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Author Topic: asthma attacks getting out of control
cool87
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(I am fully aware that this is really not the best place to be asking this, that I should be seeing a doctor about this instead but I don't have a family doctor. And it takes a lot of time before getting an appointment (I have to go each day to the clinic to take a new appointment), and this is only if I get one because the only clinic available see the most urgent cases before all the other ones. So I tought I'd ask you some advice before I get that appointment.I don't know if you can give much advice but I've got nothing to lose. [Smile] )

The thing is I've been diagnosed with exercise-induced asthma last year by a doctor. He gave me a salbutamol inhaler (the blue one) which if I'm right is a short-acting bronchodilator. So I take it few minutes before doing any big physical activity.

What I've noticed since a few weeks is that my asthma has been getting worse and might have gotten to a point where it is not just exercise-induced asthma we're talking about. Even when I just walk outdoor in the winter, climb stairs, or walk for a few minutes I get asthma attacks.

I feel my chest being compressed (as if someone was putting a pressure on it), I feel lightheaded, I get a burning sensation in my chest, get big headaches (which I guess are caused by a lack of oxygen to my brain), have a lot of difficulties breathing and make whizzling sounds while breathing. I am searching for air. I get so panicked in those times.

It only get worse if I wait for it to disappear. So what I do in those cases is I take the inhaler they prescribed me. But the thing is it's really been getting out of control. I've found out that I could have those asthma attacks once, twice and even three times a day. A little small thing triggers it.

I've been getting so scared of having those asthma attacks that lately, I've took two shots of my inhaler in the morning before going to school, two others during dinner time and two other before going to bed because I happen to also have difficult breathing before going to bed. I often go beyond the dose prescribed lately. That's what I'm concerned about. They say there's some dangerous consequences if I exceed the dose but I'm not sure what those are.

I guess what I need is one of those Advair (which has corticosteroids)inhaler which has more lasting effects or something like that and which I can take only once or twice a day to control my asthma, not several times a day. But before I get to see the doctor, does anyone know if it's really that dangerous to be using more inhaler doses more than it's normally prescribed daily (it says it is but is it for all people or moslty for let's say younger or older people) ? And what are specifically the negative effects it can have on me if I exceed the dose ? I heard someone say your blood pressure can increase so I checked after taking the inhaler several times and it was only higher a little: it was 105/50. But I did noticed a small rise in my cardiac pulse rate and my respiratory rate.
And I heard I can become dependant on the medication which I am really scared of. But I don't know of any other solution right now.

If you guys don't know what do you suggest me to do besides calling a doctor ? (It's impossible) Would a pharmacist be able to tell me more about it. But if I get as a answer to not go over the prescribed dose, what can I do until I get a doctor's appointment ?

I'm just really concerned about that. I've had asthma crises a lot today long today and it has been like this for almost all this week. So any help I could get from you would be really appreciated. Sorry for the long post by the way.

[ 12-25-2006, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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Leabug
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I don't know much about asthma, and I know you don't want to be told just to go to a doctor... but is there a walk-in clinic even that you can go to? Pharmacists can talk with you about medication and dosages, but you really do need to see a doctor to look at the underlying causes that could be making your asthma so much worse.

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cool87
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Actually, I've been fine for the last couples days. I didn't need to take my inhaler at all.

I suspect that it got worse because of a cold that I had. Plus, me and any contact with dogs, cats(I'm allergic to them)and cold triggers my asthma. On Christmas day, I was at my aunt's house and she has a dog which I'm usually not allergic to when it's for a relatively short period of time but since I've spend almost all day long there, that triggered one big asthma attacks which thanks God was relieved by my inhaler. I've learned to avoid asthma triggers.

I read about asthma a bit since I didn't know much about it before and I learned that the blue inhaler I have is mostly to relieve an actual asthma attack when it happens or for some rare occasions like before exercise but it's not intended to be used everyday to prevent asthma attacks because you can become dependant on it( the more you're using it, the higher the dose you'll need for it to work will be).

What you need when you need to use Ventolin too often is another inhaler which contains corticosteroids and which you'll take everyday to prevent asthma attacks.

So since right now, I'm totally fine, I'll wait until this because more of a chronic problem and then I'll see a doctor. That's what I came up with. Because if I see him right now I think he will not give me that second inhaler since my asthma right now can be pretty much controlled by avoiding asthma triggers (which I have an idea what they are).

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ladydexter
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cool - yes, I have asthma as well. Mine is seasonally triggered, and I have to take a brown inhaler every morning and night, as well as the blue Ventolin one if I have an attack. The brown one you're thinking of is beclomethasone. It's nasty stuff.

Your asthma is probably being aggravated by your allergy - asthma sufferers tend to have allergies a lot worse than a non-asthmatic, and we also tend to be more sensitive to dust - have you been in a dusty environment?

I would still mention it to your doctor, cool - my asthma is triggered in the winter for some reason, so I was given the brown inhaler to take during the winter months when I'm more susceptible to attacks. And do keep an eye on that cold - another thing with asthma sufferers are we're also prone to chest infections, which can trigger attacks and it's a whole vicious circle, so you might want to make sure there's not an infection triggering it as well.

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cool87
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Why are you saying beclomethasone is nasty stuff ladydexter ?

As for dust, I'm not really in a dusty environment, no.

And I don't have any doctor, so I have to go to a clinic and got to tell ya, you got to have a good reason to go there or you won't be able to see a doctor. That's how it works.

Thanks for your help, though. It's really appreciated.

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LilBlueSmurf
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I've been on inhalers a few times, and i think they're all nasty stuff [Razz] If the brown one is the one i think it is, i was on it and it too and it really made me feel like poo after taking it. I could breath, but i just didn't feel well, all over.

A few things ... Asthma IS serious stuff. If they refuse you for this, you need to raise a fuss until they agree to see you. Breathing is important ... Vital, even [Razz] A pharmacist can tell you all you want to know about the stuff (and probably asthma too) but they cannot diagnose and treat, and that's what you need right now.

Not being able to breath, in itself, raises your blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. I'm unsure about the blood pressure, but i know certain inhalers can increase your pulse rate. Also know that anxiety (from not being able to breath) will raise your blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rates too. And when you're hyperventilating, you get lightheaded too.

In short, you need to see a doctor. And whoever turns you away needs to be reported, b/c they're not allowed to do that.

[ 12-29-2006, 06:02 PM: Message edited by: LilBlueSmurf ]

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feefiefofemme
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I have asthma as well, and I take the Albuterol inhaler and Q-Var. The Q-Var is supposed to reduce inflamation of the bronchi (I think) and is a preventative medication. The Albuterol is supposed to be used prior to exersize or in the event of an asthma attack. I also take homeopathic medication (perscribed by the homeopathic doctor I've been seeing since I was an toddler) as a preventative.

The Q-Var tastes absolutely awful (sort of sickly sweet) and, if you don't wash your mouth out properly afterwards, can give you a certain kind of oral disease I forget the name of. It also, I think, carries some risk of addiction or dependancy, plus it makes me vaguely naseous afterwards. The Albuterol tastes kind of dry and makes me cough after I take it. It also increases my pulse rate and makes my hands shake pretty violently. In short, all the inhalers I've used are just yuck. They can have icky side effects and are not fun to use. But asthma attacks are even worse.

Personally, my asthma gets triggered by a lot of things. I start to have trouble with it if I'm worked up (angry, upset, afraid, stressed, especially feeling claustrophobic) or if I'm physically exerting myself. I also have problems around smoke, cold air, or too much dust or mold. Also, when I'm ill or it's allergy season I'm more prone to attacks. I try to avoid my triggers, but since I often get asthma attacks just from being stressed out it can be hard.

And frankly, Smurf is right. Asthma is serious, possibly life threatening. If that's not enough for the doctor to see you, then there's something pretty wrong.

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cool87
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Lilbluesmurf:

You said you didn't feel well after taking the brown inhaler. what did it do to you exactly ? did you have headache, heartache, things like that ?

Also, you really think I should go see a doctor if this only happened during approximatly a week and it's finished ? Because right now it's totally okay except if I go like taking a walkoutdoor (the cold sometimes triggers asthma attacks but they are relieved by my inhaler) or in some occasions where I get asthma like when I run but if I take the inhaler it's okay after and it usually doesn't happen more than once a day when it happens so...

If a go see a doctor, he's gonna ask me what symptoms I have and I have none right now and the inhaler is for someone who experience asthma pretty much everyday no ?

Bi-goddess :

Is asthma something you would experience everyday if you didn't use your inhaler.
I look at your triggers and I have pretty much the same, add to that cats, dogs, pollen and that's pretty much it.

When did you go see your doctor ? Were your asthma really bad or just like mine ?

I have the salbuterol inhaler but I don't have the Q-vAR one. I think that's the one I need if my asthma gets worse. That's the one you use everyday right ?

[ 12-30-2006, 06:46 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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cool87
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That is so weird because like yesterday after maybe a few seconds or minutes I was in bed, I started having small difficulties breathing so I took my inhaler because I didn't want this to get worse. And this happens other times too.

I think this could simply be an allergy or something. I'll try to change my kinds of sheets and I'll see.

[ 12-31-2006, 10:33 AM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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logic_grrl
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If a go see a doctor, he's gonna ask me what symptoms I have and I have none right now and the inhaler is for someone who experience asthma pretty much everyday no ?

Cool, we're not doctors. We can't tell you what the doctor will ask or advise. If you're not having symptoms at that particular moment, you can explain what symptoms you've had.

Difficulty breathing is a serious symptom that needs to be checked out by a doctor. So you need to go to the clinic.

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feefiefofemme
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I first talked to my doctor about asthma a couple years ago. At the time, I was feeling dizzy and lightheaded after running, as well as having a hard time breathing. Other than that, I wasn't experiencing any asthma-type symptoms, so I was diagnosed with exersize-induced asthma and they gave me the Albuterol. Since then, though, my asthma symptoms have become worse, so they put me on Q-Var (twice a day, yipes!), which does help, but is a bit of a hassle. I'm pretty sure what I'm looking at now is not exersize-induced, as, while I do have symptoms when exersizing, I have trouble breathing relatively often when I'm just sitting around.

When I don't take the Q-Var inhaler as I should be doing, I certainly don't have asthma attacks every day, but I do experience a pressure on my chest, and have difficulty taking deep breaths. I also sometimes have dizzy spells when I'm standing up.

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