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Linda
@ilovedaisies

Posts: 3
Joined: Jun 12, 2017

Non-allergic rhinitis & Asthma — how it contributes to breathlessness?

Posted by @ilovedaisies, Thu, Sep 20 4:38pm

Gosh, I had a terribly running nose. In the grocery store and most places, my nose would run non-stop, just like out in the cold in the wintertime. That was in ‘04. An allergist told me I didn’t have allergies, but I had VMR — vasomotor rhinitis — A.K.A. non-allergic rhinitis. Told me to take Flonase, and that was that. It didn’t seem to help much, so I stopped taking it. It was only in ‘15, when I was really struggling with breathlessness that I dug out the old records to see in addition to VMR, they’d noted “suspect asthma”.

Now it’s been three years and ten specialists later. Allergists say no allergies. It’s asthma. Pulmonary says — after giving me Symbicort which was the first thing to help after Flovent and Singulair failed — it must be anxiety; or deconditioning or VCD (vocal cord dysfunction). I’ve been the gammit: cardiologists, gastenterologists, speech pathologists, neurologists (for a stroke/PE from not moving), hematologist (mother’s blood disorder with the same symptoms), ENTs, etc., etc.; you get the idea. Finally, while here at Mayo for a bone issue, I decided I had to get a pulmonary evaluation.

I do have asthma. But chronic rhinitis/sinusitis has had uncontorlled sinus draining filling my lungs. It’s no wonder my cardiologist had said, once, I had ‘wet’ lungs. I might have picked that up, when I saw that the antihistamines that E/R gave me, once, helped those times I oculdn’t even stand in place ironing, doing dishes or doing my hair, let alone try to move. Then, this past April, my local pulmonologist ‘heard me’ (?), and gave me Spiriva, while a second opinion allergist gave me Atrovent. Both are the same ‘drying agent’, ipratroprium. One for my lungs, one for my head. I could, finally stay out of the chair, vs. siting in it all day, but still couldn’t walk outdoors and/or live my life. The new concept of sinus rinses — NeilMed Nasal Wash Squeeze Bottle — became a new part of my daily life.

But I needed Mayo to say it wasn’t enough to only catch what was behind my eyes or out my nose. I had to pay attention, too, to what was going down my throat — post nasal drip…

Now, I’m encouraged. It’ll mean twice daily saline ‘washes’ — vs. only sprays — morning and night, whether I think I need them or not, followed by Flonase which, previously, did reduce very, very swollen ‘turbinates’ which threatened surgery. Turbinates are the three sets of filters in your nose and sinuses that warm, cleanse and moisten the air you breath before it goes into your lungs. After the Flonase, twice daily, too, it’ll be sprays of Atrovent for drying, too, twice daily, hoping to stop the post nasal drip down the back of my throat.

I’m hopeful — finally. Has anyone else had problems, such as this? On the Neil-Med literature it states there’s a definite correlation between rhinitis and asthma, while other than at Mayo, I havne’t found any physician willing to say that.

Then, again, I couldn’t find any hand surgeon to say my enchondroma (benign bone tumor) was a chondrosarcoma (malignant) which it was, either…

Linda

REPLY

Hi @ilovedaisies thank you for sharing your inspiring story! I am glad you have finally found a treatment plan that is relieving some of your symptoms.

@jac41767 has expressed similar frustration and issues stemming from allergy-like symptoms.

Have these new treatments allowed you to get outdoors more often?

@ilovedaisies so encouraging that you have some kind of diagnosis! Has your treatment planned helped? I was seen by a allergist and told I have allergies, but not that it should cause problems breathing. Unfortunately I’m still having my symptoms but I never though the post nasal drip being able to reach my lungs! Please tell me if your treatment planned worked! I do see a pulmonologist the 24.

@ilovedaisies
Hello Linda,
I have asthma too and for the last couple years, I had excess phlegm and trouble getting rid of it. I also have TOS Thoracic outlet syndrome which creates a physical problem with breathing and I work on that in physical therapy, but half of my rib cage wasn't expanding properly because of tight muscles. Sometimes asthma phlegm is caused by some type of low grade infection, and I have found that to be true in my case. I've had some reoccurring chest infections that seemed to start in my sinuses, and I also use a saline rinse bottle. I take generic Mucinex to thin the mucous so it's easier to expel. I haven't seen anyone at Mayo for this, but I had spine surgery there 2 years ago. Before surgery, they had me treat my nose by putting Mupirocin ointment in the nostrils to kill any staph infections. I had some left and I tried it when I had breathing issues with excess phlegm, and it worked. After treating for about 3 days, breathing would be normal again because I wasn't labored with phlegm. I'm better at recognizing this earlier now, but it's been enough to raise my resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute and the first time that happened, I went to the emergency room. They diagnosed bronchitis and put me on oral antibiotics which cured it, but it happens periodically. My doctor wrote more prescriptions for Mupirocin so I have it on hand now. I would like to know how this reoccurs, and if I can stop the cycle. I wonder if my sinuses are being reinfected or if I'm picking up the infection again somewhere. Possibly, I'm killing off most, but not all of it, or a different antibiotic is better suited. I do also have allergies and do allergy shots and antihistamines. I don't use anything except a rescue inhaler. I'm trying to avoid side effects and prevent the problem. Did you see someone at Mayo in Rochester? I've thought about that. Do you have any recommendations?

Liked by ld57feast

@jenniferhunter

@ilovedaisies
Hello Linda,
I have asthma too and for the last couple years, I had excess phlegm and trouble getting rid of it. I also have TOS Thoracic outlet syndrome which creates a physical problem with breathing and I work on that in physical therapy, but half of my rib cage wasn't expanding properly because of tight muscles. Sometimes asthma phlegm is caused by some type of low grade infection, and I have found that to be true in my case. I've had some reoccurring chest infections that seemed to start in my sinuses, and I also use a saline rinse bottle. I take generic Mucinex to thin the mucous so it's easier to expel. I haven't seen anyone at Mayo for this, but I had spine surgery there 2 years ago. Before surgery, they had me treat my nose by putting Mupirocin ointment in the nostrils to kill any staph infections. I had some left and I tried it when I had breathing issues with excess phlegm, and it worked. After treating for about 3 days, breathing would be normal again because I wasn't labored with phlegm. I'm better at recognizing this earlier now, but it's been enough to raise my resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute and the first time that happened, I went to the emergency room. They diagnosed bronchitis and put me on oral antibiotics which cured it, but it happens periodically. My doctor wrote more prescriptions for Mupirocin so I have it on hand now. I would like to know how this reoccurs, and if I can stop the cycle. I wonder if my sinuses are being reinfected or if I'm picking up the infection again somewhere. Possibly, I'm killing off most, but not all of it, or a different antibiotic is better suited. I do also have allergies and do allergy shots and antihistamines. I don't use anything except a rescue inhaler. I'm trying to avoid side effects and prevent the problem. Did you see someone at Mayo in Rochester? I've thought about that. Do you have any recommendations?

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Jennifer this was helpful to me thank you. Leslie

Liked by Jennifer Hunter

Great, Leslie! I wish you good health. Thanks for your comment.

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