Mld356 2008-01-24 08:07:05
I live in LA and recently was affected by all the particulate matter
in the air from the fires. Several buildings at my workplace burned,
and cleanup was not properly done. I don’t know what I’ve inhaled
besides burnt wood and grasses (there’s all sorts of nasty stuff in
fire smoke). But four days after returning to work I felt like I was
at altitude. I was able to take a fairly full breath of air, but I
would run out of breath after walking for more than a minute.
Climbing stairs became nearly impossible. I had no idea what was
going on other than it seemed that not enough oxygen was getting into
my blood from the aveoli in my lungs. 3 weeks earlier I was running 5
I didn’t think asthma because I wasn’t wheezing or coughing all that
much. The doctors I saw were of no help whatsoever. I was told
several times that there is nothing wrong with me because they didn’t
hear anything significant when they listened to my lungs. I’m a very
strong advocate for my own health, and I try to learn as much of the
biology surrounding various problems I have, and the biochemistry
behind medications that treat them.
Finally I got to see a pulmonary doctor. He had no answers for me,
other than to suggest that perhaps I was having some sort of allergic
reaction to something in my lungs. He gave me Advair and Flonase. I
also started taking Claritin. I began to feel better after a few days
(I suspect it was the Advair), but today I returned to shortness of
breath and fatigue. Somewhat alarmingly, albuterol helped
significantly. (I’m glad it helped, but it points to asthma.)
The Advair is making worse preexisting problems I have with anxiety.
I’m sure it is the Serevent in the Advair. Beta agonists are not good
for my anxiety; I know this already.
So, I have a few questions. I’m quite frightened by all this, and I
still don’t know what is wrong with me or what is in my lungs. Nor do
I know whether this will be chronic. (I’m 31 by the way, and have a
history of some allergies (pollen, cats), and I’ve been highly
athletic my whole life with no previous asthmatic symptoms.)
1. Do I need a long-acting beta agonist like Serevent? Might just
Flovent work with albuterol for emergencies? (I know the quick answer
to this is “well, try it and see,” but I’m curious to hear about your
experiences with various drugs.) Do you have other suggestions for
what I might take to prevent these problems?
2. Do I have reason to think that this will be a chronic condition?
Can chronic asthma be triggered by inhaling particulate matter for a
few days at work in someone who is 31?
3. Is there any way to get the stuff that is causing this out of my
lungs? There is little congestion associated with this whole episode,
nor is there much coughing. So I don’t think that things are being
removed from the lungs.
4. If this isn’t asthma, what is it?
I’m really concerned, and I appreciate any help and guidance you could
Amaxxama 2008-01-26 22:13:22
I would head to LOMA Linda and see what doctors there have to say.
There has to be more word on the net also. I sometimes spend hours research
do not give up- you will find out the problem and be able to fight it also.
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Mombu 2008-01-27 13:02:03
Better get yourself some HEPA (high energy particulate accumulator?)
filter air cleaner machines, perhaps one for your dayroom and one for
where you sleep.
The inexpensive ones , e.g Honeywell, Vornado, about two hundred
dollars, maybe a little less, in the room size you’ll need. More
expensive brands available but not necessary. The operative word HEPA.
And of course you’ve gotta’ keep the windows closed on polution days.
Michael halliw 2008-01-28 04:26:12
OTOH, if you need to go out an the “bad air” days, you can also take HEPA
filtration with you.
I work as an environmental engineer and we use “P100” filters (a.k.a. HEPA
filters) on a 1/2 mask respirator for dealing with certain nasties
(including asbestos). The set-up will draw some looks, but if you need to
be mobile on days like that it can definitely help.
Your local safety supply shop can get you what you’d need for if you have to
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