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Asthma Attacks

Should I do sport today?

  • By nickyholli

    Hi, new member here. Diagnosed just before 40yrs so learning a lot as I go.
    In general my asthma is pretty mild and my last attack was more than 18 months ago.
    Last few months it’s been like I don’t have asthma at all and (I know this is bad) stopped my preventers.
    On Thursday night at judo I unexpectedly had an attack. It was quite bad (for me) but not requiring hospital. It was humid, an intense session and I’ve had a viral thing with phlegm for the past few weeks (though no SOB).
    I’ve been a bit tight-chested since and now taking my meds properly again.
    I’m due to have judo again today and not sure if I should go, given the tightness in my chest.
    What would you do?

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  • By Lyn Harper, RRT Moderator

    Hi nickyholli! Welcome to the community! I’m sorry about your recent experience with an unexpected asthma flare. However, it does sound like you’d had a virus, which as you know can certainly contribute to a flare.
    I know I don’t need to say this, because you already admit to knowing it, but you should be taking whatever medication the doctor put you on to prevent just such an episode.
    Judging from your description of symptoms, it sounds like it might be time to see your doctor for a follow up. In the meantime, based on how your feeling you’ll have to be the judge of what you can do (or can’t). Please take care of your asthma and don’t let the symptoms you’re experiencing get any worse.
    Best, Lyn (site moderator)

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  • By Leon Lebowitz, RRT Moderator

    Hi nickyholli, and thanks for your post. Have you had an opportunity to look over the response and comments by my colleague, Lyn? I will underscore what she’s said to you – she is right on point.
    Based on you statement about stopping your ‘preventer’ medications, I thought you might gain some additional insight by looking over this article: https://asthma.net/living/medication-compliance/. Please do check back and keep us apprised of your progress. Good luck! Leon (site moderator)

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  • By nickyholli

    Hi Lyn and Leon,
    Thanks for the helpful replies.

    Yes I do understand the need to take the preventers regularly and will from now on.

    The link Leon shared does suggest those with mild asthma may not need preventers – and mine is generally very mild/asymptomatic. This grey area between those who don’t need preventers and those who do is what, in my opinion, can be a little confusing. Apart from last week, I’ve not needed to use my reliever for 18 months or so and have been symptom free. And preventers have steroids which can be problematic in the long term. However, by the time I notice an illness that could be a trigger, there’s not long enough for the preventers to build back up! So on balance for me, I’m going to stick with a small dose of preventer and increase it at times of illness/trigger (my asthma nurse did recommend that).

    I was interested in hearing from other asthma sufferers who engage in strenuous exercise about whether there are ever times they don’t exercise and, if so, what sort of/level of symptoms would be necessary to refrain. (I ended up going to judo and was mostly ok, although had to be careful with some hold-downs when my chest was constructed).

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    • By Lyn Harper, RRT Moderator

      Hi Nickyholli – I’m happy to hear you made out ok at Judo. I think you’re doing the right thing by gauging how you feel and possibly taking extra meds if you feel you need it.

      You’re right, some people with mild asthma do not need to take daily meds. But, they usually have them for the times they know something will trigger a flare. One good example is a person that may never have issues, except when they exercise. This is sometimes known as “exercise induced asthma”. That person may decide that they will take their inhaler a little while before exercising and it will prevent any issues.

      A good spot that you may get more input from others like yourself is our Facebook page. Please feel free to join. It’s a very active community. The link is at the bottom of the page.

      Lyn (site moderator)

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  • By Leon Lebowitz, RRT Moderator

    Hi again, NickyHolli and thanks for your reply and explanation.
    I’m sure you’ve already seen Lyn’s reply and it’s a good one again!

    My thoughts are once you get to know your asthma and, it seems to me you already are well versed in your own asthma condition, you may not need to be regularly compliant with medication as other conditions may warrant.
    In many cases, for people such as yourself, the rescue inhalers are used as just that – to be used when needed; not necessarily on a regular basis. The important consideration would be to always make sure you’re carrying the inhaler with you at all times. One never knows when an attack may strike!
    Be sure to check us out on our asthma Facebook page, as Lyn suggested, when you get a chance. I’m sure you will enjoy our site.
    Leon (site moderator)

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