Bad Attack-i Can Breathe Better But Wheeze More After Getting Treated?

Question

Asked by Angel

Bad Attack-i Can Breathe Better But Wheeze More After Getting Treated?

I just had a question about this because I think it's odd. My asthma doctor sent me to the ER on Thursday because I called her for the second time that week. I wasn't wheezing or anything, my chest just felt really funny and was starting to hurt. I was trying to be good about calling early too, so it didn't get too bad. So she sent me to the ER.

I just find it odd that after a nebulizer treatment and 60m of prednisone, I started wheezing for the first time that day. I also find it a bit disconcerting because in some ways I didn't realize it was that bad until after I had taken the extra medications. I'm now on 50m of prednisone along with advair, alvesco, singulair, and about 4 other allergy medications. I do feel much better today (Sat.)

The other thing is they're always asking me how low my peakflow is. It drops, but not that much, so I've learned to base what I do on my symptoms. So although I feel better my peakflow was actually lower this morning than when I went to the ER. I'm just grateful they listened to me anyways.

Angel

Answer

The first thing I want to say to you is based on what you describe here you seem to be a Gallant Asthmatic like Jake Gallant, and a true role model for other asthmatics. I'm very impressed that you called your physician as soon as you observed your early warning signs so your asthma could be treated right away to prevent it from getting worse.

To answer your question, not all asthmatics wheeze during asthma attacks, which is why it is essentially important that you follow your Asthma Action Plan, of which you did. Even while your peak flows barely decreased, and you did not wheeze, your body gave you other signs that it was time to call your physician.

Likewise, it can be normal to not wheeze during an asthma attack, which can also be a sign of worsening asthma. Often times when I give bronchodilator breathing treatments to an asthmatic in the hospital I hear more wheezes after the treatments than before, in which case wheezes can be a sign that your air passages are opening up and air is flowing more freely through them. So, for you, wheezing may be a sign that your asthma is improving.

Monitoring peak flows is a great way for most asthmatics to monitor their asthma, but for some reason peak flows do not drop for some asthmatics. This is all the more reason for you to be aware of YOUR other early warning signs and to work with your doctor on creating an Asthma Action Plan that works best for you. It appears you have one and followed it to a tee. Great job.

Answered by John Bottrell