watervole: (Toothache)
Judith Proctor ([personal profile] watervole) wrote2008-11-27 09:41 am
Entry tags:

Improving asthma

I had a very bad asthma attack a few weeks ago, and in the light of that, we decided to get a full set of dust-mite proof bed covers.  We'd had a mattress and pillow cover in the past, but this time we went the whole hog and bought mattress cover (the kind that you zip around the mattress as a giant bag, not the sort that just tuck over like a fitted sheet), pillow cover and duvet cover.

The results have been impressive. Firstly, my peak flow is now an average of 40 points higher every morning. Secondly, I've been able (well, for five days on the trot now), to halve my dosage of salmeterol.  This is doubly good as some of the side-effects of salmeterol include insomnia and increasing the sensitivity of your asthma.

It's also a source of great relief.  Salmeterol is the only asthma medication I can take that stops me waking in the night with asthma attacks, but I've been having to slowly increase the dosage over the last few years.  Being able to reduce the dosage makes me feel that I have a bigger safety margin in hand.

Meanwhile, we're doing serious dust reduction on the rest of the house, which is also helping. Richard's cleared masses of old paperwork from the office and it's noticeably easier for me in there.

I'm taking more ventolin than I was before, but that's largely due to a chance in perception.  When my morning peak flow was 450, I regarded that as normal.  Now my morning peak flow is closer to 500 and I'm taking a couple of puffs of ventolin a day to keep it at 500, rather than 450! (I don't think two puffs a day and one before exercise is a dose to worry about).

I'm hoping that the work we're doing around the house to reduce the dust levels even further will get things to where I can have the high peak flow without even needing the ventolin, but at the moment the dust gets into the air when the radiators come on in the mornings.  We're cleaning behind the radiators and between the panels, but it's hard to get everthing there.

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