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Question re asthma and brown inhaler

(14 Posts)
mckenzie Mon 10-Feb-14 22:14:32

I was diagnosed with asthma when pregnant with our first DC over 13 years ago. I was always very fit and healthy. I can't remember exactly what triggered a trip to the doctors but I remember coming home with a brown inhaler to use regularly and a blue one for emergencies.
I'm Pleased to say I've only used the blue one once and that was after a sprint training session about 10 years ago when I pushed it just a bit to muchgrin.
About 2 months ago I decided it was all in my head and I didn't have asthma and stopped using the brown inhaler (I used to take 2 puffs, twice a day).
To start with I felt fine but int he,sat few weeks I am noticing that I'm out of breath walking upstairs, my runs are harder than they've ever been and tonight at an exercise class I had to stop and catch my breathe while everyone else carried on.
Could it be that I am only now feeling the effects of having given up the twice daily puffs of the brown inhaler?
Or could it just be that the cold is getting to me?


MrsSquirrel Tue 11-Feb-14 13:15:37

It could be the cold that is getting to you, but cold weather is a well-know trigger for asthma symptoms. See this from Asthma UK.

You say you only used the blue inhaler once about 10 years ago, but all those episodes you described - being breathless going upstairs, having difficulty exercising - would all be things that make me reach for the blue inhaler. Why don't you try it and see if it helps?

wintertimeisfun Tue 11-Feb-14 14:12:05

i have been using the brown one for years (preventer). i double dosage if feel ie a cold coming on but usually just one puff in the morning and one in the evening. your breathlessness could be the cold weather etc, i get it sometimes here and there. if you have been taking two puffs in the morning and two in the evening for a long time i personally wouldn't suddely stop taking it all together. i would go down to one puff in the morning and one in the evening for a while and see how i got on. if i seemed fine after a fews weeks then i may stop. i take mine out of habit, guess i would be ok if i stopped but haven't. you could always see your gp

Sidge Tue 11-Feb-14 14:39:55

I think you need your brown inhaler daily, even if just one puff twice a day. I think you should restart it and review with your asthma nurse in a few weeks if no better.

The symptoms you are having are indicative of a worsening of your asthma.

It can take a couple of weeks to feel better again as it won't have an immediate effect. The cold weather is a common trigger but if your asthma is well controlled the weather shouldn't have a very big effect.

A general rule of thumb is that if asthma is well controlled you won't know you have it - you should rarely need your blue reliever inhaler and shouldn't have many, if any symptoms of chest tightness, coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath.

(I'm an asthma nurse by the way wink )

mckenzie Wed 12-Feb-14 12:08:59

thanks very much for the posts. It's much appreciated.
I've started the brown inhaler again, as of last night, and I'll use my blue if necessary while the brown builds up.

mckenzie Wed 12-Feb-14 18:32:49

Side, I'm just doing a little workout at home, about 50% effort to what I would have done three months ago. I'm really struggling.
Do I tone it down even more or or do I have a puff of the blue inhaler?
Recovery is not taking long but I'm feeling quite uncomfortable.

Catsmamma Wed 12-Feb-14 18:43:34

the brown one is supposed to be used for at least six weeks after a flare up I a bit out of date with it all now dd is 18 and almost not asthmatic.

dd's is mainly provoked by out of control hay fever or a cold, so that's when she needs her blue one, and the brown one is supposedly every day, but she doesn't struggle at all any more unless she is lurgified. So I have to do a bit of nagging if I hear her getting wheezy

When she was bad I am sure the nurse recommended the blue one to open everything up and then the brown one could work more efficiently. Also although dd was excellent with the inhalers they always said to try and use the spacer as that made it much more efficient....but that may just be child advice.

So if you are struggling I'd def say to go for a review and back on teh brown preventer in the mean while.

mckenzie Wed 12-Feb-14 20:28:49

Thanks for the post catsmamma. I did have two puffs of the brown again this morning.
I'll make sure I visit the asthma nurse ASAP.

Sidge Wed 12-Feb-14 22:07:02

McKenzie I would certainly use your blue (ventolin) inhaler before a workout.

Also use a spacer for your brown inhaler if you have one, it will really maximise the amount getting down into the smaller airways and reduce deposition in the mouth, throat and upper airways.

kaizen Wed 12-Feb-14 22:17:07

I've had asthma for 20 years now but am very fit and have regular reviews. I've always taken two puffs of blue one before exercising and never brown one at all and don't get it prescribed now. I could probably do a workout now without it but I would have to warm up slowly. Also, cold weather affects it if I haven't had a puff before setting out. Swimming has helped enormously with controlling breathing. Also, I moved down to the warm southwest from the frozen north smile

mckenzie Wed 12-Feb-14 22:22:15

Thanks again guys. I don't have a spacer but I shall ask for one now.
And blue before I start rather than wait until I need it.

mckenzie Thu 13-Feb-14 09:12:32

I've just seen a very helpful pharmacist in my local boots and now have a spacer and a peak flow��

naty1 Thu 13-Feb-14 21:54:08

I had asthma as a child and teenager.
I havent taken my preventer in years now nor blue inhaler in maybe a year.
I think i just avoid my triggers (cats, feathers, exercise)
I had a feather duvet as a child and pillow and wheezed loads

mckenzie Fri 14-Feb-14 14:46:22

Naty1, I don't know for sure what affects me although I would say for sure now that cold affects me.
Sidge, when I used the spacer last night and today I couldn't really feel anything. Without the spacer I'm awarefor sure. I can taste it etc but nothing with the spacer.
Does that mean I'm doing it wrong?

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