Skip to content


    Exciting News for WebMD Members!

    We've been busy behind the scenes building new message boards for you. You'll have new and easier ways to find messages, connect with others, and share your stories.

    And, this will all be available on your smartphone or other mobile device!

    What Do You Need to Do?

    The message board you're used to will be closing in the coming weeks. While many of your boards will be making the move to our new home, your posts will not. Want to keep a discussion going? Save posts you want to continue (this includes your member profile story), so that you can re-post them in the new message boards.

    Keep an eye here and on your email inbox, we'll be back in touch soon to give you all the information you need!

    Yours in health,
    WebMD Message Boards Management

    Asthma triggers
    Floryb posted:
    Thank you for the suggestions, I am new to this site and will be appreciating ANY info I can get. 74 years old, never was told I had Asthma prior in this long life...came as a big surprise.

    Also diagnosed with COPD...this time ended up terrible.

    Again thank you
    amcate responded:
    Welcome to the group. I'm not sure what specific suggestions you were looking for. Basically, asthma is similar to COPD. The main difference (actually, some text books classify asthma as a type of COPD, but that's another story) is the COPD tends to get worse steadily over time whereas asthma fluctuates, sometimes unpredictably and is highly variable between people. You probably know more about COPD than myself, though.

    I can breathe well for a few months, then bad for a month, then back to breathing well for a few, so mine goes up and down, but hasn't gotten worse overall through the last 10 years. Everyone is different, though, in terms of severity.

    Anyway, not sure if that is the information you were looking for, but welcome and feel free to ask anything or offer your own suggestions.
    choo_chu replied to amcate's response:
    An increase in asthma symptoms can usually be correlated with specific triggers. Triggers might be things such as allergies, cold air, cigarette smoke, air pollution or a respiratory infection. When a person with asthma is exposed to one of their triggers, symptoms increase. That's why it's so important for people with asthma to avoid their triggers. A COPD exacerbation is not often associated with triggers, but may be due to a respiratory infection. Asthma doesn't get worse over time, like COPD, rather, symptoms fluctuate over time, as amcate mentioned.

    It's possible for people to develop asthma in their adult life. In that case, it's called "adult onset asthma." I don't know how long ago you were diagnosed with COPD, but COPD and asthma can go together, particularly in smokers. If you smoke, hopefully you've stopped. That would help both your asthma and COPD.

    I'm also not sure what type of advice you're seeking. Feel free to post any questions or concerns you might have.
    cwille responded:
    there are different types of asthma, allergic , adult onset, occupational, and of course my favorite, (the one i have) is cough variant asthma, mine starts with a cough than of course with the cough the wheezing , i am 46 and found out i had asthma when i was 40 , they say everything goes down
    hill once you turn 40 ,lol., anyway i have known people
    who have both copd and asthma, it doesn't look like fun, my
    asthma is the same as amcate and choo_chu as it fluctuates
    i was good for about 3 months and now am going through an
    excasberation , i think that's how you spell it, i am on qvar and
    pulmicort as well as atrovent, which i take through a nebulizer
    not the qvar , i also use lidocaine for the coughing, asthma is no joke , it is a mess i have been in and out of hospitals a lot ,6
    times this year alone, i only tell you that so you know to take it
    serious as they said if you smoke , stop, try not to be around second hand smoke, some people don't believe that second hand smoke can be a problem , well out of 4 kids in my family i was the only one who never smoked , been around it my whole life, now i can't , it really bothers me, i know i am going on and on , i just wanted to throw in maybe something different, amcate and choo_chu are very knowledgable, they know a lot more than me, so i differ to their knowledge lol. i hope you feel better, good luck and god bless
    amcate replied to cwille's response:
    Thanks, cwille, but actually I don't think I know more than you. There are things you know very well that I don't. I didn't know about using lidocaine in a nebulizer. Also, my training is in rehabilitation, so though I know some anatomy and physiology, etc....I'm not primarily medical, but I'm around it at work, so pick up some things.

    I usually refuse to go to the hospital since I'm a do not resuscitate/do not intubate person, so you probably know a lot about how to deal with the ER and what happens there that I don't know.

    You are right about second hand smoke, and in fact recently I had a lady who wanted to smoke in front of me and I had to say, "I can't be around it, I have had severe attacks where I lose consciousness before. It triggers my asthma." She said, "well, I'll blow it out of your way". I said, "no, I can't be around it. I'm leaving."
    cwille replied to amcate's response:
    my sister smokes and doesn't believe that second hand smoke
    is bad, i tell her, look our mom died from smoking , lung cancer, our dad died from lung cancer, smoking, our oldest brother has lung cancer and emphysema, oh both my parents had it to, our uncle died from lung cancer, than she says yea but you don't smoke and look at your lung problems, some people just don't get it, as to being in the er, yea well i have been there a few times, lol i will be honest i don't go anymore, unless it is to a point i really have to go, my pulmono, told me just to call him first, half the time in the er they don't believe that you have asthma, because your oxygen level is good or your stats are fine. a lot of the other stuff is experience unfortunatly even some of the doctors don't know about lidocaine, my doc is really good and fortunately i am also a good ginny pig, i pretty much go with whatever, unless i think
    it is too much of a risk, i think you may know a little more than me when it comes to medical, i was a mailman, lol i am now dieabled because i couldn't work, i was in the hospital monthly , that is where the experience comes from lol
    amcate replied to cwille's response:
    My allergist does something similar-says he's concerned the emergency folks may not recognize how serious I am due to how I read on spirometry and he gives me a stash of prednisone and DuoNeb to do at home. I think also there are different types of knowledge. Just because someone knows book information doesn't mean they know how it feels to be intubated, for instance. It also doesn't mean they know what a person goes through who has a disease.

    Helpful Tips

    Asthma InhalersExpert
    There are several types of inhalers for asthma. Some inhalers (inhaled steroids) are controller medications that are used on a daily basis ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    128 of 159 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