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Confusion about Asthma Diagnosis

I was diagnosed with allergy induced asthma earlier this year after my sister visited and brought her dog that I am apparently allergic to. I had not had breathing problems before this, allergies yes, but not chest tightness or any other asthma type symptoms. I was put on 2 different inhalers to reduce the inflammation, but it was not not working. I had to use my rescue inhaler multiple times every day. So my allergist put me on a short course of Prednisone to reduce inflammation, which helped some but after I was off it the symptoms came right back. So I went back to the allergist, he took a blood sample, and said I had elevated IgE and eosinophils consistent with severe asthma. I went to my primary doctor for a breathing test, but the results came back normal. I am just frustrated cuz I feel like it’s all in my head, but I know that chest pain/tightness, coughing, shortness of breath, and being exhausted all the time is NOT normal. Does anyone else struggle with this or struggle with getting a proper diagnosis?

  1. Hi. Disneykid. Thank you for sharing your personal asthma story and your question. As I'm sure you know, we cannot offer medical advice (or diagnose) over the Internet, for your own safety of course. Still, your question is worthy of a reply. Asthma effects each person in unique ways. And your doctor has diagnosed you with a specific type of severe asthma (https://asthma.net/living/asthma-subgroups-severe-asthma). Eosinophilic asthma (https://asthma.net/living/persistent-eosinophilic) is a special type of severe asthma. With severe asthma, it can take some time to figure out what treatments work best for you. Usually the course of treatment begins with traditional asthma meds as your doctor has prescribed for you. Although, if you continue to experience symptoms, do keep working with your doctors. There are actually other treatment options your doctors may consider if your present treatment regimen continues to frustrate you -- such as biologics (https://asthma.net/living/what-biologics-are-approved-for-asthma). And you are definitely not alone in this community with this struggle, I assure you. John. Community Moderator. asthma.net

    1. many similarities for me. I got my asthma dx back in January and usual asthma meds have helped somewhat, but symptoms linger (Symbicort, Albuterol, prednisone). Breathing tests, x-rays, CT scan reveal no issues. I do seem to be getting better slowly, gradually over time. Pulmonologist wants me to give this more time and if symptoms persist we will test for e-asthma in August as the next step.

      1. Ironic you should ask, and yes ... I was terribly ill prior to asthma dx. When Sick, PCP would only do video visits and that was my downfall. Looking back I probably should have been hospitalized (but pressed through here at home). Largely classic but severe Covid symptoms. Pulmo has suggested that asthma could be a “long haul” symptom and (like you said) could take a long time to subside. It is seemingly improving, but at a glacial pace. Thanks.

      2. Ugh, that's miserable. Anything is possible, especially when you throw in a wild card like COVID. Please be careful to not push yourself -- I would think the gradual improvement is a positive sign. 😀 All the best to you again! -Melissa, asthma.net team

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