Asthma management

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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/8/2015 2:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma many years ago but never really had any symptoms unless I did some serious aerobics. Well I turned 40 last year and in the spring, I was having shortness of breath and decided to get it checked.
Went to the pulmonologist and had PFT. The way he explained the numbers was the FEV1/FVC (overall lung function?) was 66% and the FEV 25/5 (small lung function?) was 40%. He put me on Spiriva, Symbicort, and Qvar. A few weeks later my numbers were up to FEV1/FVC 79% and FE 25/75 86%. That was great, except for the side effects. I was having bad muscle cramps, headaches, horrible acid reflux. The pulmonologist was a real jerk, and to make a long story shorter, I don't see him anymore.
I now see the respiratory therapist at my primary care office. She has me on Symbicort 160 2 puffs 2x day. I also had allergy testing done and found out that I am allergic to trees, grass, mold, etc. Had no idea and was not expecting that at all!! I now take Zyrtec and a nasal spray. The weather/pollen in Indiana has been really bad this year, so that's part of the problem.
My question (finally) is, how long did it take you to get your asthma meds figured out? Of course I would love to take nothing, but that doesn't seem like it's realistic at this point. Any advice and others' stories would be greatly appreciated! Sometimes I just need to know that I'm not alone in all this struggle.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1774
   Posted 8/8/2015 11:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I think many of us are having a horrible time with our asthma this summer. I'm on (what I feel) is a large amount of medication right now (including oral prenisone), and it's still out of control. But that unusual for me. Usually, I feel that my asthma/allergies are fairly well managed with just an antihistamine, a steroid inhaler, flonase, and an albuterol inhaler as needed.

I'm sorry your pulmonologist was a jerk; a lot of people have undesirable side effects with asthma/allergy meds. You shouldn't have been given a hard time because a med was intolerable for you. Medication for asthma and allergies is a very trial and error process, and it is very fluid. What works this month or year may not work next, and medications have to be changed, added, or subtracted.

And I guess that is my answer to your question, unfortunately. I will have it figured out for awhile, but then it changes. I always take as little medication as possible at any given time, but I feel it's really important to have a doctor who is really accessible and will work with you through the changing of the seasons. If your asthma is triggered by allergies, it most likely will wax and wane. Do you have an allergist? They are pretty good at treating allergy triggered asthma. I can call my allergist if I'm having a flare and either get advice/prescription to adjust meds or get a pretty quick appointment to see her.

Having said all of that, MOST of the time, I feel my asthma is well managed with the meds I named above. And sometimes, I can get by with just an antihistamine and flonase. But it does change, and I have to adapt my meds with it. And this summer has definitely been a bear.

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 8/9/2015 3:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks so much for your response! I do have an allergist that I went to for testing. I will probably begin shots next year (after switch from high-deductible to standard insurance). I've heard that those are very helpful.
I'm glad that these forums are here :-)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 8/13/2015 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm having a problem with worse allergies this summer, and I take shots! We had unusually high levels of rain up until August. That meant more weeds, more pollen, more mold .... I've had to take antihistamines some days, where normally I don't take any at all.

I see my allergist twice a year, get my shots at home. I'm thinking of getting more testing to see if I've come up with something new, need to raise my shot dose, just take pills ??? A few years ago I had to add grass to my shots when the pollen count was high and I suddenly became reactive to grass.

Definitely see the allergist!

Actually, acid reflux could be causing the asthma symptoms, not generally the other way round. I'd get a checkup with a gastroenterologist. A LOT of people on the GERD forum have reported getting rid of their asthma symptoms (that aren't caused by allergy) by getting their reflux corrected. With surgery. Sorry about that prospect. You can put some keywords in the searh box at the top of the page to find MANY threads and posts.
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