First off thank you very much for reviewing my issues and concerns.
My name is Matthew, I am 25 years old, and I have lived with asthma since the age of 14 months. For the last 12 months or so I have been frequently experiencing what seems to be chest congestion and coughing up yellow or brownish mucus. This is not something I experience all the time, but more like maybe once a month and seems to last for about a week or more. The best way that I can describe the way I feel is almost as though I am on the verge of getting a cold, a little runny nose, loss of energy, a slight cough, and it feels as though there is a constant pressure on my chest, that kind of makes it feel like my breathing is slightly restricted and a slight pain in my chest. Almost feels as though my chest is full of water. Although, I don't seem to weeze like usual and I only occasionally get a crackle or wheeze while breathing. Seems to occur mostly when sleeping or laying down to go to bed.
I have been to the Dr. about this a couple times, but mostly when I actually get very sick, but they usually put me on some antibiotics, and an inhalent steriod. Same as the usual kind of treatment whenever I get sick and it begins to affect my lungs. This kind of helps, but hasn't really seemed to do the trick. This feeling always seems to linger and come back.
Any advice or suggestions of what might be causing this? Just to mention, I moved in with my Fiance who has 2 cats that I have always had a slight allergy to, but this is not the typical allergic reaction that I would experience, besides the shortness of breath and wheezing, and usually my inhaler solves this issue.
It probably is the chronic allergies that are causing a chronic inflammation and slight infection in your lungs. You never had a super long exposure to the cats before since you didn't live with them so the allergy response has changed. Many people can handle a short exposure to allergens but it is the chronic longterm exposure that causes problems.
If getting rid of the cats is not possible (or make sure before you do something drasatic), try increasing the cleaning of the house and cats. Wash the cats once a week with plain water to remove the build up of dander, dry them as much as possible to limit the amount of licking them do to dry themselves. If possible find and use a product allerpet-c that denatures (breaks down) the cat dander so it can't cause as much of an allergic reaction. Daily brushing of the cats also will decrease the dander. Keep the cats out of the bedroom at all times so your body has a dander free 8 hours a day. If possible keep dirty clothes out of the bedroom as well because they will be covered in dander, plus both you and your girlfriend should have a shower before bed and AFTER your last good night cuddle with the cats.
Keep the house as dust free and clean as possible to limit the cat hair flying around (hard I know, the new shedding combs like furminator help a great deal).
Another idea would be to spend a week or two away from any cats and see if your symptoms improve, if they do then it denfinetely is the cats.
Since the mucus is brown or yellow I would get a chest X-ray to make sure there isn't a chronic infection sitting in your lungs. Does the mucus return to white/clear and get better after a round of antibiotics? There is the possibility that you got a chest infection which isn't responding to the antibiotics and is sitting at a chronic low level just enough to make you feel horrible but not enough to cause a great sickness.
Good luck and hopefully you are get your symptoms under control around the cats!
Thank you very much for your reply. Definitely helpful, and acutally one of the cats sleeps in the bed. It's been kind of a hard habbit to break because the cat always slept in the bed before I came around. Also out house is set up kind of like a loft and don't have doors to completely shut off our room, so he still goes in there durring the day. My fiance is very attached to her cats, so this might be a difficult habbit to break on both ends.
Also, as for the mucus, I would have to say that a it is always yellow or brown of some sort. Of course the worse I feel the brighter it is, but I always has some tint of color.
I complete know .... I have two cats and I'm allergic to them. For a while I was having severe attacks of being unable to breathe, 2 bursts of pred with one lasting 2 weeks and nothing was giving me relief. My respiralogist really tried to get me to get rid of the cats, like that's going to happen!! :) Likely for me all the problems aren't asthma (allow we havent completely found out what it is yet), the no cat in the bedroom rule lasted for about 3 nights lol.
Since it always is coloured, it might be more of an infection that isn't clearing up, I would ask your doctor. Allergy shots would help you greatly, since the cats probably aren't going anywhere. I would get in contact with an allergist and see if that is a viable option - it would stop the chronic mild allergy was getting any worse and bugging your lungs.
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