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Diagnosed with asthma at age 60

New diagnosis of asthma after two Wisconsin cold seasons with six-months each of coughing. The diagnosis was made official with a pulmonary lab two weeks ago. This concept is brand-new to me.

The last time I talked with my medical team, the symptoms didn't seem terrible. The coughing was more annoying than debilitating. I could jog a mile or more and it wasn't until after my cool down that I started wheezing and finding it difficult to take a breath. I would sometimes wheeze in the night but not a whole lot and not every night (that I know of).

So all the advice I have from my doctor and the lab technician is based on that relatively mild experience.

Then starting this past Wednesday all of a sudden the slightest exertion can turn my lungs to cement. Raising my arm in a slight wave and saying hi --> asthma attack. Stepping outside into our cold rainy weather would give me an attack in 30 seconds. The nights are awful. And my job is physical.

So I'm walking around feeling like I'm dying, and worrying about everyone else thinking I'm going to kill them with germs, and this is no fun at all.

I'm using Albuterol and Flonase and Sudafed. I was using a lot of Mucinex and DayQuil, but I started getting a bad feeling about continuing it when I was not sure I had all that much mucus to move up from my chest. So I didn't take it on Friday, but then on Saturday it became clear the phlegm was still happening. So back on I went, but with a lower dose than I had been taking before. I was rewarded with softer phlegm this morning.

Today I haven't felt as much like possibly needing to go to urgent care as I did the last few days. Also today I sent a letter to my doctor through my network's messaging system to let her know about my new symptoms and ask her for some advice.

  1. Hi , and welcome! I see you are a new member here, having joined yesterday, just after midnight. We are glad to see you already engaging with the community through this, your first post.
    You have certainly come to the right place! Here at asthma.net, we are all about all things asthma and asthma related. We appreciate you sharing your brief history and the onset of this illness combined with your recent status.
    Sometimes, it can take a while for a doctor (and the patient), to determine the best medication regimen to follow based on one's particular level of disease. To me, it sounds like you are in that stage now - trying to determine (with your doctor), the best course of therapy that will bring your symptoms under better control.
    Please do check back and let us know how your physician responds to you. This was the most prudent action you could've taken, at this time, based on what you've shared here with the community.
    Good luck!
    If there is anything we can do to assist you, please let me or any other moderator / team member know.
    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator asthma.net)

    1. I now have a short-term prednisone prescription and a Wixela inhaler. Started that yesterday morning. I was still using the Albuterol heavily yesterday, but this morning I haven't used it and I am now able to go up and down our household staircases a time or two before I'm forced to remember that I still have issues. I can go outside without coughing. Yesterday I got through the first half of my workday without showing visible signs of distress. Got tired and breathless toward the end but I was worlds better than last week. I have high confidence that I'll be able to resume my jog-at-least-once-a-week resolution by this weekend.

      Glad to have this site to come and talk about these things. I have wanted to talk about it for awhile, to vent, to maybe get advice, but I haven't wanted to deal with the waves of sympathy I know will come on Facebook or my other usual chat venues at times when don't have the energy to deal with the well-intentioned concerned attention.

      So big appreciation that you were here for me to find when I finally thought to search for an appropriate site.

      1. Hi. And I also would like to welcome you to this community. As you note, this is a safe place to talk about anything asthma related, and a great place to share our own asthma experiences and to get ideas from other community members -- it's also neat knowing that you are not alone in what you are dealing with. I am glad to hear that your doctor got back with you so swiftly and prescribed Wixela for you. This is a combination inhaler, and the next logical step up as your previous regimen was not quite doing it for you. I am glad that you have noticed it helping already. And hang in there, as Wixela is the type of inhaler that may take up to 2-3 weeks to fully get into your system to gain full benefit. So, it is possible that you may start to feel even better as time goes by. Wishing you all the best. John. asthma.net community moderator

      2. Just want to say that I am super glad you found us -- I can certainly relate to the "waves of sympathy" that can often come from well-meaning folks. It's tiring! You are in the right place. And thanks for the kind words about the site. The staff (past and present) has worked so hard to make the atmosphere what it is, and it's gratifying to hear when we're getting it right. So the appreciation is mutual! 😀

        Also, fyi, we do have a page on Facebook if you're interested in that. Just search asthma.net and we'll pop up. Looking forward to getting to know you better! -Melissa, asthma.net team

    2. I read about flutter devices here on Friday and I rushed to Amazon to order one before I even got around to logging in. Got that on Saturday. Have been trying that out. From my reading I gather that this is a thing which could be very helpful but could also trigger an attack if overused. So I'm starting slow.

      1. Hi. Again. Yes. Flutter devices are very helpful for helping vibrate your airways and knock off those stubborn secretions -- to help you to get them out of your lungs and to cough them up. Good idea to start slowly. Keep us posted on how it goes for you. All the best. John. asthma.net community moderator.

    3. Steph,


      I feel you frustration. I have had a mild case of asthma for years. It wasn't until I logged on after seeing my doctor that I found out coughing was a symptom of asthma. I have been coughing for 3 years! I have used so many inhalers. Symbacort, Flovent, Spiriva... Some work until they don't and it is always worse at night. I do use a humidifier and an air purifier at different times. I am so sensitive to dust. I find it also helps somtimes to wear a mask. Good luck!

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