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I am a 58 year old female, smoked for many years but gave up 23 years ago.  I had a bad episode with my breathing after having tonsillitus in Feb this year. My doctor has told me i have asthma!  I have had a spyrometry test done, results were all normal. i had previously had an xray showing my lungs were larger than normal but otherwise clear.  Although my breathing and chest have eased a lot over the months i still have a crackle on inhaliing and a wheeze (sort of) when exhaling.  My lungs feel as though the last third has been cut off, just cant exhale as i used to. I do get out of breath slightly when walkiing. I have a blue inhaler and to be honest i don't kknow if it helps.  Should i ask for further tests?  i am beginning to get get worried over not being diagnosed properly and not getting the correct treatment which can slow down copd.

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    Hang on a minute you said you have been diagnosed with asthma not copd.  They are different.   If your spirometry shows you do not have copd but asthma then it should be accurate. 

    With asthma the condition is reversible with the right meds but with copd it is not.   As you are an ex smoker it is possible it could turn into copd in time,  but the way to help avoid this is to lead a healthy lifestyle with a good diet and exercise. 

    You should get a review every year with an asthma nurse but if you are worried go back to your doctors.

    I have asthma as well as copd and the crackle and wheezing are typical of asthma.  Your blue inhaler should help as this is standard asthma treatment.  It is possible you might need more meds to help open your airways but the blue one should be used as and when needed as it is a preventer.   Maybe you need to use it more?  But if you are worried go back to your dr please.   x 

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    • Posted

      Hi I have asthma Bronchietis a and emphasyma copd ,can is just say the blu inhaler is a RELEIVER  ,,,,and not a PREVENTER,
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    • Posted

      thanks for your reply, the reason i am worried is that my symptoms are continuous, they alter during the day and night but are always there, is this the same with asthma?  I thought asthma came and went? sorry for my ignorance.
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    • Posted

      ohh thanks for that.  Wow you have plenty to deal with yourself, have you discovered any particular ways to help you condition?
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    • Posted

      Hi ,I found that exersise is the best thing for me ,I did the pulmary rehab course back in 2008 and I continued to go to the gym twice a week concentrating on the treadmil mainly  today I did 2&1/2 Klm in 33 minutes ,ask GP for a referral to pulmary rehab ,you will soon see the benefits ,best wishes .
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    • Posted

      Hi Yvonne. I also have both asthma and emphysema but luckily both are mild. It is called ACOS...Asthma COPD Overlap Syndrome. The asthma was diagnosed on the basis of a spirometry test...my lung function was 83% and improved somewhat after being administered the bronchodilator. The mild emphysema was diagnosed through a chest cat scan. I also had a chest xray abd a nuclear stress test to eliminate that heart was causing my shortness of breath. I am on two medications. One is Symbicort Tubuhaler which is used morning and eveNing as a preventative. It is a corticosteroid and long acting bronchodilator together. I also when need a reliever short acting bronchodilator called Bricanyl. All the meds I'm using can be used for both asthma and copd. My asthma symptom...ie the shortness of breath and dry cough are exercise related with any movement...even washing dishes or brushing teeth. It is called adult onset persistent asthma. I do not have asthma attacks per se....it's always there when I move. Humid weather makes my breathing worse and need to use the reliever on such days . Hope you see some similarities between what we are experiencing. One more thing. ..I am 70 which may have been the reason for the heart testing. It is a good thing if your breathing is improving as time goes on.
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    • Posted

      Hi ,hope you don't mind me jumping in ,I have the same illness as you ,the reason I'm jumping in is to just say ,,,,Isn't  that nuclear test ex ray ,,,,TERRIBLE ,
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    • Posted

      What is it supposed to achieve?   Apart from making money for someone I mean.

      COPD isn't hard to diagnose with spirometry and possibly an ordinary x-ray or were they looking for something else?

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    • Posted

      It wasn't for me Nanny. What part did you find so bad? It's true they push you on the treadmill but that's what a stress test is all about. I was very relieved to learn that my arteries were not blocked. My dad died from heart disease.
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    • Posted

      The tests were to reach a more definitive diagnosis and eliminate anything else that may have contributed to my continuous shortness of breath such as blocked arteries (I'm 70 and my dad died at 74 from a heart attack) and lung cancer (smoked for 35, years but stopped 15 years ago). Thank goodness we have universal health care here in Canada. I might add as well that without the chest cat scan it would have been thought that all I had was adult onset persistent asthma.
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    • Posted

      That's interesting info, thanks.  I had a heart attack 4 1/2 yrs ago due to a blocked artery but I didn't have any shortness of breath before it.

      It was chest pains and very slight breathlessness about a year later that led to the emphysema/COPD diagnosis.

      I too am very grateful Australia has universal health care:  it's not perfect as I guess neither is yours or that in the UK, but compared to your southern neighbours we're all heaps better off.  What's wrong with them anyway?  I can't work out what the fear of what they call "socialised medicine" is about, it just doesn't make sense to me.  

      I see people on this forum who can't afford to go to rehab or have to wait years for it:  here it's a nominal charge which can be waived if you're really poor and I started it within a month of contacting them.  The cardio rehab was routine immediately after I was discharged after the stent was inserted and also virtually free.

      A lot to be grateful for I reckon!

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    • Posted

      Aw ,I think we had different tests, the day after my suspected heart problem ,the doctor asked me to do the treadmill test ,I thought pm no problem as I go to the gym and love the treadmill ,,,,but it started so fast I just couldn't do it ,,,,,AT ALL, so a few days later I was put on a drip ? Into my veins, the nurse said"  you might feel a bit uncomfortable ,,,,,," ,,,it was excruciating pain in my chest ,I asked how much longer ( after a couple of minutes ) and she don't worry ,,,,only another twenty minutes,,,,,,I have NEVER

      experienced pain like it ,then after half an hour to let the stuff get round my body I was sent down for a scan , I found out it was a nuclear test ,

      I was later told I had the test as I couldn't do the treadmill test,,

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    • Posted

      Oh , the test was clear ,and the chest pain I was admitted with was put down to over exersising causing muscle spasm ? ,
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    • Posted

      Hi ,I tried the treadmill  stress test and couldn't do it ,so I was sent for a nuclear test where I was put on this drip that sent stuff through the arteries ,the pain was excruciating  I was then sent for scan ,which showed no problems, thank god ,but I'll never forget that pain ,I asked the nurse how much longer ,,,,she said don't worry only another twenty minutes, I closed my eyes and tried to think of something nice ,,but the nurse said keep your eyes open so we can see your ok ,the scan showed no problems, thank god, 
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry you had such pain with the nuclear stress test. In my case they injected me with the radioactive fluid ( felt sort of at hot feeling as it first went in...it's a longish injection ) and then had to wait in the waiting room for the fluid to circulate in the body. They then did a scan for about 20 mins. Next step was the treadmill where before getting on they injected again. Was hooked up to the computer for that part. After that had another scan. It's a very thorough test to see how exercise affects your heart and arteries. They asked if I would be flying in the next week as evidently you can set off the bells at the airport with that stuff in you for a few days. smile
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    • Posted

      Good Morning Jude!  I feel that Australia and UK are VERY fortunate to have universal healthcare.  Here in the US we have what is termed "Obama healthcare".  SO MANY people are dying or not getting proper treatment because of the many new restrictions under this new "health plan".  Myself..........with COPD and the meds that I need, my meds will increase from $45.00 per month to over $300.00 per month every year come September because of what is called the "donut hole".  That is when your insurance will no longer cover your meds at a lower cost.  There are people with cancer issues who are charged $2,000.00 or more a month for their meds because of our "healthcare" program which was put into place by the Obama administration.  We have friends in Canada that are very happy with the universal care program.
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    • Posted

      Very simarlar I think for the same test ,my results were ok so the pain was worth it ,hope yours was to ,
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    • Posted

      Yes Nanny thankfully I was fine too and well worth the discomfort to eliminate heart as a cause of my shortness of breath. smile
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    • Posted

      In Canada if you are 65+ you get your meds free (well, basically free...you pay $4.11 for each prescription) but under 65 the government doesn't pay for the meds and you need private insurance that either you pay for or the company you work for pays for in whole or in part.
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    • Posted

      That's interesting:  what was healthcare like before "Obama care"?  My impression is that it was even worse?
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    • Posted

      In Australia most prescribed medications are $5.60 each for anyone on benefits or very low income.   What happens to unemployed or people with disabilities under 65?
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    • Posted

      Canada is , from what I understand, the only country with universal health care that doesn't pay for prescription drugs. Each of the 10 provinces has their own drug plans to help certain groups such as seniors or those on social assistance, but if you don't fall into such a group you pay for your own drugs either from pocket or from private/company paid health insurance.
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    • Posted

      Sounds similar to Australia except it's done federally so that there's no difference between the states.  So the comment about paying $4 per script would only apply to one of the provinces?
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    • Posted

      Jude.......my son, at age 25, was diagnosed with severe anxiety and would have debilitating panic attacks.  Even though he had insurance, the medication would cost him over $300.00 a month.  There are some portions of the Obama Care document ( which is thousands of pages) that state that there are specific surgeries that doctors are not allowed to perform on patients that are over 70.  The Obama Care plan demands that ALL US citizens are required to purchase health insurance, either individually OR through their employers.  If they do not have health insurance coverage, then they will be fined a certain percentage of their income.  Illegal immigrants; however, are taken care of, with no charge.  It is such a complex document, very few US citizens really understand it.  My husband and I are VERY fortunate because we are on Medicare and the only major medical situation we've had is my COPD.  The current Medicare plan is pretty comprehensible but as we are both in our 70's, we pray that we don't have any serious situations arise.  Another major problem is with the pharmaceutical companies.  Pharmaceutical companies make billions of dollars annually, which has created a situation of people in the US going outside of the US to purchase lifesaving medications.
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    • Posted

      Well that sounds very grim.  Medications here cost whatever they cost if you're not poor enough to have a health care card (ie, unemployed, disabled, aged or very low income) and people in employment pay a Medicare Levy on their salaries if they don't belong to a private health insurance organisation.    You're calling it a fine, but isn't it really a tax levied in an attempt to make your healthcare system more accessible to everyone?

      That's very strange about specific surgeries being banned for people over 70:  there has been some public discussion here recently about medical staff treating old people differently, but it's cerainly not mandated.

      I know that happens here for medical reasons:  eg a friend's son who was in a coma from alcholic poisoning wasn't considered for a liver transplant because most young men return to drinking.  

      I thought the allegation about illegal immigrants getting free medical care had been exposed as a total myth?

      Anyway, that's all by the way and not really my business:  suffice it to say that I'm very glad I live in this country and not yours!

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