Anne Marie is in her forties. She has asthma and has recently noticed she is coughing at night. She also suffers from a chronic wheeze and she is not responding to her asthma treatment. Her asthma has always been mild but she has noticed lately that the coughing at night is getting worse. She recently visited her GP about the problem and has been referred to hospital for Pulmonary Function Tests which all came back normal. She called the Asthma Helpline for advice.
Asthma Nurse's Advice
Asthma is a condition that can vary at different times of your life and even from season to season. Coughing at night time is a sign that a person’s asthma is not controlled. Pulmonary function testing is performed to give your GP an insight of your lung function and to see what would be the most suitable drug therapy / medication for your condition.
After speaking with Anne Marie I felt that her condition was not being managed adequately and I suggested that she first of all make an appointment with her GP with a view to having her condition reviewed again.
I asked her if she was experiencing any other symptoms, such as regurgitation or indigestion, as this would aggravate her condition. She explained that she did suffer from indigestion, especially at night time when she lay down. During the course of our conversation I also discovered that Anne Marie had quite severe nasal symptoms, as in a post nasal drip. I asked about her smoking history, she had never smoked. Winter time was her worst season. She had frequent colds and flu's at this time of year, and her colds frequently went to her chest.
I reiterated that she needed to go back to her GP and suggested that she discuss a number of points at this checkup:
- nasal issues
- flu vaccine
I told her that if she had any further queries, or needed verification on what I had suggested, to contact the helpline.
If you would like to speak to an Asthma Nurse, call the Asthma Helpine in confidence on 1850 44 54 64, Monday to Friday, 10am to 1pm.