Asthma flare up

(22 Posts)
Imissthebeach Tue 31-Mar-20 22:07:48

I have very mild asthma and it’s been under control for years. My last asthma review was 7 months ago.

I have my steroid puff everyday but since Saturday I have found myself breathless, tight chested and coughing - but only from about 5pm.

Because it’s only in the evening & night I am assuming it’s an asthma flare up and not coronavirus.

I’m pretty healthy usually but I am worried that if I don’t get it under control - I’ll have an asthma attack.

I’ve taken antihistamines in case it was pollen but it didn’t help.

What else can I do? I’ve upped my steroid dose. I am reluctant to phone my Doctor as anyone with a cough isn’t being seen despite having no temperature.

The last time I had an asthma attack I almost died so I’m getting quite worried.

Any advice would be fantastical. Thank you flowers

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Imissthebeach Tue 31-Mar-20 22:11:39

I am needing ventolin throughout the evenings too.

I feel completely healthy apart from this & have been socially distancing just like everyone else.

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maggiso Tue 31-Mar-20 22:26:40

Do you check your peak flow? I think you need to speak to your GP. I imagine if only a telephone consultation is possible ( at present due to coved 19) it would be helpful to measure your peak flow ( am and pm and after ventolin) ready for your consultation? I always get worse at this time of year so have a system to manage it- but what works for me may not be right for you so you need advice from your GP.

Imissthebeach Tue 31-Mar-20 22:41:53

@maggiso thank you so much for replying. I have only had a peak flow during my asthma reviews & after my severe asthma attack.

I have started new meds about 3 weeks ago & am wondering if they make asthma worse. I’ll try and speak to my GP tomorrow.

Such a bad time to suddenly have chest / breathing issues blush

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Fozzleyplum Tue 31-Mar-20 22:52:47

You could really do with a peak flow monitor to use at home. At my last review a few months ago, they reviewed my medication and gave me an action plan. They worked out specific percentages of my optimum peak flow and told me what I need to do if I hit any of the triggers. It has really taken the guesswork out of deciding what I need to do. For example, last week I was breathless and my peak flow was down, so I upped my preventer and Ventolin, and I'm ok again.

If I were you, I'd see if I could get an appointment, possibly with an asthma nurse rather than a gp.

MigGril Tue 31-Mar-20 23:04:09

Also often the antihistamines can take a few days or a week to work. I would, first keep talking them, keeping taking a higher dose of your reliever again can take a little while to kick in. Check any medical information leaflet you've been given with your new medication and ring to speck to a doctor. Last thing you need right now is your asthma our of control. And as the other OP says having a peak flow meter at home so you can record it yourself is also really helpful.

MusicianTom Tue 31-Mar-20 23:04:41

I've had an asthma cough for 3 weeks or so, higher inhaler use wasn't helping, but I was trying to avoid the GP as it didn't feel urgent (in comparison with cv).

Yesterday a friend who is a HCP told me to just phone my GP, if my asthma was still bad and I got CV it could potentially be a lot worse. Had a phone consultation with GP, picked up short-term prescription for steroid tablets, already noticing a difference after one dose. Just phone your GP, you shouldn't need to go in if you explain, and they can prescribe you a peak flow meter if you don't have one.


Imissthebeach Tue 31-Mar-20 23:19:17

Thank you so much everyone! I’ll contact my Surgery tomorrow morning. I believe it’s all online appointments at the moment which will be weird but necessary.

I’ll definitely keep taking the antihistamines & request a peak flow too.

I won’t lie - I’m a bit bloody nervous! Talk about timing blush

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Imissthebeach Tue 31-Mar-20 23:20:48

Good news that it’s online appointments though as it means there’s no risk of “not being seen!” (I hope!) Fingers crossed!

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MrsDrudge Tue 31-Mar-20 23:21:03

Most GPS have respiratiory/asthma clinical nurse specialists who would be more help than a GP.
Asthma UK website is also helpful and you can email or WhatsApp a specialist nurse.
Peak flow readings am and pm and after your reliever would be helpful in deciding how to manage symptoms.
I hope this helps x

Imissthebeach Tue 31-Mar-20 23:28:50

@MrsDrudge yes that’s super helpful - thank you. I just checked the online service that my Doctor has just launched and it specifically says “any new coughs (including allergies and asthma) please use the NHS 111 coronavirus service” sad

So I think Asthma UK is the way to go! X

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MrsDrudge Wed 01-Apr-20 08:10:33

I hope you get the information and treatment you need and you feel better quickly.

Imissthebeach Wed 01-Apr-20 11:52:30

Thanks everyone for your advice!

Spoke to a nurse today who basically said as my asthma is usually so mild to not bother with a peak flow & to sit tight until it gets worse.

And to keep doing what I’m doing. I felt like a nuisance blush

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MrsDrudge Wed 01-Apr-20 13:26:34

Do you feel this advice is helpful or has it reassured you?
If not ask to speak to someone who has specialist asthma training (usually a nurse). Good practice in asthma management is to give you an individualised management plan, with a step by step algorithm of how to manage your symptoms if they escalate - and what your peak flow should be given age/height/sex.

Custardcreamies101 Wed 01-Apr-20 13:37:14

Ask for a telephone appt with your gp

Imissthebeach Wed 01-Apr-20 16:04:37

My gp won’t see me as it’s coughing related.
Asthma UK just replied with “see your GP”.
Asthma nurse said to wait until it’s worse before getting medical help...


My local A&E is closed. Nearest open A&E is 60 miles away.

I’ll be fine. Antihistamines beginning to make a bigger difference but I wonder how many Asthma deaths there’ll be sad

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Imissthebeach Wed 01-Apr-20 16:06:36

@Custardcreamies101 I did ask but the nurse said it would be pointless as they aren’t prescribing anymore asthma meds for mild cases as there’s a huge shortage.

I’ll be fine. Feeling loads better today! Thanks all

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DottyGiraffe Wed 01-Apr-20 17:42:22

That's utterly ridiculous - if it's flaring then at the moment it's not mild and needs something to help it get back to being mild and controlled. What silly advice.

maggiso Wed 01-Apr-20 23:01:03

Are you making sure you get a good long inhale of your steroid inhaler? When I am tight chested I sometimes use ventolin a little before steroid inhaler make sure it is effective.
Do seek further help if you are getting worse.
Take care

Honeywort Wed 01-Apr-20 23:09:31

I bought a mini Wright peak flow monitor to monitor my child’s asthma last year - it was a tenner on amazon. So might be worth buying yourself one?

justasking111 Wed 01-Apr-20 23:14:45

Are you using a spacer. Have your meds. changed. My GP changed me from seretide to fostair. That made my asthma worse. Nurse said it does not suit everyone. Keep on with your gp is my advice.

justasking111 Wed 01-Apr-20 23:17:35

I use this peak flow meter.

You should be able to get a spacer from the pharmacy.

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