My wife has has two episodes in the last 12-14 months...but, in the last 5 days has had three separate incidents wherein she was having trouble/difficulty catching her breath. She is basically a healthy woman (age is 40) and has had little trouble with anything else. But, on Sunday after a little bit of activity, she needed a few minutes to "catch her breath". On Tuesday, at work, she came into a situation where she was "overpowered" by an air freshener which led to her actually hyperventilating and having an anxiety/panic attack (per the ambulance driver, in his estimation...we went to the Hospital). On today, she again felt the feeling like she did on Tuesday start to set in and used the inhaler that she got as a result of Tuesday's event. Is is possible that she is a "late bloomer" and asthma is taking over or is this something else?? (Oh, the initial event 14 months ago was thought to be an allergic reaction to something...though, we never found out what).
From personal experience I would have to say yes. Following a respiratory illness, I developed a cough that just wouldn't stop. I was given the methacholine challenge test and tested positive for asthma. I was 58 with no known prior history of asthma although it does run in my family.
Prior to that, I was not hyperreactive to outside stimuli. Since then, my pulmonologist, and my asthma specialist at the lung center are working hard to help me achieve better control. It's a work in progress but I'm much better than I was.
I hope this helps..and good luck.
The most important thing is to purchase several emergency albuterol inhalers and ALWAYS have one on hand. The people who have the most dangerous situation are those who rarely have attacks and don't carry an emergency inhaler. Give her lungs a chance to settle down and review your home conditions to eliminate alergenic substances, dust and mold. Some of the air fresheners contain chemicals that trigger asthmatic attacks.
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