I have always had difficulty breathing in high humidity. My doctor told me that I am most likely allergic to mold, and the humidity is causing this to be worse. I have been prescribed an albuterol inhaler, and usually only have to use it about 3 weeks out of the year. Otherwise, I take Singulair year round. This year the humidity is especially high. I have had trouble breathing for over a month now. I am a REALTOR® and am outside alot, and have been showing a lot of vacant bank repos with no air, and lots of mold and moisture problems. My inhaler ran out about a month ago (and was expired anyway). I ran out of my Singulair and was too busy to refill my prescription for a couple of weeks. I finally refilled the Singulair 3 days ago, and the next day (after showing numerous homes) I felt like I was having a full-blown asthma attack. I could not get a deep breath, and realized I was beginning to hyperventilate. I called my doctor after hours and he called in a new prescription for an inhaler. I have been using it for two days now, but am having more and more increasing difficulty breathing. When I wake in the mornings, my lungs are very, very painful and tight. I have a constant, chronic cough, but cannot cough anything up. It's a very dry, wheezy cough. Every breath I take is causing pain, and I don't feel like I'm getting enough air.
My problem is, I just sold my doctor a house...in my neighborhood. He's at home (moving), but is out of the office until next week. I'm wondering if it will just take a few days for the Singulair and the inhaler to really kick in and don't want to bother him if this is the case.
I am also beginning to wonder if pneumonia or some other serious condition has set in. Am I okay to wait until next week, or if I should go ahead and call him now. My schedule is packed from now until then showing homes, and I suspect it is only going to get worse.
Difficulty breathing in high humidity is a not uncommon experience of persons with asthma. It may well be that high humidity may be associated with increased concentrations of a variety of allergens, including but not limited to mold, but not directly caused by the elevated humidity. In addition, your occupation, as a realtor, is very likely to put you in contact with more allergens (most notably animal dander such as cat dander or insect allergens such as cockroach, both of which are powerful allergens for persons with asthma), both indoor and outdoor, than people with other occupations, such as those who do clerical work in a constant, air-conditioned environment. But, the important thing is that you almost certainly have asthma and are under-medicated for it, and that is the problem of the moment. It should also be noted that persons with asthma can have other respiratory diseases that can result in hyperventilation, as can anxiety when it is hard to breathe, for any reason. The type of cough you have experienced is also compatible with this diagnosis.
You mention pneumonia and that is always a possibility, for persons of any age. Pneumonia, & a variety of other infections, can worsen asthma, especially when the asthma is sub-optimally treated.
You also mention not wanting to “bother” your doctor. When having this much trouble, it is very important that you be seen by a doctor, yours or another.
Here is what I suggest. If on receipt of this response, you are still having any trouble breathing, you must see a doctor without delay, for treatment that will provide good control of your symptoms. Such treatment will require the use of more than one inhaler, one of which should be a long-acting bronchodilator such as Serevent and the other, an inhaled steroid such as Flovent. These drugs are often combined into one inhaler: examples of this are, Advair and Symbicort. It is also highly likely that an oral (systemic) steroid such as prednisone will be required to open your airways, now that the asthma has had time to get a “foot-hold.” This is not a time to rely upon albuterol and/or Singulair. That would be dangerous. This is an urgent matter and should be approached as such.
You and your doctors should not just assume that this is asthma. You should have a Chest X-ray and a complete blood count (CBC). If you are now raising mucous (sputum) with your cough, a specimen of that should be sent to the laboratory for culture.
Do not delay seeking help, even for one more night.
I hate to "bother" doctors too but when you have asthma or more it's never a good idea to wait. Go to a quickcare if there is one around, and if your doctor doesn't have someone covering for him (happens a lot in my remote area) then you should go to the ER. They will most likely give you a lung x-ray, perhaps an antibiotic and some predisone. Asthmatics are also more prone to bronchitis, so you may have that. Good-luck!
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Do this breathing technique to help with asthma symptoms. Your feedback will help others.
Build up your timing gradually.If you feel tired or dizzy, stop and resume after one minute.
Anulom Vilom –
Close your right nostril with thumb and deep breath-in through left nostril
then – close left nostril with two middle fingers and breath-out through right nostril
then -keeping the left nostril closed deep breath-in through right nostril
then - close your right nostril with thumb and breath-out through left nostril.
This is one cycle of anulom vilom.
Repeat this cycle for 15 to 30 minutes twice a day.
Children under 15 years – do 5 to 10 minutes twice a day.
You can do this before breakfast/lunch/dinner or before bedtime or in bed. Remember to take deep long breaths into the lungs.You can do this while sitting on floor or chair or lying in bed.
While doing anulom vilom, keep your eyes closed, concentrate on the third eye (point in between the eyebrows).
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