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Thread: Asthma *sigh*

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Asthma *sigh*

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    Since February my asthma has been out of control, don't know what's triggering it (and finding out it a long painful process), I have meds to use... but for example, in IL I had a steroid inhaler I used seasonal once a day, a rescue inhaler I used a few times a year, a pill I took seasonally, and a steroid nasal spray I used seasonally. Here in FL I'm using all of them every day, double doses, and the rescue inhaler several times a day and I'm still gasping. IT SUCKS!! It's exhausting and hard on my lungs and heart. I hate that the place I want to be seems to not want me... at least for Feb, March, April (so far).

    We're looking at seasonal options like volunteering in National Parks that offer cabins, things like that so we can get me out of here some of the year once we retire (we're looking seriously at next April).

    Electra Townie 7D

  2. #2
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    Oh that's awful. Have you confirmed that it's something seasonal vs. possibly something in the house or larger environment? For example I've had worse asthma problems due to pollution near my office -- concrete dust from parking lot renovations in one building, air pollution from a nearby asphalt plant at another.

    I sympathize with the long painful process of figuring out the cause. I spend way too much time playing the "what am I allergic to now" game.

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  3. #3
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    I went from being a very healthy kid/teen to someone who always had allergies/asthma when I moved to Florida. Humidity and mold did me in. I was even worse in AZ, but because I liked it there, I put up with it. It was the dust there.
    I have been pretty much asthma free since i moved back to MA, so there is something very real about trying to figure out environmental causes.
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  4. #4
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    It's worse when I'm home, unfortunately. There previous owner dealt with a leaking pipe that ruined the kitchen cabinets and a lot of the drywall, it was professionally cleaned and repaired, but I'm guessing there's some mold in the walls. Add to that all kinds of new pollen and it's pretty un-fun.

    I'm calling a pulmonologist to see about starting the testing procedure, dreading it, but moving again would be a really big financial hit right now.

    Electra Townie 7D

  5. #5
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    I'd see an allergist instead. Just my opinion. It was an allergist that helpe me the most when I was really sick in AZ. Like, having to use a nebulizer before I taught aerobics! The pulmonologist seemed baffled by my "specious" asthma, with no wheezing.
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  6. #6
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    You've recently moved to Florida which leads me to concur with Crankin. Every time I've moved I've had problems for a couple of seasons as my asthma adjusted to the new environment/pollen mix/ etc. The allergist may be able to help you more quickly, it's worth checking out. I don't have "normal" asthma, but what they call a "cough variant" form, though I do wheeze - but after a certain point the coughing reaches pretty extreme levels for me.

    I really hope it turns out to be more pollen related than a mold issue, crossing my fingers for you!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the suggestion, I know when my honey went to a pulmonologist, the guy did nothing for her. Never occurred to me to try an allergist.

    Electra Townie 7D

  8. #8
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    If you haven't spent much time in the area before, unfortunately I'd tend to suspect molds. Allergies need exposure to develop a sensitivity to a particular allergen - I had three or four good winters in Florida before I became just as allergic to cedar pollen as I am to ragweed, sigh (as in, if I don't get the shots, I'm literally very close to incapacitated for the whole season). Still, while removing the source is always best, mold allergies are just as treatable as pollen. PM me if you want the name of my allergist in Daytona.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
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    Thanks, Oak, I'll definitely ask about your allergist, hopefully my insurance will cover them.

    If it is mold in the house, I may just have to bite the bullet and have a mold remediation done. I swear, it would probably be cheaper for me to tear out the drywall and have it replaced than have a "mold specialist" get their mitts on the condo.

    Electra Townie 7D

  10. #10
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    Probably cheaper and just as effective. That's pretty much what we found when we were researching after we had roof damage the year of the four hurricanes. It's Florida, after all, where everything will turn to mold overnight if you don't run the AC, no matter how cool it is. Do you have carpet or curtains? Those would be the first things to get rid of. Anything that retains moisture. Spray the floorboards with a 10% bleach solution before they lay the new floor covering. Then you can get a UV light installed in your AC - ours has been really great at keeping the mold down - might want to get the ducts cleaned first.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  11. #11
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    My honey has had pretty awful asthma for decades (although she's been fine here in FL for some reason), so we pulled the carpet and out in tile, no curtains, one small new area rug... but we didn't have the ducts cleaned when we moved is, so that would be a good next step, thanks.

    Electra Townie 7D

  12. #12
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    Moisture blocking mattress covers and especially pillow covers help a lot, too. Nowadays they make them with fabric over the backing, so they're not as nasty as the old rubber covers for bed-wetters. I'm sure they're made with a lot of scary toxic chemicals and no doubt the plastics out-gas VOCs as well, but being able to breathe is definitely an area where I'll prioritize my immediate health over longer-term danger.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Thanks for the suggestion, I know when my honey went to a pulmonologist, the guy did nothing for her. Never occurred to me to try an allergist.
    Either type of doctor should be able to help with asthma, but I agree that an allergist would probably be most helpful for you at this point.

    I've gone to a pulmonologist for years for the asthma, and he's a great doctor. However he's never suggested any tests for finding out what might be triggering it. I've also never asked him for tests, since so far I've seen clear evidence of triggers.

    I also go to an allergist for the chronic hives, and have had him do allergy tests which helped me determine that the hives are not caused by any common allergens and also gave me a list of specific types of pollen that cause problems for me (e.g., oak - no, maple - no, cedar - hell yes). The tests also showed that mold is not a problem for me (and I hope it stays that way!). If it was, I would have had to do my kitchen and bathroom remodeling much sooner to get rid of the old cabinets, drywall, etc that showed signs of mold.

    The allergist also asks me about my asthma and I could rely on him to treat it if I didn't like the pulmonologist so much. My father has had his asthma treated by an allergist for decades and only recently started seeing a pulmonologist for it.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catrin View Post
    ple of seasons as my asthma adjusted to the new environment/pollen mix/ etc. The allergist may be able to help you more quickly, it's worth checking out. I don't have "normal" asthma, but what they call a "cough variant" form, though I do wheeze - but after a certain point the coughing reaches pretty extreme levels for me.
    I have this too, Catrin! I've been coughing every night here in NC as we go through pollen season. It doesn't help that I go over to my mother's most days, and she has two cats, which I am also allergic to. I love the springtime for its beauty, but it is tough on those of us with asthma or allergies. There was an earlier spring pollen out when we drove to Ohio for a few days, and my eyes were so pink I was scared I had conjunctivitis, but they promptly went back to normal once we returned NC, so I think it was pollen-related.

    Pax, I hope you can get to the bottom of your problem. Having to use all those asthma meds does not sound good. I have only a rescue inhaler but have been having to use it before bed most nights because of the wheezing and coughing. Fortunately, this is not a normal thing for me, which is why I am not on daily asthma meds. I did use Advair for awhile years ago but got too nervous about the osteoporosis side effect that I quit it.

    We were in Florida from early January until mid-March, and I did not have the asthma problems I'm having here in NC, leaving me to wonder how much of my current issues are with my mother's cats rather than pollen, because there was plenty of pollen in Florida while we were there.
    Emily

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  15. #15
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    I am pretty sure my osteoporosis was influenced by the many courses of prednisone I took in the 80s, along with a few other meds. My asthma was really bad right before Advair and all of that was invented, so not as many choices. In fact, my allergist in Tempe was one of the main inventors of Advair, which I found out because his brother (a psychiatrist) lives in Acton and was tangentially in my social group for awhile.
    I do have a family history of osteoporosis, so I don't think the meds are the whole cause, but it seems like some of the stomach meds I have taken are also implicated in bone degeneration.
    When I went to a pulmonologist about the scarring on my lungs from Valley Fever a few years ago, he was not concerned at all about having to take a rescue inhaler for occasional wheezing. It just so happened I was recovering from bronchitis and having some residual wheezing at the start of the cycling season when I went for the consult about the "spots" on my lungs that freaked out my PCP.
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