I'm a 27 year old male, and since I was 2 or 3 years old I was diagnosed with asthma. I would go the emgerncy room every year growing up with asthma attacks, and everytime I got sick with the cold I would always have bronchitis coughing up stuff. Anyway through out my childhood and into my adulthood I ended up having fairly well controlled asthma with medication and plans. If I was near one of my triggers I knew it because I would wheeze, have classics symptoms, etc. One thing that has bugged me to no end that I am trying to figure out is that even during this time in my life, I would ALWAYS get decent results on my peak flow. Meaning even if I found it very hard to breath, I would blow my hardest, and my average would usually stay exactly the same, above the green. I will get back to this in a second...
The last three or fours years of my life have been very diffcult. Right now I'm trying to figure out if asthma is still my main problem or if I have more severe COPD issues. I have never smoked in my life and have been told countless times by doctors that you cannot get COPD from not smoking, yet I've read in books and online from others that you can if you have been exposed to triggers for a very long period of time. Both of my parents growing up smoked, we lived in a very moldy old house (it was a pioneer house 200 years old, in MA) and I didn't get out much. The main symptoms I have now are:
1. I will wake up in the morning and not be able to get a full breath of air. I will use my abuterol (rescue) inhaler, and it will only open my airways a little bit. My nebulizer machine will do a much better job, but my airways go back to being closed up after a few hours. This feeling stays with me through out most of the day, and sometimes eases up a bit during the night.
2. I will constantly cough up yellow mucus from my chest, with very solid color. No blood.
3. I cough constantly, and have been asked if I'm okay many times by my friends or co workers.
So with these symptoms, it has been very hard to live happily, and I have been to about three different pyshicians and two different specialist in the last few years. I am not going to name names, but I will be honest; I feel like I got no help whatsoever. They have told me because my peak flow looks good and that my chest doesn't sound too bad or has little tightness that I'm okay. I have tried medications for a long period of time like singular, advair, ventolin, flonase and some others with little to no effect that I could see. I have had an x ray done on my chest and blood tests, but they come back okay.
A few more points. One is that I am allergic to many things, including cat dander, dust mites, blue grass, dog dander, oak, rabbit, and a few others. I grew up with animals so I'm sure that didn't help, but I live with my girlfriend now and we have no pets, I have a HEPA filter machine, I clean on a regular basis and follow most steps to a asthma free home.
The last point and something I thought might be the problem to all of this is that I know I have very bad acid reflux. No matter what diet I have tried (low acidity, GERD diet), I will always feel the food come up my throat and feel the need to burp alot. This only started getting worse the last three or four years of my life (just like the asthma symptoms). I thought maybe I was aspirating the food or liquid into my lungs, but my gastro doctor told me I wasn't and said I have low acidity levels. =/
Anyway sorry for such a long post, but this is really effecting my life. I used to work out and exercise every other day when I was in my early twenties, but now it's so much harder to do because of this and I feel like I've gotten no help from my doctors. They give me an asthma action plan which does nothing because my triggers never happen; I always feel like this and symptoms are always on full alert. My peak flow is useless to me because my numbers don't waver and I've never been below green. Any advice would really, really be appreciated and I welcome it good or bad.
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