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Tips to keep asthma at bay please

(48 Posts)
PartyFops Mon 26-Nov-12 20:27:14

DD (19m) has just been diagnosed with Asthma and is also recovering from pneumonia. I am so new to this asthma thing it makes my head spin a bit.

Does anyone have any tips for me to try and keep it at bay, for instance is a warm bedroom suggested, her room can get really cold but I wrap her up really well, but will the cold air cause a problem?

Do I avoid taking her swimming, which she loves.

Do I now need to hoover the house every day? ( I have 3 cats)

Should I start avoiding dairy?

Should I avoid having log fires? (we only ever have these after she has gone to bed).

Any tips?

stargirl1701 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:35:48

I don't know if childhood asthma is different but, as an adult, I find the following helps:

No carpet in bedroom
Window open in bedroom
Mattress hoovered every week
Pillows and duvet washed every 3 months
Fresh sheets every week
No air freshness in house
Open windows in house for an hour or two
No feather cushions or pillows/duvets
No wool or feather clothing
Unscented laundry powder
Roll on deo not sprays
No strong cleaners, e.g. Oven cleaner, Cillit Bang, etc.
Wax polish rather than spray

I struggle with changes in temperature - hung from cold to hot, outdoor to indoor and vice versa. It's not the temp as such but the change.

I find swimming very helpful as breathing out under water really improves my peak flow. But, I have to spend some time in the cafe afterwards if it is cold outside (see above).

Can't think of any more off the top of my head. Hope this helps.

stargirl1701 Mon 26-Nov-12 20:36:21

Air Freshners. Damn iPad auto correct.

GrimAndHumourlessAndEven Mon 26-Nov-12 20:40:05

what meds has she been prescribed?

wafflingworrier Mon 26-Nov-12 20:41:04

don't dry laundry in the house if you can help it and get a de-humidifier, alternate which room you put it in daily. this has done wonders for my wee one, i hope it helps yours too

ChablisLover Mon 26-Nov-12 20:42:06

Wet dusting also helps

What is her asthma trigger? Everyone is different.

PartyFops Mon 26-Nov-12 21:13:29

Thank you stargirl for your tips. And a good excuse to have coffee and cake in the cafe afterwards.

grim she is on Montelukast for 3 months, and brown inhaler 2 puffs twice a day plus blue inhaler when needed. On top of the 7 day course of ABs for the Pnuemonia.

waffling we have a tumble drier as i am very lazy, and I have been using a humidifier rather than a de humidifier at night, do you think this is a bad idea? We dont have any problems with condensation. The humidifier was used to try and clear her chest.

Chablis I do tend to wet dust presuming i know what that means as I tend to use flash wipes on everything. I dont really know what her triggers are, at the moment the only thing I can think of is having a cold. It will be trial and error I guess.

PartyFops Mon 26-Nov-12 22:10:04

Any more tips anyone, this is a whole new world for me.

P.s anyone want 3 cats? wink

3b1g Mon 26-Nov-12 22:14:55

If there is any damp in the bedroom then you might need a dehumidifier.

In the summer we can't dry any laundry outside as the pollen makes things worse.

We don't let the cat upstairs into the bedrooms and we don't have carpet downstairs.

It has got much better with age. Each year is better than the last.

PartyFops Mon 26-Nov-12 22:18:11

We have been using a humidifier to help with the chest infection, but i think its not good long term (probably been using it for a week now) so will get the dehumidifier out tomorrow. There were a few mould spots on the window frames from using humidifier but these have all been cleaned off with mould cleaner.

I really hope she will grow out of it.

I didnt notice her suffer in the summer, being out in the garden so hopefully pollen wont be a factor.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 26-Nov-12 22:21:34

Do you know if she's allergic to cats? I'm severely allergic and yes my asthma was very much better as a child when ours were rehomed :-(

SantasHugandRollintheSnow Mon 26-Nov-12 22:25:41

I find the dramatic changes in weather/temperature are the worst triggers for my ds1 (who had a whole weekend of asthma attacks a week ago due to the bad weather). Don't ignore an unproductive cough, especially at night that they can't seem to stop, that's when the blue inhaler is to be used. General advice is they can have up to 10'puffs in an hour, if that doesn't help go to A&E.

Ventolin makes children hyper, don't be surprised if they are having an attack, look poorly and listless, have the ventolin and after a while start running around like headless chickens grin.

PartyFops Mon 26-Nov-12 22:29:43

I dont know if she is allergic to cats, we stayed at my dads in the summer for 2 weeks and he doesnt have cats, and was still coughing badly whilst there.

But the cats do add a massive amount of dust to the home. I need to step up the hoovering and perhaps renew my 8 year old dyson for one with a hepa filter.

Sirzy Mon 26-Nov-12 22:37:05

I think the key is finding the triggers (which is easier said than done, Ds has been diagnosed for 2 years and had bloods done today to try to find what we are missing)

Does she have trouble all the time or just when ill?

ClueLessFirstTime Mon 26-Nov-12 22:41:46

- find out what the triggers are (food, fabrics, damp, mould, pets, exercise) and avoid.
- take the medicines as prescribed. if they don't work as well get back to gp
- find out what makes it better (outside air, inside air, humidifier, heat, cold)

...and go from there

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 22:41:51

Vitamin d supplements - make sure it's d3

And not related to the asthma, but worth boosting iron as well. Dd was low after fighting off pneumonia. Spatone in juice is nice and easy

The asthma might only be temporary after the pneumonia. Dd needed an inhaler for a few months but we hardly used it

mercibucket Mon 26-Nov-12 22:42:00

Vitamin d supplements - make sure it's d3

And not related to the asthma, but worth boosting iron as well. Dd was low after fighting off pneumonia. Spatone in juice is nice and easy

The asthma might only be temporary after the pneumonia. Dd needed an inhaler for a few months but we hardly used it

gomummygone Mon 26-Nov-12 22:42:10

DS has asthma and has had pneumonia twice, so I am quite obsessive about it, but do think it depends on your DD's triggers as well. For us:

A humidistat measures the humidity in his room; we use a dehumidifier in summer and a humidifier in winter to keep him at exactly the percentage where he is best. This has been the biggest thing by far.

We live in Canada and heat only with wood for half of the year, so it gets dry if we don't add humidity - other than that, the wood fire does not make any difference to him (we tested for 3 months on oil heat only after his first pneumonia experience!) I also line dry all of our laundry in the house in winter to add humidity, etc.

I change his pillowcases daily, sheets weekly at least, and wash duvet every two weeks (yes the duvet is a pain!). Everything in hot. He has the "allergy free" duvet, mattress cover and pillow covers - though we finally got in for testing and he has no allergies they can find.

All hard surface floors throughout the house, excepting an area rug downstairs which is vaccuumed 2x/week with a hepa vac.

Vaccuum curtains in DS' room with hepa vac weekly, dust almost daily (swipe with damp cloth).

Nothing scented anywhere in the house anymore, including detergent.

Pets didn't make a difference with us, but I know they do for a lot of people.

I think different things work for different people, especially humidity and dust-wise. Good luck.x

Whojamaflip Mon 26-Nov-12 22:45:23

yy to identifying triggers - ds1 suffers and needs his inhalers when the weather changes to damp and cold or if he goes from hot to cold (we tend to keep the house on the cooler side and no heating in the bedroom as he is more comfortable. Oh and we keep him off artificial sugars as much as possible as that really sets him off (last time he had a Fruit Shoot he ended up in hospital sad )

However animals have no effect on him - in fact he takes his long haired cat to bed with him - I usually have to kick it out at bedtime. grin

Sirzy Mon 26-Nov-12 22:45:59

Also have you been shown how to use the inhaler and spacer properly? Reading a lot of threads on here they are often prescribed with no training on how to use them meaning they aren't as effective as they should be.

PartyFops Mon 26-Nov-12 22:47:20

Sirzy, it all started with coughing that wouldnt go away, she has had a cough on and off since June. It would get much worse when she had a cold. Last week (as in the asthma thread) I took her to A&E and was later referred by GP to the ped, who diagnosed pnumonia and asthma.

I must say that I am not 100% convinced about the asthma but I will do everything I can to get her better. Her breathing was still laboured today, I noticed her neck going in and out when she breathed, (which may well be normal, but I hadn't noticed it until the last week)

PartyFops Mon 26-Nov-12 22:52:33

Wow lots of great tips, thank you.

We weren't initially shown how to use the spacers properly when given by the GP in September, but we were shown in hospital on friday.

ClueLessFirstTime Mon 26-Nov-12 22:56:14

doesn't matterbif it is 'proper' asthma or not, the treatment is the same.

maybe try damp dusting with just a damp cloth for a bit to see if that make a difference?

Jojay Mon 26-Nov-12 23:06:25

It really depends on what her triggers are.

My Ds's suffer from viral wheeze which gives asthma symptoms, severe at times. (they've been hospitalised several times, on quite strong preventer meds)

They've been allergy tested too and they came back negative to cats, dogs, house dustmites, and grass and tree pollen, so avoiding those things makes not one jot of difference to them.

Saying that, your DD's symptoms don't sound like viral wheeze as it's been going on for so long - you say coughing since June. That might well be allergy triggered.

Have to been referrred to an asthma nurse? They're great on this kind of thing, and push for allergy testing.

gomummygone Mon 26-Nov-12 23:54:25

Yy to asthma nurse, they are fab.

Paediatric allergist explained to us how limited allergy testing is, said that they only find the allergen in about 15% of cases. Notes help a lot in this situation - especially when is it worse? At night, lying down, after activity, in heat or cold, even things like visiting certain places, eating certain foods, etc.

Hope your DD is feeling better soon.

Jolsen Thu 25-Apr-13 15:10:51

A neighbour of mine has two children that are allergy suffers especially when sleeping. I asked her what she uses and she advised to buy anti-allergy duvets from JL and found excellent pillows here
I believe it is a Swiss pillow which is very good.

MistyB Thu 25-Apr-13 20:48:15

Just to add the list of things to think about.... Not all of them may be relevant and no individual one will be a magic cure but I find every little things adds to the picture.

Household chemicals - I would ditch the flash wipes and try to keep chemicals as simple as possible

Creams etc : the range of reactions and substances reacted to in this category are vast, anything with petroleum is a no no for DS2

Toothpaste: DS2 rubs his nose when having his teeth cleaned and hates it, changing to a non aluminum and non Sodium Lareth Sulphate one has helped unbelievably and reduced his wheezing.

Food - DS has food intolerences including wheat and dairy (which the latest consultant believes are at the root of all allergies). He is also allergic to peanuts and sesame, we had reintroduced sesame after a negative skin prick test but it seems that was the wrong thing to do, we have now excluded again and he is much better.

Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine and can be given in large doses when she is not well. Also look at her diet for essential fatty acids, coconut oil, borage, walnut, sesame, sunflower, olive, flax seed and fish oils, all provide different elements required for a healthy immune system. Blue tansy essential oil rubbed on the back of his hands has also helped.

Also, worth having a look at Buteko breathing (in and out through the nose basically). Actually relatively easy to teach at this age, put her on her side to sleep and lie beside her with your hand gently under her chin. A few nights will make all the difference. You can also put your hands on her tummy which brings attention to her breath and get her to push your hand out. Get her to lie on the floor on her tummy supported by her hands when playing / watching TV / having stories which will also encourage deep lung breathing.

And finally, osteopathy can loosen up the upper chest area and allow the lungs to properly fill.

MistyB Thu 25-Apr-13 20:50:12

Darn, old thread!!

coorong Sat 27-Apr-13 19:10:43

agree you need to see if you can find the triggers - one nephew is allergic to dogs and horses, another is triggered by viruses and at university i had a friend with exercised induced asthma triggered by pollen.

The NHS website has useful information. At school we are warned not to sit asthma prone children next to open windows when it's cold outside. The temperature difference can trigger or aggravate an attack.

Talk to your Asthma nurse - they've usually seen everything and wil have some great advice. Don't get paranoid about food allergies - they're supposed to be a minor contributory factor.

coorong Sat 27-Apr-13 19:12:32

And I realise this is the last thing to hear, but anxiety can trigger attacks. So try (easier said than done) to be calm and serene, it will help ... think whales and butterflies and waves lapping the shore......

MrsHiddleston Sat 27-Apr-13 19:13:54

As an asthmatic there was one thing my parents did that literally changed my life! Removed carpet and put a wooden floor down in my bedroom. I kid you not it was a major turning point in my childhood health.

Still asthmatic at 36 and still won't have carpet in my bedroom.

Stuffed teddy bears are also a bit of a no no... Anything that can get very dusty and be difficult to clean.

MrsHiddleston Sat 27-Apr-13 19:15:14

Oh dear and one more thing I will be slated for I expect but I would not have cats... I am massively allergic and they are major triggers to my asthma (that and horses).

MrsHiddleston Sat 27-Apr-13 19:17:29

On another note... Only when it very cold, a cold bedroom wouldn't affect my asthma, but going for a wall when it's 0degrees would.

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Apr-13 19:21:24

I struggle with changes in temperature - hung from cold to hot, outdoor to indoor and vice versa. It's not the temp as such but the change.

That is the big one for me, a frosty morning walk is fine - but then going into an over heated shop is not a good move for me.

ivykaty44 Sat 27-Apr-13 19:22:58

dd1 is also allergic to cats and has asthma, she is fine in a house with cats where all the floors are wooden - as really it is the saliva on the cats hairs in the carpet that she is allergic to and in a house with wooden floors there are no cat hairs lingering with saliva on them.

Sirzy Sat 27-Apr-13 19:24:42

Temperature and weather changes are a big problem for DS. We have had an awful few weeks because of the up and down weather

cathpip Sat 27-Apr-13 19:25:05

My sons asthma always flares up badly when the there is a change in temperature, even going from hot to air con will also start him off. We have found that giving 2 puffs of his blue inhaler twice a day followed 10 mins later with 2 puffs of his brown inhaler (twice a day) has worked a treat, it keeps the cough at bay and prevents any attacks developing (we found that once an attack had started the inhalers could not bring it under control, even after 36 hours)

TelephoneTree Sat 27-Apr-13 20:58:58

Where do you live? I can recommend a good nutritionist/naturopath in Richmond London but they are all over the place. You need to find the trigger for why her immune system is so reactive. It may be environmental or something she's eating.

With our DS it was wheat. He had to have a few other things removed from his diet temporarily while his body got sorted out but it's made a profound difference for him. He is now full of energy, thriving and barely gets a cold. Before he was tired and weary, constant runny nose, coughing at night and if he got a cold (frequent) he's be wheezing all over the place.

I can't recommend that you see someone highly enough. It will change her life.

My Ds4 is Asthmatic & has been on all those meds since he was 3 years old .
Their is no need to become excessively clean all of a sudden as long as the Hoovering & dusting gets done .
I have had to switch to Organic fruit & veg due to the chemicals sprayed on them .
My Top tip which really helps my Ds when he is bad is to give him a nice hot bath in either the Vicks or Olbas bubble bath & smother his chest & feet in Vicks , I sound crazy but this really does help him grin
Also stick a pillow under the head of her mattress to help breathing while sleeping (i was advised to do this by my Ds' pediatrician )
HTH smile

Ooh also if you were given the huge opaque space & she/he doesn't take to it (it would scare the hell out of my Ds) ask your go for an Aerochamber as they are smaller & have Teddies on plus also easier to transport .
I got my Ds the little life back pack to keep his in that way I never forget to take it anywhere & he felt grown up having his own little bag & he is always jazzing his up with stickers

3 months not years
I'll go now grin

gussiegrips Sat 04-May-13 18:58:34

I thought I'd read a thread about asthma on here can't find it. Anyone know where it is?

sorry for hijack.

gussiegrips Sat 04-May-13 19:08:04

Found it! Phew. I'll link here incase anyone wants to find the chat... x

popsnsqeeze Sat 04-May-13 19:19:04

I haven't read through the entire thread so apologies of this has been mentioned.
I had horrible asthma as a kid, it's under control now but I still get attacks when the weather changes.

Triggers for me:
Weather change
Feathers - duvet, pillows even feather jacket.

Also, when I would start feeling a bit puffy I would get (and still do!) an itchy chin. No idea why, but I've always had that. I always take a puff on my inhaler to ward off whatever is coming. It's probably worth watching your DC to see if they get a sign like that, apparently it's not unusual.

Good luck!

popsnsqeeze Sat 04-May-13 19:20:11

One more thing!
I NEVER wheezed! I still don't when I get an attack.

Jojay Sat 04-May-13 19:24:30


Startail Sat 04-May-13 19:36:32

Does that matter, loads of useful info in here and the recent very cold then get warmer weather plus sodding tree pollen has probably set lots if people off.

I know chasing about in the cold has effected DD1, who is another who say aerosol deodorants should be banned. They are officially, but the school changing rooms are still full of them.

Her asthma is strongly stress related and swimming and especially singing help. She's a serious singer and concentrating on getting it right seems to break the cycle.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 19:39:55

The support thread for anyone needing general asthma chat/venting/advice.

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