Fear of Suffocation

Jan 29, 2002

The Bottom Line Its not pleasurable to suffer form asthma

After spotting an op on the front page about Asthma, I decided to share my experiences with you all.

On the Asthma scale, I count myself as possibly a 6 or 7 out of 10.
Thats with 1 being no Asthma and 10 being death.

How do I come to this conclusion? Well, I rate it on this scale.

I suffer from wheezing and tight chest. There is 1 point.
I need medication to cure the symptoms. There is another.
I reed this regularly. Add another.
I get like this from Exercise and even during my sleep. Add another point.
I suffer from Allergies and they bring on the condition. Add another.
I require Preventative steroids to keep it at bay. Add another point.
I miss work through Illness due to the condition and have been hospitalised in the past.

So I have picked up 7 points out of 10.

Im sure there are worse cases out there which I will reserve for people scoring 8,9 and 10 out of 10.

It really is the most scary feeling, not being able to get your breath.
Its also a vicious circle. You wheeze because you cannot get your breath
You panic and your airways tighten further making it more difficult to breathe.

What is it?

Its the narrowing of your airways due to reactions with different activities. It can be an allergic reaction or simply stimulated by exercise.
Your lungs or airways produce a mucus which narrows the passage and unless treated, could cause suffocation.

I have in the past been forced onto a nebuliser at Casualty to get me fixed up. Not the best way to be.

What can be done?

There are various theories.
Some are it is caused by dairy products during pregnancy. Others are enviromental issues.
But once you have it, you tend to grow out of it. I didnt. I grew into it further.
Preventative is better than cure so its best to remove all dust from your home and even get rid of feather pillows and matresses. There are covers to put over the matress for Asthmatics.
Pets can also bring it on so hairy creatures around the house can be a no no.
If you need a medical preventative, there are several steroid based ones around. I take Flixotide. It comes in an Orange inhaler.
Its powder based as im allergic to the propellants in the Steroid inhalers!
The alternatives that I can take are called Becotide. They are normally Brown Inhalers.

You can take a reactionary drug such as Ventolin or Sabutamol. This is taken via an inhaler. They are normally Blue in colour. This is what most Asthmatics use.

Light sport helps too. Nothing strenuous as it can make it worse. Swimming is a good one. A good level of fitness actually helps my asthma.
I enjoy a normal sporting life now. I play Ice Hockey so I must be handling my Asthma well.
That is the Key. Make regular appointments with the doctor to keep it under review.
So there you have it. My guide to coping with Asthma.

Unfortunately, you are probably reading this on Epinions in USA. This means your medication is not subsidised so it can get expensive without Medical Insurance if you need to keep buying medication. In Britain we have a national Helath Service which subsidise the medication so one Inhaler costs me around 6 ($10). This is good because my Preventative, Flixotide, costs around 60 to buy without the subsidy. Thats $100!

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