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Casmere624 posted:
Hello Everyone,

I am a 21 years old, 5'7, 240lbs. with really bad asthma. I have been in and out of the hospital since mid August for my asthma. I have constantly been on prednisone's and other steroids for my breathing since I was 13. I dont know what to do about my breathing anymore. I live in a house with 3 smokers and 2 cats, while also having allergies. The doctors all tell me I have to get rid of the cats and tell everyone not to smoke around me, but its hard to when its not my household. I want be active again, but even slight exercise will have me in a bad attack and now that its cold out im not sure what I can do. I dont want my asthma to be the cause of anything anymore. The constant hospital visits is really starting to leave me with the feeling of depression. What can I do?
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DUKE MEDICINE
Michael H Land, MD responded:
Dear Casmere624,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation and the difficulty you're having with controlling your asthma. You've already started on the right path by identifying possible triggers to your symptoms. Unfortunately, smoke exposure is very likely to continue to affect your asthma negatively, and any chance you can take to avoid the smoke exposure would be great. Regarding your allergens, it might be helpful to discuss with your doctor if allergy shots (immunotherapy) may be a reasonable treatment to consider. This can help to lower your sensitivity to cats such that you can tolerate being around them and not have such bad symptoms. Other things to consider might be that your asthma is not optimally controlled if you are on too low of a dose of inhaled steroids or need other medications such as a combination inhaler (steroid plus a medication called a LABA), Omalizumab (which is an injected medicaiton), or a medication like montelukast. I would recommend having a discussion with your specialist about how to optimize your asthma management with medical therapy in addition to allergy shots if possible. This would be necessary if you cannot avoid your triggers.

Of course, if you can get out of that house and into a cleaner environment, this might make your symptoms improve a lot.

Good luck!
ML
 
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Casmere624 replied to Michael H Land, MD's response:
Thank you very much Dr. Land, I appreciate your expertise.


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