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    Old 05-09-2012, 09:38 AM   #1
    Trinity12
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    Asthma issues

    My asthma definitely isn't under control. Every morning I wake up congested with tightness in my chest. I went to the ER last Wednesday because my albuterol(salbutamol) inhaler didn't work very well at all. I was given a breathing treatment in the ER and the ER doctor prescribed symbicort.

    I also have a cold/flu. I use the two puffs of symbicort in the morning and two in the evening. Some days I only have to use my albuterol a couple of times. Since contracting this cold/flu I've had to use my albuterol taking four puffs in order to relive my chest tightness and congestion. Does it usually take symbicort a while to work or is it just the cold/flu making things worse? My peak flow readings have been down as well.

     
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    Old 05-09-2012, 10:32 AM   #2
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    Re: Asthma issues

    Symbicort may help somewhat immediately, but it will take a week or two to see the full benefit. And I'm sure the cold is part of the reason you are out of control.

    Keep an eye on things, go back to the ER if you need to. Prednisone is also an option, if the flare doesn't settle down soon.

    What kind of doctor do you usually see for your asthma? If you aren't on a daily controller medicine, maybe you should be. If you haven't seen a pulmonologist within the last year, I'd consider it.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #3
    Trinity12
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    Re: Asthma issues

    Thanks for the advice jane. Right now I only seen my family doctor. It's not easy to see specialists around here but I can look into it. I use sabutamol(albuterol) as a rescue inhaler. Is that the same as a daily controller medicine?

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 10:47 AM   #4
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    Re: Asthma issues

    No it is not. Advair, Symbicort, Flovent,etc are daily meds. The albuterol is a rescue med for when you have an attack or for premedicating before cardio. Seeing a pulmonologist should get you set up on an asthma action plan that will tell you what to do in case of a cold, the flu etc.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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    Re: Asthma issues

    No, it isn't. Albuterol is something that you take when your asthma bothers you. It relieves symptoms fast, but it doesn't prevent flares.

    Symbicort is one example of a controller medicine. You take it twice a day every day, whether you feel well or not. (Some people with milder asthma take it once a day.) It helps keep your asthma from acting up in the first place.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 10:57 AM   #6
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    Re: Asthma issues

    Ok, thanks for the replies. I do take symbicort two puffs in the morning and two in the evening. You're right I really do need more of an action plan.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 11:37 AM   #7
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    Re: Asthma issues

    You may need a different med or to add another when you are sick. A pulmo can certainly help you sort this out.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 11:44 AM   #8
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    Re: Asthma issues

    Thanks Titchou. Hopefully I will be able to find a pulmonologist. I already have an endocrinologist and am going to see an allergist this month.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 02:33 PM   #9
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    Re: Asthma issues

    Hi In addition to the above comments re taking a 'preventer' and 'reliever' inhaler you should consider also using a spacer or volumatic chamber when using your inhalers. Problems taking medications are common for asthmatics when suffering from a cold, and colds often lead to a flare up of asthma, a spacer can be invaluable for relieving and managing symptoms . It is also easier to ensure whether inhaler working correctly, as you can see the 'puff' of medication being taking. Extremely simple and cheap to purchase - yet very effective.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 02:34 PM   #10
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    Re: Asthma issues

    The Allergist may be of some help to you as well. My Allergist provided me with an asthma action plan and prescribes maintenance asthma medications.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #11
    Trinity12
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    Re: Asthma issues

    My pharmacist mentioned an aero chamber to me. I will look into a spacer as well. I never thought of the allergist as this will be my first visit with him. Thank you for your helpful comments.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 03:19 PM   #12
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    Re: Asthma issues

    The areochamber and spacer are the same. Different brand inhalers tend to use different spacers, as the mouth piece on inhalers can be slightly different in size. Since my asthma was correctly diagnosed, with the use of a preventer, reliever inhaler, a spacer, as well as recognising the pattern of any deterioration - touch wood - asthma been very well maintained.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 03:26 PM   #13
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    Re: Asthma issues

    I really do need to get one of those. I know many of my asthma triggers but not all. Cigarette smoke really bothers me, paint fumes, cold air, sometimes cut grass. I'm glad to hear that your asthma is well maintained aqua. I wasn't diagnosed until I was a teen. As a child I was never able to run without getting out of breath and a pain in my side. I know it had to have been asthma then.

     
    Old 05-09-2012, 04:27 PM   #14
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    Re: Asthma issues

    Like you I had undiagnosed asthma during childhood, and diagnosed late teens. I have had allergy testing, but nothing showed sufficiently to explain my attacks. I have learnt my main triggers to be strong aerosols, certain perfumes, aftershave, sudden temperature changes, paint, smoke and laughing too much! But my worse attacks have always been when getting over a cold, which is very common for many asthma suffers. I always then have to use my spacer with the inhaler just so I can actually inhale my inhalers, without coughing. I am sure you will start feeling the benefits of your preventer inhaler within 7 - 10 days, and increasing your ventolin, especially with the aid of a spacer, should provide some relief in the meantime. I always double the dose of both inhalers when ever I have a cold now, and it has been many years since I last attended hospital due to my Asthma. Hope things pick up for you soon.

     
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    Old 05-09-2012, 04:41 PM   #15
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    Re: Asthma issues

    I really do need to get that spacer because it sounds like it would really help me. Sometimes I feel the mist of the inhaler hitting the back of my throat but other times I feel nothing. This cold has really been doing a number on me. For some reason I don't really cough that much with a cold. Instead I sneeze a lot. With this cold my ribs are really sore as well. When I have an asthma attack my chest gets really tight and I can't draw in a deep breath. Sometimes if I do cough it feels like my lungs are closing up, like suffocation. I never knew that was safe to double up the dose of my inhaler. I have to had to many times especially in the morning and during a bad attack. I wish that I had the breathing treatment like they did at the hospital. Thanks for all the advice and encouragement Aqua. I really appreciate it.

     
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