For years my asthma was well controlled with inhaled steroids, and the only times it would flare up would be viral respiratory infections or sinus infections. Over time, my GERD got worse, and probably between 15 and 20 years ago I began taking PPI's for my reflux. My doctor suspected that my GERD was adding to my asthma symptoms, and my asthma/allergy doc concurred.
My GERD was pretty well maintained that way for quite a while, and my asthma remained in the normal range. about four years ago, however, my GERD got much worse. In fact, after a flare-up brought on by an antibiotic I didn't tolerate well, I ended up hospitalized for a week because my asthma was out of control, and because of my stomach problems, I couldn't take oral steroids. I was in the hospital of high doses of IV steroids, and even with that, my asthma didn't respond well because of the uncontrolled gastritis and GERD I was experiencing.
For about four years my asthma has been horrible. In fact, I was taking such high doses of Flovent (and intermittent courses of prednosone), I have had adrenal insufficiency symptoms...the skin on my arms have thinned badly, I get skin tears and bruise very easily. Both my asthma and family docs suggested that I consider having GERD surgery (laproscopic Nissen Fundoplication) to get my reflux under control, because it was making my asthma impossible to control. I was using a nebulizer 2-3 times daily for about a year. I was constantly coughing up tons of mucous, too.
They did all they could, but it was impossible to get my lungs cleared. My family doctor (especially) kept telling me that I needed to consider the surgery. He said that the reflux was "life threatening" because it kept my lungs in a constant state of inflammation.
Finally, after years of suffering with horrible asthma, I decided to try the surgical option. It wasn't an easy decision, but it helped to find the Heartburn/GERD forum here. There were lots of people there who had had the surgery, and provided me with lots of support and information. on February 27th I had the surgery, and I am so glad I did. My lungs are finally better! It is amazing.
Now keep in mind that I still get asthma from other things...I got the flu, and had a flare up since the surgery, and now I'm dealing with tree pollens. However that being said, even when I'm having a flare-up from another cause, it's still nothing like what I had pre-surgery. At the moment, although I'm still in allergy season, my lungs are nearly PERFECT! It is amazing.
I hope this information helps. I'll be glad to answer any questions, and I suggest you go to the Heartburn/GERD forum and go back to my posts in February and March. You can read about my experience making the decision to have surgery, and my recovery process.
Good luck with your asthma. I feel your pain!
Hope things get better for you soon.