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I am about two weeks into a flare of my asthma. I have an intermittent cough through the day and occasionally at night. My ribs hurt, I fell like sometimes I'm breathing faster than normal (but don't feel short of breath), and I get tight feeling from time to time. My nose sometimes gets congested as the cough picks up and I use that as a sign that I need to use ventolin.

My question is about timing of using my ventolin. I don't want to over use it and will try to wait out my coughing episodes to see if they will settle on their own. Yesterday, I had an occasional cough in the morning but with no other symptoms. At lunch time it got worse and I took my ventolin and felt a little better after but was still coughing. An hour later it got a lot worse and I had a really tight sounding cough that almost made me throw up. I was flushed and sweaty, but could still speak although I was a little (but not much) short of breath. It was the first time in a long time that I felt that bad and reminded of how my cough was before I was diagnosed with asthma. I had to take my ventolin again and it helped this time although it took a bit for things to really settle down. I still had an occasional cough for the rest of the day and did need the ventolin again, but it didn't get as bad as lunch time. I've been told to use my ventolin for symptoms, but have a hard time deciding if I should use it for any symptoms or if it is okay to try to wait out the milder symptoms? Would I have pre-empted the episode yesterday if I had taken ventolin when I was coughing in the morning?

I have bumped up my symbicort to manage this flare (had bumped it up at the start, then went back to 2 puffs twice daily because I didn't think I needed the extra doses-oops). I go through phases when my asthma is under control where I really question my diagnosis and treatment level, then I'll have a flare and be reminded (again) why I am on the meds I'm on. I don't understand why I can't accept my treatment plan and why I get so focused on coming off the meds. My doc is helpful, but I'm finding it hard to identify exactly when to step up treatment (I know for increased symptoms, but how increased) and when I'm not using enough ventolin (or am using too much).

Let me know what you guys do.
Thanks everyone,
I think things are starting to improve. I've only needed ventolin once today! I saw my doctor yesterday and of course, I was starting to feel a little better before I got in. I'm coughing, but don't feel or sound as tight. My doc told me to max out on my symbicort, so I am now taking 3 puffs in the morning, 2 mid afternoon and 3 at bedtime. She didn't think a change in medication was needed. I still need my symbicort by the time I'm due for the next dose, but my coughing isn't uncontrollable. I can usually tell when I'm starting to get better because I start coughing up stuff (it's like all the stuff I've been trying to clear for the last 2 weeks is ready to come up). Not too productive a cough, but I feel like I'm mobilizing the mucus (disgusting, I know).
I'm going to do a deep spring cleaning this weekend, to reduce my allergen exposure as much as possible before the spring pollens hit.

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