View Full Version : Asthma relief?

04-12-2012, 11:29 AM
I have an inhaler, and was insturcted to use when I was feeling 'shortness of breath' or air hunger. Problem is, I can hardly get a deep enough (satisfying) breath in to begin with. I am constantly struggling. I'm not passing out, turning blue, or anything severe... But I have to walk around, stand up, do different weird things for several minutes (along with 1 or 2 puffs from the inhaler) just to acheive a satisftying breath.

I have requested a pulm. functions test and was told since my chest x-ray was normal there was no need. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'm having a CONSTANT struggle to breathe! Everyday!

I'm pretty sure my GP thinks it's anxiety related. And while I may begin to get anxious during an episode, they definetly don't arise from anything I am aware of. I'm almost always at work and it's usually closer to the afternoon. I've had an episode several times a day every day this week. I have an appt. with the primary on Monday and then an appt. with my rheumy Thursday. Hopefully it can wait..

I've also *FELT* weezing. Maybe it could be heard with a stethoscope, but it wasn't one you could hear with the naked ear. But I can feel breathing in out, a sense of wheezing.. If that makes sense? I don't know.

What other things can I do to help alleviate this?? I feel like the inhaler is pointless if I can hardly get a breath to begin with.

04-12-2012, 06:56 PM
do you use a spacer chamber, with the inhaler.
i have a nephew who uses one.
the doctor suggested it for him, as he is young and only takes small breaths.
it holds the excess powder, untill he breathes it in.
and it mixes the powder better, (because of his weak suck it does not mix properly.)

04-13-2012, 05:56 AM
No, I don't. Maybe I'll have to ask the doc about this.


04-13-2012, 06:10 AM
just ask your local chemist.
they can show you one, and explain all about it.

Angel Oliver
04-13-2012, 12:34 PM
A new doctor will help.Before i was diagnosed with asthma,my doctor told me my chest was clear and i didnt have anything wrong.When i changed doctors they told me i had severe asthma.My problem was at night my attacks started.Make sure he hears you when you say/shout I CAN NOT BREATH properly...cause some will talk over you.If you are wheezing ...thats not nothing.Goodluck.

04-14-2012, 04:58 PM
Hi Lexie

I have had episodes where I cant take a deep breath, physio taught me some deep breathing exercises where you breathe from the stomach (or something like that), she said sometimes asthmatics 'dont breathe properly' as in poor technique.

Another thing I would urge you to do is to buy a peak flow meter and record the readings before and after your inhalers, and get that spacer someone mentioned, it will be valuable for your GP to see the readings - do it twice a day.

Deep and correct breathing techniques are excellent as they say many asthmatics have a tendency to over breathe but at least if you are armed with your peak flow readings, that will show just how much the inhaler is helping and what your forced expiratory volume is and will get your GP to take you a bit more seriously.

I know when I am anxious, taking a deep breath is harder and the more I think about it, the harder it becomes - but that is just me.

I record my peak flow as I am requiring nebulizers as I have Sjogrens which is really affecting my lungs at the moment, I wasnt asked to keep it but I have the Rhuemy on Wednesday so am going to make it a bit easier for him.

Good luck with it Lexie. xxx

04-14-2012, 07:47 PM
Asthma can look very different in different people.
Kayla had the stereotypical symptoms - when she wheezed you could hear it from across the room.
Meg had "stealth asthma". She never wheezed, but her lungs sort of seized up. She couldn't breath right, and if she didn't get her inhaler or nebulizer, her lips would start to turn blue. The school nurse often accused her of lying because she wasn't wheezing and wouldn't call me until Meg's lips were blue and she was in full asthma attack mode. I did not much like school nurses!

Hillary had a few bouts of exercise-induced asthma when she played tennis in high school, so she also carried an inhaler. She never had a problem in college, but she suddenly had an asthma attack when she was in labor! It was a good thing that I always carried one in my purse because of her little sisters. She used it, and then went on with her labor without a problem.

The only way to get a really good dx of which kind of asthma you have is to see a pulmonologist. We were lucky to find an excellent one for the girls.

04-16-2012, 08:54 AM
Well, he did a pulm. functions test and wasn't happy with it. He wanted to me to repeat at rheumy. He said for my age, my lung function is very low. He's starting me on a inhaled steriod thingy twice a day plus my fast-acting one.

He also instructed me to call them if I have an episode.. Unless I'm turning blue, choking, etc. Obviously I'd need to head to ER in that case.

Thanks everyone for the input!! I basically forced them to do a pum. functions haha!!!

04-16-2012, 08:14 PM
did you ask about the spacer for the inhaler?

04-17-2012, 06:22 AM
Yes, he told me to ask the pharmacy for one. If not them, a medical supplies store. Thanks everyone for the advice!! The inhaled steriods are already starting to work I think.

Marine wife
04-17-2012, 09:16 AM
Glad you're getting some relief. Asthma sucks!

05-02-2012, 06:14 AM
Well.. I spoke to soon. I was late on taking my steriod last night and it must of induced some sort of an attack. I couldn't breathe at all and I began to hyperventilate.

My whole body went faint.. My legs, hands and lips went numb and tingly.. My hands starting severly shaking and my teeth were chattering, my body got SO cold... I started to wheeze. We were about to go to the hospital and I finally, slowly, over the course of 15 minutes, slowed my breaths and got it somewhat under control.. I was up all night though with the fear of something like that happening again. I will NEVER forget to take my steriod ever again. Do these symptoms sound like asthma??

05-02-2012, 11:40 AM
A few thoughts... asthma can be a symptom of another illness, as well as a diagnosis. Have you been tested for allergies?

Someone pointed this out, but worth repeating, asthma (like SLE Lupus) can vary greatly from person to person. Two things trigger a major asthma attack for me... infection (sinus or chest) and bad reflux/asperation.

This might be out-dated, but when I was first diagnosed with asthma (20 years ago)... I was prescribed a preventative inhaler along with urgent relief inhaler. Might be worth checking into.

05-02-2012, 11:49 AM
I meant to share, in case you have not already heard this tip: If you find yourself without an ugent relief inhaler... a hot cup of regular coffee (with caffiene) can bring relief too. Metabolic breakdown is almost identical to Proventil (Albuterol).

05-02-2012, 12:06 PM
I double the hot caffinated coffee, I was told the same thing by my asthma dr. in case I ever forgot my inhaler. If it is allergy related, singulair is a wonderful med that works for both allergy relief and asthma. Like Tammy, sinus, reflux and beleive it or not...laughing hard can bring on an asthma attack pretty quick. I know emotions can bring on an attack, may you started to panic and that caused the attack. I take a daily med plus my rescue. Good Luck, sounds like it just needs to be under better control.

05-02-2012, 12:19 PM
Well, I take an inhaled steroid twice a day plus my fast-acting.. I always have them on me. Thanks for the tip!

05-02-2012, 04:52 PM
I agree about the coffee - Mountain Dew is also good - anything that is highly caffeinated.
When I had just been hired at the High School, and we were getting ready to open, I ran across our new assistant principal and a young lady who was there for band practice. She was obviously having an asthma attack, and the AP had no idea how to help her. The old Mom here jumped in. I sat her down with her head between her knees and asked her about her inhaler. Of course, she had forgotten it. I sort of ordered the AP to go get her some coffee, Mountain Dew or even a Coke - anything with lots of caffeine. He thought I was nuts, but did as he was told and brought a cup of coffee from the teacher's lounge.
I explained it to him after we got the young lady breathing better and had called her mother. The next day, the school nurse thanked me and told me that she keeps a supply of Mountain Dew for just such emergencies.
These are tricks that you learn as the Mom of asthmatics.