I have a question for those who suffer with asthma

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Aurora60
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 5/6/2009 3:33 PM (GMT -7)   
I have asthma and it has been well controlled for the past 7 months with symbicort.  It has worked very well and at times I only needed one puff at night, 2 in the AM.  Now all of a sudden the symbicort either isn't working as well or my asthma is getting worse.  I have had to use my rescue inhaler, albuterol sometimes 2 times a day in addition to the symbicort.  I live in the Midwest where allergy season has started and it is supposed to be really bad this year.  Do you think this is what is causing my breathing problems?  I am trying to keep my windows closed so no polllen or mold gets in but I imagine it can get in anyway just when you have to open a door or when I have to go out.  I am seeing my pulmonologist next week but I am wondering if others of you have worse asthma right now since the allergy season has started.  Also, I have asked this question before but does anyone who uses xopenex think it works better than albuterol?  I tried it last year when my asthma was so bad and before I had  my symbicort and it didn't seem to work.  Does anyone have an opinion on which seems to be better - albuterol or xopenex?  I have had xopenex treatments with a nebulizer in my dr's office and that cleared me up right away, but I don't have a nebulizer for use at home.  Is this something I should ask my dr. about, if I should have a portable nebulizer to use at home?  Any answers will be very appreciated. Also, I take Zyrtec for allergies.  Used to use Allegra but that didn't help at all.
 
Aurora

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/6/2009 4:39 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Aurora,
I have had severe asthma for a long time. For years, my asthma was only partially controlled, and as it turned out, my allergist and family doc's opinion that my lungs were being made worse because of GERD, was correct. I had surgery on February 27th, and my lungs responded immediately. Even with a lung infection that I had before surgery, and didn't resolve until it was treated again after surgery, AND the flu and a resulting bronchitis and lung infection, my lungs are much better than they were pre-surgery.

I do think that the pollen could be causing your asthma problems this time of year. Are you keeping your bedroom windows shut? Do you have an air purifier in your bedroom? I had the same problem with Allegra. It worked for me for many years, but last year, my tree and grass pollen allergies were out of control, and I had to stay inside with windows shut from April through June. I couldn't do anything outside at all. I've switched to Xyzal this year, and what a difference! I still have some allergic response, but nothing like last year. It's more normal.

Yes, Xopenex works better than albuterol. I use it in my nebulizer, and it's much better. Your pulmonologist might need to adjust your meds for a while. I take Serevent diskus, and Flovent 220mcg morning and night. Since my surgery, I'm not using my albuterol much at all. I don't use xopenex as an inhaler, but have a nebulizer and xopenex solution for it. Before surgery I was using the nebulizer 2-3 times a day.

Also, keep in mind that if you use albuterol or xopenex long term (as I did) it is no longer as effective. Before surgery, the doctor took me off the nebulizer, and had my husband do lung PT (postural drainage--hitting me on the back as I cough up stuff). They wanted to be sure that the nebulizer would help after surgery if I needed it.

Hopefully some of this response is helpful to you. Feel free to ask any additional questions if you'd like. I'll do my best to answer them.
Take care and good luck with your asthma!
Denise

Aurora60
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 5/6/2009 5:26 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Denise, Thanks for your answer. I have both albuterol and xopenex inhalers.  I know that the xopenex works well in a nebulizer as I have had those treatments.  I just don't know how it compares in the inhaler form.  The few times I used my xopenex inhaler it worked for a few hours and then I couldn't breathe again.  But that was before the symbicort.I'm almost afraid to try the xopenex again and just use the albuterol until it is time to use my symbicort tonight.I do know from weather reports here in the midwest that allergies are supposed to be really bad this year. I guess I will just have to wait for my drs appt. and find out if I need additional meds or a change. I hope he will keep the symbicort as it really works and there are no side effects at all. It is just in between times that I seem to have a problem.  I will be fine in the morning and then come 1 or 2 PM and I am having some wheezing.  Then I use my albuterol. But I ususally have to use if again after 4 hrs until my evening dose of symbicort.  Well, I think the pulmonologist will be able to straighten this out.  Wish I didn't have to wait a week though. Will keep you posted on what happens.  Anyone else with an opinion about albuterol vs. xopenex please do respond.

Aurora


SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 5/6/2009 9:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Lately Spiriva has worked better than anything I have used in the nubeliser..........
SnowyLynne


SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 5/7/2009 3:59 AM (GMT -7)   
My personal opinion is that everyone should have a nebulizer with asthma. I've blacked out so many times from it. Always wind up in good looking guys' arms though hehe Also, I have been having my asthma worse than nromal too.. Something about this season girl...
 
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days


Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 5/7/2009 7:09 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Smurfy, thanks for your advice. I am going to ask my pulmonologist if a nebulizer is something I should have. I did call his office and the nurse spoke to him about me and they think that a lot of my problem is this terrible allergy season we are having. I wasn't having any problems until the trees started coming out and the flowering trees and some flowers. I have a maple in my back yard that sheds these stem type things, don't know what to call them.  Also, there are those trees here that shed that white cottony stuff and that is a killer for me.  The dr. told me to be sure and take my zyrtec and that even if I am breathing OK he wants me to use my albuterol 3-4 times a day along with my symbicort.  If that doesn't help I am afraid I am in for a short dose (week probably) of prednisone.  I hate that stuff! It really works but it makes me climb the walls, can't sleep and get so hungry I could eat the wallpaper. But I did use my albuterol today and I am breathing much better.  Also, am keeping all the windows closed.  I also have an air purifier for my bedroom so I have started to use that again and I really think it makes a difference. I see the dr. next week and I think I am going to be OK now that I am pretty sure it is just bad allergy season.  Its a good thing I have central air. It's amazing how hearing what the dr. had to say made me feel and breathe better.  Some mind control, I guess.  Thanks again for being here for me.

Hugs,

Aurora


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 5/8/2009 7:10 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with smurfyshadow, ask about getting a nebulizer...might help you and the medicine gets into your
lungs faster so that you can breathe better..I have a nebulizer for at home use, good luck in what you chose to do
and lots of soft hugz...Hope your feeling better soon...
((((((((((((((((((Aurora))))))))))))))))))))))))))
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 5/8/2009 9:11 AM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Chartreux for your reply. I am going to see if I can get a nebulizer.  However, I wonder if drs.have reservations about prescribing this type of medical device.  My dr. may say that my asthma is not bad enough to warrant my having one. We will see what he says. If it keeps you breathing freer than I would think it would be a good thing to have.  I imagine they are expensive though, even for the portable ones for home use.  I am feeling better today. Have been taking my zyrtec, using my symbicort twice a day and also using my albuterol 3 -4 times a day as the dr said I should and it seems to be working. Also I am keeping all my windows closed.  I have an air purifier in my bedroom and I think that really helps. Let me know if the nebulizers are expensive and the best place to get one. Thanks again.

Aurora


Chartreux
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 9622
   Posted 5/8/2009 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
You do need a prescription for them from your doctor and then you have to find a pharmacy that carries medical supplies.
I think the range from $50.USD on up, but your doctor could call your insurance to see if they cover durable medical supplies..
Mine has been worth it for me...
Soft HUGZ
(((((((((((Aurora)))))))))))))))
**********************************************
* Asthma, Allergies, Osteoarthritis, Spinal Stenosis, Degenative Disc, Fibromyalgia, Gerd,
Enlarged Pituitary Gland, Sjogren's and Ocular Migraines

********>^..^<********>^..^<********>^..^<********


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/8/2009 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Aurora,
The insurance paid for 100% of my nebulizer, and they also pay for the tubing, etc. I totally agree that you should have one. If you need albuterol 3 or 4 times a day, the nebulizer treatment would be so much more effective.

Yes, the allergy season is brutal. Last year I stayed in from April through June with windows shut. I'm venturing out this year, but yesterday I came down with a lot more sinus and throat congestion. My lungs also started acting up. Better than last year but far from great.
Hopefully we'll both get better soon! I've heard that the increase in CO2 and climate warming has created much more pollen, and that allergy sufferers will have more severe and longer allergy seasons. GREAT.
Feel better!
Denise

Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 5/8/2009 3:01 PM (GMT -7)   

Thanks Denise for the info.  I imagine my insurance may not cover much as I have such a high deductible. Allergy season is much wosre this year.  Inhalers used to have a propellant called CFC and the government banned it saying that is is bad for the ozone layer.  Now we have HFA for inhalers and it really doesn't work well.  The fact is and most drs and medical groups agree that there was so little CFC in asthma inhalers that if everyone who had asthma used one it would make no difference in the ozone layer.  Just another thing for the government to mess with instead of doing what is really needed to research other medical problems or to research the problems of asthma patients.  With the CFC I never had any problems with my asthma clearing up and having to use my albuterol so much.  By the way, I am only using the albuterol 3-4 times a day until I see my dr.  I do take symbicort every day as my long term inhaler.  He just wants me to get through the week until I see him.  I may get a round of prednisone, Ugh! Where I live today the tree and mold count are at the highest level, so I have been home all day.

Aurora


SnowyLynne
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 1539
   Posted 5/8/2009 3:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Medicare will pay for it if you have medicare & having medicare part D is even better......

SnowyLynne


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7167
   Posted 5/8/2009 5:49 PM (GMT -7)   
With that many lung problems, you're wise to stay inside. I'm going to try going to a lilac fest tomorrow for a couple hours. I didn't try it last year, but my antihistamine is working better this year (Xyzal). Last year I was still using Allegra, but I'd used it for so many years that it wasn't working for me.
I'll let you know how it goes.

I can't tell if I'm coming down with a "throat cold" or if my allergies are acting up.
I think I'll take my nebulizer with me. We're going to stay with my son and his wife, and will be staying over. I don't want to be up there and need it, and have left it home. It works so much better than the inhaler.
Feel better!
Denise

SmurfyShadow
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 2386
   Posted 5/9/2009 12:13 AM (GMT -7)   
Actually, I got my portable nebulizer under $200 through an online medical company. I think the rules is you have to do your own research, so I used google. I have Medicare, and they would not cover my portable neb, however, they did cover my home nebulizer (a non portable one). Difference between portable and non portable is portable has a special battery and you can use it anywhere. The reason why a nebulizer works better than an inhaler (even though doctors say a inhaler with the spacer is just as effective as a nebulizer) is that it gets deeper in your lungs. That makes the meds work better hehe. And if you buy a nebulizer, you only need the medication in it to be a prescription.
 
Smurfy Shadow/Desirèe 
DX: Wegener's Disease, Migraines, Diabetese Type II, PCOS, Lactose Intolerant, Benign Heart Murmer, Depression, Asthma, Asperger's Syndrome, Necrotizing Gramultous Inflamation in eye, A.D.D., Acid Reflux, Tumor Behind the Eye, Carpal Tunnel, Fibromyolgia, Clasterphobic, Arthritis
Medications:  Tri Nessa, Percocet, Metformin, Prilosec, Protonix, Zantac, Advair, Cingulair, Albuterol, Calcium + Vitamin D, Pro-Air, Pepcid, Rolaids, Zofran, Compuzeen, Refresh Plus Eye Drops  PRN: Epi-Pen, Albuterol Nebulizer, Benedryl
Undergoing Radiation Taking Lorazepam (Ativan) on Radiation Days

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