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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Asthma

Question: No cough, no fever, can't breathe, albuterol inhaler no help

 starkat182 - Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:25 pm

I am a 26 year old female, type 1 diabetes, on an insulin pump, under very good control. I was born with asthma, but grew out of it in high school. From age 17 to 25, I only used my inhaler when the weather changed: Santa Ana winds kicked up, hot and dry days. So the doctor's called my asthma "environmental asthma." I also have allergies to pollen, but none to animals, perfumes, or smoke. I smoked maybe 3 times a week from age 17 to age 20. Then I quit for 2 years. Smoked again from 23 to 25. Quit, then smoke over the summer of this year, 2009. Quit in August 2009. I have no desire whatsoever to smoke ever again! I can't even stand the smell.
The winds kicked up 3 weeks ago. I was sneezing, stuffed nose, itchy, water eyes, so I took benadryl to cope. I used my Albuterol inhaler for a couple of days. It has been 3 weeks now, the winds are gone, but I continue to take benadryl, use my albuterol inhaler 2 puffs every 4 hours, and I still can't breathe! I have NO cough, NO fever, NO chills or body aches, nothing. I'm also dying of thirst! I drink about 4 cold water bottles an hour. I have checked my blood sugar, thinking its high and that's why I'm thirsty, but my blood sugar is staying within range. I went to the doctor for breathing treatment, but it did not help. I have not gone outside the house for 4 days, I have the AC on because the cold air makes it easier for me to breathe, I have to sleep propped up, and I have cut out all salty, creamy, and milky foods.
This is frustrating! Before this happened, I was going to the gym everyday, walking on the treadmill for 1 hour, walking the dog to the park, dancing, ect.
Why can't I breathe??
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:50 am

User avatar Hi there -- First, let's get clear on something: It appears you actually can breathe -- otherwise you probably wouldn't have been able to post this question. You apparently are having some trouble or discomfort associated with breathing, and that may well be due to environmental asthma (I'm personally familiar with the way the Santa Anas will affect asthma-prone people, and it's pretty nasty). One thing you may be doing to hinder your cause is use Benadryl, which is a very powerful drying agent and so can actually make asthma associated with dry air all the worse. You might ask your doctor if you could have a sample or trial prescription of/for Singulair, which is a unique antihistimine-like medication specifically aimed at airborne allergies and the management of asthma. It doesn't have the profoundly drying effects of Benadryl, so may be a lot more help and less hindrance. Also, you might try adding Mucinex or a generic equivalent (guaifenesin) which is an expectorant that helps liquify bronchial secretions and make it easier to breathe. Since the breathing treatment didn't help you may ultimately need to take a six-day course of oral steroids, but trying Singulair and Mucinex together first may do the trick. You'll also become, as a result of this business, more aware of your breathing, which invariably results in one feeling as though one cannot draw an adequate breath even though in reality breathing is adequate. A good test of this is to try walking (inside the house is fine) and talking. If you can speak out loud in whole sentences while walking at a brisk pace you're doing fine. Your doctor also should povide you with an AsthmaCheck device to blow into in order to check just how well you are actually breathing. It's a really cheap and handy way to measure vital capacity. Ask for one. They're generally given away by most practices.

I hope this is helpful. Please follow up with us here as needed. Good luck to you.

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