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  • Allergic Asthma getting worse and I am concerned

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    Old 03-16-2009, 08:18 AM   #1
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    Allergic Asthma getting worse and I am concerned

    I have allergies with an asthma component. Usually I do not have any problems ashtma-wise unless I am exposed to certain things like smoke, dust or mold. I also get increased symptoms during pollen season. This year in my part of Florida, pollen season has already started and it bad since it has been very dry. Daily high pollen counts (9 and above) for the past 5 weeks. I have had recurring sinus infections and lots of congestion, sinus pain, etc and 2 rounds of anti-biotics. Then about 2 weeks ago I started having shortness of breath and chest tightness. These symptoms usually only last a couple of days but this time it has been almost constant. I started singulair last Monday but ended up back at the docs on Friday with continued SOB. Doc gave me a prednisone step-down pak to take and sent me off for a chest x-ray. Waiting for the report on that. Today I finally feel some relief and my SOB is less but I am scared. I don't know why the asthma is worse this year. I am otherwise healthy, don't smoke and don't live with a smoker. I am hoping that this is just a bad pollen season and not that my condition is worsening. I have never been on meds before - other than OTC for the allergies - and I know singulair is used for that as well. My allergies are pretty bad with pain, pressure, congestion, etc. even with daily meds. I am very apprehensive...

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    Old 03-16-2009, 07:19 PM   #2
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    Re: Allergic Asthma getting worse and I am concerned

    In addition to the allergens, the sinus infections themselves can be a trigger for your asthma.

    I've frequently had asthma flare-ups when I'm dealing with sinus infections. In fact, I'm currently dealing with both. For me, the asthma flare-up usually happens about a week into the sinus infections. I have no idea if that is "typical" or not.

    I've also had my asthma and allergies gradually get worse over the years. My asthma treatment and action plans have had to be adjusted as that has occurred. I have regular specialist visits to try to keep my allergies under control. I review my medication regimine and am receiving immunotherapy.

    There is some information that you didn't share:

    Have you been to an asthma or allergy specialist or ENT yet?
    Have you been formally tested for allergies?
    What are you doing as preventative measures when it comes to your allergies, asthma and sinuses?
    Do you use a rescue inhaler?
    Do you ever experience any acid reflux?

    There are a lot of different things you have aluded to. You are dealing with your current problems, but you are also dealing with long-term chronic problems.

    Here are some of my thoughts:

    -You have not been on on antibiotics for very long. As you know from experience, it may take a while before things get better. Especially since you indicate you have chronic sinusitis.
    -Prednisone is a standard treatment for asthma when it flares. You should have had some asthma improvement fairly soon after beginning it.
    -If you have not been to an asthma and/or allergy specialist, I would recommend that you seek an appointment with one or both. (Last year it took me four months to get in to see a well respected Pulmonologist. He has really helped me be proactive in my asthma plan and treatment though.)
    -If you don't already have one, ask your doctor about a rescue inhaler, such as Albuterol. If you are having regular asthma problems, you should really be able to have some sort of treatment before it becomes an emergency.
    -Singulair is used to treat asthma for some people. Personally, I wouldn't take it as my primary asthma treatment. I use it to supplement a different daily asthma medication. If you find that you don't notice any significant improvement while you are on it, you should talk to your doctor. You may find that a different approach may be needed. If your asthma has gotten bad enough that you are regularly having problems, you and your doctor may decide that a regular daily medication is called for.
    -Talk to your doctor about daily allergy treatments if you are really experiencing bad year-round allergies. Daily medications may help reduce your number of sinus problems and help with your quality of life. Constant allergies can really wear on a person.
    -If you haven't had allergy testing, I'd recommend having it done so that you know all of your specific triggers. It helps to know what exactly they are so that you can try to avoid triggers as you face them. If you find that you have severe allergies after testing, you might want to consider immunotherapy. It helps with the severity of allergies in the long-term.
    -Research and try some homeopathic type things to keep address your allergy/sinus/asthma issues. For example, an air purifier may help, doing nasal rinses may help, using nasal saline sprays and keeping your nasal passages moist may help.

    Feel better soon,
    Mountain Reader

    Old 03-18-2009, 05:55 PM   #3
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    Re: Allergic Asthma getting worse and I am concerned

    Thank you for your reply. Yes, I have seen an ENT and an allergist. I had the allergy tests done and reacted to everything (indoor and out) except for one kind of grass. I have GERD but since going on to the South Beach diet a couple of years ago, my symptoms have all but gone. I only get occasionaly flair-ups when I eat certain foods. Along with my shortness of breath, I always experience increased mucus and sinus pain and pressure. I have an albuterol inhaler but don't find a need to use it too often - this week and last is an exception. I take daily OTC allergy meds and limit my exposure as much as I can (i.e., I don't vaccum, stay away from smoke and smokers, etc.)and do nasal irrigation. I live in Florida and in the spring the pollen can be a real issue. We have had high or very high counts for the past 6 weeks straight with no relief. I saw my doctor again today. My chest x-ray was clear. She started me on advair along with the singular and the claritin D. Unfortuately, I also suffer from an anxiety disorder so when I get the SOB I usually get anxious about it and that just makes the SOB worse. I had a full blown, really bad panic attack yesterday while driving home from work. I am trying to stay hopeful that the singulair and advair will kick in soon and I'll get some relief. Or that we will get some rain and lower our count here some. I am just concerned that this might be something that doesn't go away.

    Old 03-19-2009, 07:40 AM   #4
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    Re: Allergic Asthma getting worse and I am concerned

    Why are you not on allergy injections?

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