Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up


All communities will be placed in read-only mode (you will be able to see and search for posts but not start or reply to discussions) as we conduct maintenance. We will make another announcement when posting is re-opened. Thank you for your continued support and patience, and if you have any further questions, please email

Yours in health,
WebMD Community Management

26 and recently diagnosed but think I have had asthma since childhood.
Kiefer101 posted:
I just went in for my 1st followup visit today since being put on an inhaler. I started on Symbicort and switched to Qvar during my 2 months of trial.

My pulmonary Dr. had my IgE tested for cats, dogs, guinea pigs and chinchillas (since I own all these types of animals) the results came back "through the roof" as he put it, basically my body is constantly inflamed all the time because I am around my critters daily. He said to give up all my animals or I am going to die.

I think that is a bit harsh considering I do not have random asthma attacks. they are all induced by certian things. (i.e. cleaning chinchilla cages, cat litter, vaccuming) basically anything that kicks dust in the air I have an attack. I don't understand, if I can avoid the asthma attack triggers then why do I need to be on a maintenance inhaler and my attacks do not seem severe to me at all. Heck for the past 15 years or so I have just thought it was a really bad allergy attack, nothing more. The way he describes my attacks is if I was on my death bed already. He wasn't there, and yeah I had tightness in my chest for over an hour but I could still breath fairly decently and of course I was coughing and 'out of breath' mostly because I hold my breath though(what i do when its dusty)... that was the most sever attack I had and I wasn't scared or anything just figured maybe it was more than an allergy attack...

What I would like to know is should I get a second opinion? My Dr. today said if I dont change my ways I was going to die like 5 times in the 15 min. visit we had... I'm concerned my Dr. is a "Debby Downer" of sorts, giving the worst possible outcome as the only outcome...

All advice is welcome!
sgbl88 responded:
Hi, and welcome to the community.

I think you need to take the doctor seriously. He may be just trying to get your attention to a small degree, but you are in serious trouble, especially if you do not start taking care of yourself. Asthma is very serious.

I had a friend die less than two years ago from an asthma attack. He was out alone hiking in the mountains of Tennessee.

One thing I dealt with when my asthma worsened in 2008 is that I did not realize how bad I felt all the time. I couldn't judge the severity of my disease by how I felt. A doctor listens to your lungs and orders tests which tells them how serious your illness is. I can't tell you how many times my allergist told me my lungs sounded "crappy" and I didn't feel "that bad". I was used to it and had learned to cope.

One thing you should know is that the the Hollywood portrayal of an asthma attack is a late stage, very serious situation. I hope you are not waiting for one of those to start taking your situation seriously.

Another thing is what would happen if you got a respiratory illness? Asthmatics can go down VERY quickly when we get one. We must be very careful. If you have excess inflammation from allergies, an illness could be more than you can handle.

If you want a second opinion, I would recommend you see an allergist. An allergist can treat both the asthma and the allergies. I personally think all asthmatics should see allergist. Very few asthmatics do not have some allergies contributing to their disease. An allergist will help you gain control of your allergies, and that may not require getting rid of you animals.

In summary I think your situation is more serious than you want to admit, probably a little less dire than the pulmo says, and an allergist would offer more options than the pulmo can offer.

I hope that helps.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end... Ye shall seek me, and find [me]
diytestkitsdotcom responded:
Maybe, the first thing you can do is to find another doctor. Someone who is a downer will not be all that good for you psychologically. How can you get better if you can only think of dire thoughts? A good doctor should tell you the truth, yes, but he or she should also always be encouraging. They are the ones who should offer you hope in your situation, and be nothing but a helping hand all through out. That is their sworn duty, as well as what you pay them for - to help you get better.

But, you should also be discerning with the advices these health care providers make. Ask yourself always if they are right or if they have a point. When you feel that what they tell you are fact and experience based, follow them because they want to help you get better. Learn to listen, as well, and follow suggestions, especially if it is for your well-being.
choo_chu responded:
If allergies are a main trigger for your asthma, you definitely need to get a handle on them. It makes sense for you to seek the advice of an allergist, who can treat both your allergies and asthma.

My allergist was a "Debby Downer," as you say, but my asthma was pretty bad. So, they probably had a point. But still, they worked with me so I didn't have to get rid of my cat and rabbits. They gave me advice on how to limit my exposure: don't let my cat sleep next to my head at night, bathe my cat every week, wear a mask when I dust/vacuum/clean the cat box, switch the rabbits' hay to something I'm less allergic to, change my clothes if my cat's been laying on me, etc. They also gave me medicine for my allergies/asthma and I started allergy shots. Now I don't have very much trouble with my asthma; whereas, before it was a constant problem.
minnesotaice responded:
My doctor kept saying: You would have been in the emergency room soon" My breathing capacity was at 44%.
He had a look of horror on his face when I came in. I think they tend to hear the worst of the things that can happen.
amcate responded:
I don't know what your spirometry values were or what objective measurement the pulmonologist did, so it's hard to know what to make of what he's saying. As already mentioned, sometimes an asthmatic will get used to how it feels and not realize how restricted the breathing really is. I know I can't believe how open my lungs feel after a burst of prednisone (an anti inflammatory drug) since I've grown accostumed to a chronic low level obstruction. Asthma is serious, and can get away for you quickly if you're not careful.

There's nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, and as others already mentioned an allergist is a good choice. My first thought is you could wear an N95 mask during situations that normally cause the asthma to flare (ie, cleaning cages or what have you) as it should block exposure to most of the matter that gets kicked up in the air. There may be various intermediate level things you could do which would decrease exposure without completely getting rid of the animals.

Sometimes my allergist turns into a "Debby Downer" warning me of the evils of prednisone, but then I say, "okay, do you want to spend the time arguing with insurance so I can go to National Jewish, because I don't know what else to do" and that normally shuts them up.

Helpful Tips

Sports Asthma
I Have sports related Asthma. I joined the Army and we ran A LOT! the more i ran the better i felt and less my asthma bothered me. i am no ... More
Was this Helpful?
5 of 5 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

For more information, visit the Duke Health Asthma and Allergies Center