no doubt the polution is high here. The city of seven million and many cars, factories, etc. has bad air for sure. The present Lunar New Year celebration of 15 days presents one with almost continual city-wide fireworks with resulting smoke and noise. I would blame my symptoms on this except for the fact I suffered often with the persistant cough for years while in the states also. With allegires, runny nose, gerd (seems undercontrol) and asthma, perhaps I am doomed to have to wheeze, have shortness of breath and annoying cough. I hope to get it under control but no success thus far and I do not know what to do. The symptoms do not bother me at night, but when I wake each time... two or three per night... the accumulation of mucous or tightness is more and I have to hack and then cough to relieve it somewhat. I thank you so much for responding.... John

 
Old 01-29-2012, 05:18 AM   #4
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Re: Asthma cough won't stop

Do you not have a "rescue" inhaler - albuterol? You definitely need that. And at this point probably a 5 day regimen of prednisone to get you over this flare.

 
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:30 AM   #5
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Re: Asthma cough won't stop

Quote:
Originally Posted by ohjohnny1 View Post
x-rays were taken in the states two or three years ago and nothing was found.
Even though that was a while ago, at least it is reassuring.

Quote:
At that time I seemed to have bronchitis at least twice a year that would linger for three weeks and leave me with this cough.
At least you didn't have chronic bronchitis at that time.

Quote:
A few years later an allergy doc. tested and started me on weekly shots I took for over a year but which I had to stop because I could not get the meds shipped to China due to their customs.
I've stopped getting the shots and started, a couple of years ago, giving myself SLIT (Sublingual Immunotherapy) treatments at home. I can't believe how much help and allergy relief I have gotten from at-home, SLIT treatments.

Quote:
Last year I got sick with an untreated cold and had this horrible cough for four months.
That "cold" could have over-sensitized you, and made your asthma and allergies more reactive to pollens, pollutants, odors, and other irritants/allergens.

Quote:
... but I do have high blood pressure, most likely hereditary. I have taken meds for 15 years for that and am currently on something prescribed here in China.
Regardless of the actual reason for the high blood pressure, better blood pressure can be achieved thru healthier diet; appropriate exercise; avoiding allergens and irritants and pollutants; and effective medication.

But, of course, that is a completely different issue than your Asthma problems.

Just out of curiosity, what meds are you taking and how well are they working?

Quote:
There is no doubt the pollution is high here. The city of seven million and many cars, factories, etc. has bad air for sure. The present Lunar New Year celebration of 15 days presents one with almost continual city-wide fireworks with resulting smoke and noise. I would blame my symptoms on this except for the fact I suffered often with the persistant cough for years while in the states also.
There are many, MANY allergens and irritants in our lives. We can't escape them. What matters is how sensitive a person is to them. Some people can be exposed to all kinds of irritants and never have a problem.

If you have become over-sensitized because of that bad cold your Asthma might have become harder to contain. Do you ever wear a mask?


Quote:
With allegires, runny nose, gerd (seems undercontrol) and asthma, perhaps I am doomed to have to wheeze, have shortness of breath and annoying cough. I hope to get it under control but no success thus far and I do not know what to do.
One of the things that warns me of impending Asthma problems is "gerd". When I am exposed to an Asthma trigger I get a little nauseous and start having indigestion. Then I look for something that might have been brought into my home, or some food I ate, or some clothes that I just put on, etc.

There are countless things that can irritate Asthma and Allergies. Over the years, I have had many allergy shots; have drastically changed my diet; have removed many things things from my home; have made many changes to my lifestyle; have and am giving myself at-home SLIT treatments; am taking Flovent and Flonase, and I my asthma and allergies are reasonably under control. But, it's taken a lot of work!

Quote:
The symptoms do not bother me at night, but when I wake each time... two or three per night... the accumulation of mucous or tightness is more and I have to hack and then cough to relieve it somewhat. I thank you so much for responding.... John
Night time is the worst time for allergies. I'm glad that you have reasonable control over your asthma at night. At least you can get a decent night's sleep.

I hope that your symptoms have improved and that you are doing well and getting answers; and that your English students are benefiting from and enjoying their healthier teacher!
__________________
Greatly Improved CHF, A-Fib, HBP, Asthma:

⇒ Eliminate household items that are toxic!
⇒ Balanced, healthy, low glycemic diet
⇒ Lots of Exercise
⇒ Avoid night allergens, toxins
⇒ Coreg!

Last edited by Machaon; 02-04-2012 at 05:33 AM.

 
Old 02-05-2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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Re: Asthma cough won't stop

Symbicort should be inhaled twice in the morning and twice before bedtime. Symbicort is a long acting inhaler and the albuterol inhalers, the rescue inhalers, are short acting. NEVER take Symbicort more than twice a day. If you are having wheezing during the day and difficultly breathing, that's what the albuterol inhalers are for. They are short acting. Has your doctor ordered a CT scan of your chest? There could be more going on then just asthma and allergies. It also sounds like you have post nasal drip by your description of the accumalation of mucus in your throat. Post nasal drip will cause you to cough and cough when you lay down and keep you awake. You should also see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. They could give you something for the Post Nasal Drip. I use Astrapro nasal spray, two sprays into each nostril at bedtime and it has helped my post nasal drip immensly. I never have it any more. I hope this helps. But PLEASE never use Symbicort or any long acting asthma inhaler more that twice a day. One Symbicort inhaler should last you a month.

 
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