I was wondering if any of you could tell me if these are signs that my asthma is not well controlled.
I have these symptoms everyday :
- shortness of breath
- chest tightness
- wheezing (not alot, just a little)
- rapid heartbeat (feels like it skips beat sometimes)
I have these symptoms almost every night, or every other night :
- severe shortness of breath
- stiff neck (hard to the touch)
- severe nausea that keeps me awake (caused by exces mucus in my throat)
Any imputs would help alot !!
I only have an appointment in a few weeks or even months. Can't wait that long, it is frustrating.
I'm 16 years old. Take Symbicort 2 puffs morning and night, and my doctor told me to take Ventolin (rescue inhaler) 4x a day (2 puffs each time). I don't understand why I would still experience these symptoms while on meds?
Join the club. Those are pretty typical. You know, since you are on Symbicort, you are allowed to take more then 4puffs/day. I take the same stuff and right now I'm taking 6 puffs/day plus any more that is needed up to 8 puffs/day. Basically when you feel symptoms take another puff or two. You can take up to 8 puffs/day regularly. But be sure to let you doctor know, when you see him/her, that you've upped your dose. I hope this helps. Otherwise you might need something stronger. The nausea at night will have to be investigated. It is either due to allergies or GERD. If you have reflux, it will also make your asthma more difficult to control. But by provided more of the inhaled steroid to your lungs, you will hopefully improve your asthma. Do you track your peak flow numbers? These will tell you where your asthma sits and if you need to take action to improve the symptoms.
Thank you !
I actually have acid reflux since I was very young. I never knew it could affect my asthma though. I just took 2 extra puffs of ventolin (I'm having a bit of a hard time breathing right now). And I can't take any more symbicort right now, I have none left. No, I do not have one yet. Where can I get one?
Also too, are you being treated by a Pulmonary Specialist or a Primary Care Physician? I'd recommend being seen by a Pulmonary Specialist as soon as you can. It does seem like that your symptoms aren't as well controlled as they should be.
I have to agree with halbashes, you should see a pulmonary specialist to re-evaluate your asthma. As uncontrolled asthma is not to be trifled with. You can buy a peak flow meter from your pharmacy, at least that is how it is here in Canada. Otherwise look online for one. halbashes seems to be in the know how on this one, check with her.
You shouldn't go without symbicort. Is there no way to get some today/tomorrow? Your airways will only get tighter with inflammation/mucous. It's harder to reverse these effects the longer you sit with them. Why don't you make an appointment to see your family doctor and get some more inhalers/treatment. It is better then allowing it to degrade further due to lack of treatment. Talk to your parents about this.
I understand what you mean about the specialist appointment though. I see one regularly, but I have to wait till the end of August to her. In the mean time, when buying your inhalers pick up the peak flow meter. Track it for the next week or two. Do yo know what your best peak flow number is? Everyone's is different. There are charts but they are based on the populations average number. It is dependent on height, and gender. I you know what your best number is, it makes it easier to see where your lungs are at. If you are more then 20% lower then your best you are out of control. If you vary from morning to night by more then 15-20% then you are also out of control. Ex. your best is 450, but your read less then 360 (80% of best), then you are not in control. If you don't know your best, it would be very hard to determine right now, because you are quite symptomatic.
I don't know what else to offer, except make an appointment to see your family doctor, due to ongoing daily asthma symptoms and see if he/she can improve your symptoms. This is just a temporary measure till you see the specialist.
My mom called a few days ago for a refill but my doctor is on vacation until next tuesday. But I'm going to try to go to a clinic or something to try to get a physician sample of Symbicort (that's how I got started on it). I went to the pharmacy today to try to get some, but it costs ALOT !! since my insurance is expired or wtv, my mom didn't really tell me what was going on with that?
Last time I did my peak flow meter was 3 months ago, so I don't really remember. I'll try to go get one at the pharmacy tomorrow or something.
Would Pulmicort do the job until my appointment? I have about half left.
Thank you so much !
yes, even taking pulmicort is better then taking nothing. It depends on the strength. If you have been taking for example 4x200ug of steroid per day, then you should take at least the equivalent of pulmicort. And yes these combination inhalers, like symbicort, do not come cheap. Hopefully your mother can get insurance again. It is a good idea to try and get a physician sample from a walk in clinic. My mother has done that in past to obtain blood pressure medication. Do take care.
Ok! , if I see that it doesn't really work, I'll drop by a clinic and ask for a physician sample.
Do you think I should wear a medical ID? I'm very scared of having an asthma attack at school or something. I just changed school, and I've only been diagnosed 3 months ago. Whenever I have an attack, its always pretty severe.
I've thought about wearing one of those in the past, as I've had asthma my whole life, except I sort of out grew it during my late teens till about 25 years old. When it came back again I had a lot of scary asthma, because it was under treated. But I have gone through times where it was very controlled and I almost forgot it was there. I certainly think it doesn't hurt to wear one, especially while the asthma is unstable. And I think it just depends on your own comfort level. For myself I have low self awareness when it comes to bad breathing, and I often leave my doctor in panics. People have even commented sometimes on my breathing, saying "aren't you a bit too young to so out of shape like that?". That's usually when id dawns on my that my asthma isn't quite right. But the only times I've felt compelled to wear one, is like with you, the bad attacks that leave you scared.
I live in the USA, so I am less familiar with how health care works in Canada. However, I was in a somewhat similar situation a couple of months back. My asthma was not well controlled, but my specialist wasn't available for an appointment. I took the soonest available appointment I could with my Pulmonary Specialist, (which was about two weeks away), and made an appointment with my Primary Care Physician for the next day.
If you are able to, I would recommend doing something similar. At the very least, your Primary Care Physician may be able to refill your medication. Additionally, if he/she finds that your asthma is out of control, perhaps you'll be given an additional preventative temporarily until you are able to see your specialist.
When is it critical for one to go to the hospital with an asthma attack?
I know that when I first ended up in the hospital with my first attack, I waited pretty much the whole day. It started in the morning, before school started. I went to school, then to work. That's where it became worst. After work I could hardly breath. I still waited until I completely stopped breathing twice to go to the ER.
Is that too long to wait? Or should I wait that long every time. When should I go when I have an attack?
When you first notice the attack, you should take your fasting acting inhaler (ventolin, salbutamol), right then. If you just have chest tightness and some shortness of breath, it doesn't hurt to take your symbicort as it will provide both relief plus the extra steroid to deal with the inflammation that is building up. This way, it should stop the attack from getting worse. If you are still getting short of breath take some more of the ventolin. If it gives you no relief, then you should go to a walk in clinic or the hospital if you are less the 50% of your best or getting to the point of not being able to talk. Your specialist/doctor should be able to give you asthma meds that will control your symptoms so you don't get the state of crisis.
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