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Old 02-15-2013, 01:42 PM   #1
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new to asthma, still freaking out

I was recently diagnosed with viral induced asthma and have many questions but for now just one. is the asthma cough productive? I'm coughing up yellow phlegm, is that normal or do I have an infection? I dont/havent had any fevers. Thanks in advance.

 
Old 02-15-2013, 02:27 PM   #2
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

Not typically unless you are doing something to agravate the asthma that produces a cough - such as cardio without premedicating that causes a cough. You will often have a productive cough in a case like that.

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:00 PM   #3
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

My asthma many times manifests as a relentless cough. It is generally non productive for me, but at times I cough up a whitish mucous.

 
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:30 PM   #4
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

thanks for the responses. i think i need to see my doc again.
one more question.....when people say their asthma 'flares up' what does that mean? coughing?

 
Old 02-20-2013, 06:34 PM   #5
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

A flare up is just when your asthma is giving you trouble. It might be coughing spells, wheezing, shortness or breath or chest tightness. Normally when asthma flares up,you take some additional steps, such as using your rescue more often, increasing your med doses etc. I am having a flare up right now because I have a cold. I noticed that I am coughing too much, and easily winded and a little wheezy. So I have started using my maxair by the clock, as per my action plan. If I'm still having problems, I will add an additional med, and if that doesn't do the trick, then I add prednisone.

 
Old 02-20-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

thanks again for your response Sue. my asthma isnt 'under control' yet and i wheeze throughout the day if/when i inhale and/or exhale deeply. sometimes it causes me to cough but not what i would consider a coughing fit. should i be using my rescue inhaler at these times?

 
Old 02-21-2013, 04:04 AM   #7
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

Not if the coughing is brief. What meds are you on and what is your action plan?

 
Old 02-21-2013, 09:17 AM   #8
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

Currently I'm only on Symbicort 160 - 2 puffs twice a day. My doc wants me do a month of that followed by Symbicort 80 for a month and then to see him and see how I'm doing. This is what I did the 1st time and it worked, I was off the inhaler for like 7-10 days, then I caught a cold and the wheezing came back. Is that considered an 'action plan'? He never used those words. Oh and of course he gave me a rescue inhaler. Haven't had to use it yet.

 
Old 02-21-2013, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

No. So you aren't on a permanent plan from a pulmonologist, it would seem. Why haven't you used your rescue inhaler if you are having problems with wheezing. That's when it should be used. Try one puff and see if it helps.

Typically with asthma you hae a plan to up or change meds when you have a flare up or attack. See the sticky at the top of the Asthma page titled Asthma Action Plan to see what one is like.

 
Old 02-21-2013, 12:12 PM   #10
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

No. So you aren't on a permanent plan from a pulmonologist, it would seem. Why haven't you used your rescue inhaler if you are having problems with wheezing. That's when it should be used. Try one puff and see if it helps.

Typically with asthma you hae a plan to up or change meds when you have a flare up or attack. See the sticky at the top of the Asthma page titled Asthma Action Plan to see what one is like.

 
Old 02-21-2013, 04:50 PM   #11
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

I havent used my rescue inhaler because the wheezing only happens when i inhale or exhale deeply and it doesnt really bother me; and when i cough it's usually brief. so i should be using the rescue inhaler for those times? would you happen to know the average amount of times a day someone w/ asthma uses their rescue inhaler?
i saw the Action Plan sticky and will read it right after i send this post. again, thanks for responding and for all the information Titchou. it is MUCH appreciated.

 
Old 02-21-2013, 06:37 PM   #12
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

When asthma is under control, you should not need your rescue inhaler at all unless you need it before cardio (most asthmatic do). But if you have trouble breathing and take one puff and it helps, then that's good. But typically you shouldn't "need" more than one or two puffs every few weeks or months. Are you inhaling or exhaling deeply due to cardio? Like walking up stairs, jogging, dancing? If so, you should do 2 puffs of the rescue inhaler, 60 seconds apart and 15 minutes before the cardio is to start.

 
Old 02-22-2013, 11:14 AM   #13
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

no sorry, when i say 'inhaling and exhaling deeply' it's not due to any activity, i just inhale and exhale deeply every now and then to see if the wheezing is there. but there are times when it's quiet or in bed i hear/feel it just breathing normally.
but there's a twist now. last night i had chills and a fever so i went to the doc today and he put me on antibiotics. since i took the 1st one the 'wheezing' and coughing have just about disappeared. now i'm thinking what i've suspected all along....that it is/was a respiratory infection that didnt go away. or can it still be asthma? i should mentioned that when i did the PFT it didnt really show asthma so i've been skepital about it ever since.

 
Old 02-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #14
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

Wheezing is not always a sign of asthma just as lack of wheezing is not always a sign that you don't have asthma. So, quit trying to see if you will wheeze just by breathing deeply or exhaling strongly. That's not a valid test.

The PFT is usually a pretty solid test for asthma. However, one can have asthma like symptoms due to certain illnesses but it goes away when well. Also, inhaled steroids are the treatment for many conditions and asthma is but one.

Did you see a pulmonologist or your regular GP?

 
Old 02-22-2013, 08:21 PM   #15
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Re: new to asthma, still freaking out

just to be clear, i'm talking about deep,full breaths - nothing extreme. just to gauge the 'wheezes' to see if they've lessened or not.
i saw my GP who is also a pulmonologist.

 
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