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I am 21 years old and have always had allergy problems although they have gotten significantly worse as I've gotten older. A couple years ago an allergist diagnosed me with asthma. I also found out that I am allergic to dust, ragweed and cigarette smoke to name a few. When I am in a dusty place I feel my chest tighten, it hurts to breathe, my throat feels sore and I am somewhat short of breath. I've been around a lot of dust lately (plus it's ragweed season) and my chest feels strange again. I cough and it feels like something is rattling way down deep. Allergies seem to trigger this and I"m not sure if this is the asthma or what. My family doctor gave me a prescription for ventillen (sp?) quite a while ago. It seems to help a little when I am having a coughing fit (that's been happening frequently too). Aside from the allergies, I can have coughing fits at any time if I do anything strenuous like running or even just laughing for a long period of time when I'm hanging out with my friends. I would really like to know if there is a way to control these symptoms. I feel really drained lately and I can't help but wonder if its my lack of asthma treatment that is causing it.
(one more thing: Sometimes I lay awake at night because my breathing just doesn't feel right. I breathe really fast and I can't fall asleep because of it, is that a symptom too?)
Hi there,

You should definitely be on a preventative inhaler such as flovent or pulmicort, etc. The ventolin should only be used as a rescue treatment, which you've been doing....but it won't help to keep the inflammation down or help you be less reactive.

Since you have extrinsic (external triggers) for your asthma, maybe a medication such as Singulair will help. It's an antileukotrine..a but different than an antihistamine, but could definitely help.

I get the fits of coughing when laughing too much or yelling or talking loudly. Even when on the pulmicort (which I use as a preventative inhaler), I still get it. If I need a hit of the rescue (Berotec), I just use one.

Do you take the ventolin before you go to bed? One spray might be enough to help your tight breathing...but it can also speed your heart rate a bit and make you a tad restless. I can relate to the tight feelings (not just right), and I sometimes am too lazy to get out of bed and get my inhaler, so I try a bit of a breathing exercise that works quite well.

I have read that when the breathing is too fast, one gets too much oxygen into the system and increases that tight feeling in the lungs. If the breathing were slowed down, it will produce more carbon dioxide and the breathing relaxes.

The exercise goes like this.....

1) take in a slow breath through your nose to the (imagined)count of 5
2) through pursed lips breathe out to the count of 5
3) do that 5 times
4) then take in another slow breath to the count of 5
5) hold it in to the count of 5
6) through pursed lips breathe out to the count of 5
7) do this 5 times

It will calm you down since you're trying to get to sleep, and relax your lungs as well, and hopefully get you to sleep.

If you're ever feeling tighter and not trying to "relax" as in trying to get to sleep, you can just do the breathe in to the count of 5 and hold it to the count of 5. Do that 5 times and that should help with the tight feeling. It's helped me as well.

Please do ask your doctor about the Singulair and the preventative inhaler. Overuse of an antihistamine can cause more tightness for some asthmatics.

Let us know how you're doing.


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