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PT Docs -- is this asthma??
Old 10-19-2019, 04:58 AM
  #1

I've always had allergies/sinus issues, but have never had asthma. This fall, I've had a mild rattly chesty cough in the mornings, and it goes away once I'm up and around. A couple of weeks ago, however, I woke up in the middle of the night gasping for breath. I felt like I was drowning in mucus (sorry, TMI), and I had to cough and cough for almost 30 minutes before I felt any relief. It was scary, but it didn't happen again, so I forgot about it.

Last night, I neglected to take my nighttime allergy meds. And again, I woke up gasping for breath. I was so terribly wheezy, it was very loud and raspy. I sat up in bed coughing for almost 45 minutes. When I finally laid back down, the wheezy breaths didn't stop for another 30 minutes or so.

This morning, I'm fine. (I did take allergy meds when I woke up at 2am)

I'm planning on calling my doctor on Monday. But I don't really know what to say.......unless it happens again tonight. I don't have any experience with asthma, so I have no idea if that's what's going on or not? I'd appreciate any insight you may have.


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It could be...
Old 10-19-2019, 05:19 AM
  #2

Ruby, that’s scary as hell!! I don’t know much about asthma, but I do suffer with chronic seasonal allergies and stupid sinuses. This spring, an upper respiratory infection left me with a nagging cough (it lasted about 8 weeks). I was at the doctor for an annual check up and mentioned it. My PA said that allergies and asthma are closely related and she prescribed Singulair to see if it helped with the cough. The cough stopped that same week, so I don’t know if Singulair helped or not, but that was an interesting knowledge nugget. Hope you get a diagnosis!

P.S. I take Zyrtec every night.
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I have episodes like you describe.
Old 10-19-2019, 05:53 AM
  #3

I have never been diagnosed with asthma, but I do have an albuterol inhaler for those episodes. My doctor says that itís probably allergy related, but asthma is often allergy related. She tells me to keep my inhaler available at all times even though I only use it 2 or 3 times a year.
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Sounds like asthma
Old 10-19-2019, 05:56 AM
  #4

I have had asthma since I was five. Attacks are scary but the ones that wake you from a sleep are the worse.

Try an expectorant like Mucinex when you have all that mucus to deal with. The liquid works faster. I keep it by my bed. Then drink lots of water. Little sips so you don't choke which happens easily with all the mucus. That should thin the mucus and help you to feel better and breathe better.

Do you have acid reflux issues? I do and if I eat too late it bubbles up in the middle of the night. Then it seems to induce an asthma attack. Just asking in case it is your situation as well. If I don't have a night time snack I avoid this issue most of the time.

I would suggest you go see your primary doctor. There are good meds these days for controlling asthma. I hope you are feeling better soon and breathing easily.

Sleeping propped up after an attach helps. Use two pillows stacked or a wedge pillow. If it is a really bad attack I get to a more upright position in my lounge chair and sleep there.

A room temperature that is slightly cooler also helps me in the winter.

Also drinking something with caffeine can help to expand the bronchial tubes and then you breathe more easily. Then it may be difficult to sleep, but breathing well is more important.
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Old 10-19-2019, 06:41 AM
  #5

I have bad allergies, and I have a prescription for an inhaler for times when the coughing is bad and I can't get a deep breath. Allergy shots and daily medication have helped tremendously.

I will cough so hard I vomit, which makes the breathing issue seem worse.

I'd explain to the doctor exactly what you told us here. Hope you get some relief.


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Old 10-19-2019, 07:51 AM
  #6

Yup! Sounds like asthma induced by your allergies. It could also be post-nasal drip, where the mucus in your head travels down to your lungs while you sleep. It's probably a combination of both.

I had very bad asthma as a child/young adult, but it's totally under control now. I take allergy medication daily (flonase) and only need to use my rescue inhaler (albuterol) 3-4 times a year. My asthma kicks in at night when I have a bad cold or sometimes if I exercise outside in cold weather.

I've used all the advice given above and it works! Except Zyrtec has now been recalled.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:31 AM
  #7

Quote:
Except Zyrtec has not been recalled.
It wasn't all Zyrtec. Some versions were recalled for possible bacterial contamination. The one I take it still available.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:04 AM
  #8

That's scary! I'd answer if I knew more about asthma, but I just started to seem to develop it as an adult just 2.5 yrs ago. Never had any respiratory, allergy, etc. issues in my life before that. Two pulmonologists concur that it was allergic asthma. It all started with an ER visit in which they said bronchitis. I had some scary (late) nights and a few days too, but never during my sleep or similar to yours.

Keep us posted.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:15 AM
  #9

Quote:
It wasn't all Zyrtec. Some versions were recalled for possible bacterial contamination. The one I take it still available.
That's good to hear! I have a few family members taking Zyrtec. They have changed my high blood pressure meds twice in the last few months due to recalls.
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