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New adult asthma

I never had an asthma problem before, the last few years when I was told I have a crossover of asthma/ Copd. Does anyone else get really hoarse with asthma?

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  • Jen

    Hi Jeana,

    Welcome to AAFA's support forums.   I think that hoarse feeling can sometimes be an indicator of breathing trouble.  Have you asked your doctor about it?

  • K8sMom2002

    Welcome, Jeana! Hugs on the diagnosis of asthma and COPD … that's tough especially if you've never dealt with asthma before.

    The hoarseness you mention can be from a variety of things, based on what I've heard from other members:

    • extra mucous can irritate the throat if it's in the form of post nasal drip.
    • excessive coughing can irritate the throat as well
    • inhaled steroids (either through an inhaler or a nebulizer) that are in long acting medications used for asthma and COPD can also create hoarseness
    • reflux — either on its own or as a result of oral steroids — can irritate the vocal cords and cause hoarseness.

    Could you talk to your doctor AND your pharmacist to see if this is a possible side effect of the medications you're on? And see if there are any adjustments that could be made?

    Some home comfort measures that I've done in the past that my doctors have recommended (as always, talk to your doc and pharmacist to make sure nothing you do interferes with your current meds or health situation) :

    • honey … I use a tablespoon of honey to ease the irritation in my throat and to calm the "tickle" that can start a chain reaction of cough, mucous, cough … for me, since I have cough-variant asthma, any spell of coughing (that's not necessarily triggered by my asthma) can trigger an asthma attack.
    • depending on your preference, warm or cool liquids. For me, warm liquids help, but others feel better with cold liquids.
    • saline sprays and/or rinses — it helps shrink the nasal passages and thin the mucus

    For me, since I don't have reflux and it helps, I like slightly acidic things to ease my throat — hot tomato soup, lemon juice, things like that. But check with your doctor to see if that would be helpful in your case, because if you do have reflux, then acidic foods like fruit juices or tomatoes can irritate them.

    Hugs! How did you come to be diagnosed? 

  • K8sMom2002

    @Jeana, wondering how things are going and if you ever had a chance to talk with your doctor and your pharmacist. 

    @GigiGibson has had some hoarseness and may have tracked it down to a medication she was taking … hoping both of you are improved very soon!

  • Jeana

    Doing better, I believe it is the inhaler also. Only happens though evenwithout my advisor inhaler. So who knows?On Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 11:39 AM Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America <support@aafa.org> wrote:

  • GigiGibson

    So the hoarseness just “up and left!”

    i didn’t change anything, maybe it was transient. I dont know. It was a rather good weekend and today hasn’t been bad. I’m hopeful for more good days like these! 

  • K8sMom2002

    Jeana, hugs on the hoarseness — hope you figure it out or it goes away and doesn't come back.

    Gigi, on the hoarseness "riding away." (Okay, so I couldn't resist a pun about hoarse and horse … and I admit, it was a lame one at best — wait, there's another horse pun. )

  • Jeana

    Thanks for the information. Seems the more I talk the hoarseness gets worse. Of course my husband says then don’t talk but of course being a woman that’s impossible lol. I figured it was just the asthma causing the hoarseness. I haven’t called my doctor yet but will see her in three months. Will check then. 

  • Jen

    Jeana – does the hoarseness bother you enough that you would want to call before your next appointment?

  • K8sMom2002
    Jeana posted:

    Thanks for the information. Seems the more I talk the hoarseness gets worse. Of course my husband says then don’t talk but of course being a woman that’s impossible lol. I figured it was just the asthma causing the hoarseness. I haven’t called my doctor yet but will see her in three months. Will check then. 

    I hear ya on the not talking part, but whenever I would get a serious case of laryngitis, not talking is the only thing that helped me. 

    Since three months is a long time to wait, could you call the office and ask the nurse?

  • Jeana

    Yes I could call but don’t feel the need. It’s fine now so not bothering me. Thanks for asking 

  • K8sMom2002

    Great! What do you think made the difference? Did the rest from talking help? (I hope it was something else, or otherwise if it were my DH, he would be saying, "see, I told you so." )

  • Nora

    Hi Jeana,

    I was diagnosed with asthma this summer as an adult and have had similar struggles figuring out the issue of hoarseness. Since I couldn't talk, I had to work from home and eventually talked to my doctor who switched me to an oral medication rather than the inhaled steroid. Looking back, I think I've had intermittent and exercise-induced my whole life but just assumed that I was out of shape. 

    Nora

  • Jen

    Hi @Nora

    Welcome to posting.  Are you still working from home?

  • Jeana

    Hi Nora, I have had hoarseness even without inhaler. I had coughing that wouldn’t go away. Pneumonia a few times and then finally went to doctor who said let’s do some test. Exrays and then lung function which didn’t show much. But still the cough which never stops completely. So went to allergist and breathing test. She put me on steroids and inhalers. Which helps for the most part. Then this summer we had lots of fires and I got really bad and went on nebulizor. Which helped a lot. So now winter is here and coughing with some mucus. So learning what things make it worse. Good luck to you also. I quit going to the gym, to many germs there. 

  • Nora

    Sorry to hear about having pneumonia and your struggle to get the right medication, Jeana. Good luck with adapting to the winter. Where I live it's very cold and dry in the winter, so I'm trying to think about how to add moisture to my house without increasing the risk of mildew.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Jeana! Why not chime in on our #beat yesterday thread about how we exercise however we can? 

    What other things have made your asthma and hoarseness worse?

    Nora, bummer on the dry air during the winter. Does it make your asthma worse to have such dry air?

    If so, have you thought about checking to see if there's a humidifier that is certified asthma & allergy friendly™ ? Here's a quote about the asthma & allergy friendly™  Certification program:

    The asthma & allergy friendly™ Certification Program, administered by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) in partnership with the international research organization, Allergy Standards Limited (ASL), is an independent program created to scientifically test and identify consumer products that are more suitable for people with asthma and allergies. You can find certified products and services such as carpet cleaning, flooring, vacuums and more at 

  • Jen

    @Jeana  Are you still dealing with hoarseness?  Is it any worse during holiday get togethers with all the socializing?

  • Jeana

    Hi Nora, it only seems to be when my asthma is flaring. Right now I’m doing pretty good. Thanks for checking on me 😊

  • Pljohns

    I get really hoarse when I'm flaring too-most of the time I end up with no voice at all-DH and DS always kid me about giving them a gift-me with no voice

  • LK

    Hi, I was diagnosed adult onset asthma 5 years ago.  At first I was hoarse whenever I talked too much.  I think it was made worse when my chest would be tight since I'd be trying to push the same amount of air through a smaller space.  I guess that would dry my throat out.   The hoarseness seemed to go away after my body adjusted to my meds and my asthma improved.  Still comes back whenever I have to use my rescue inhaler or nebulizer more than usual.

    @K8sMom2002, love your puns of 'hoarse' and 'horse', and 'lame'!  Being a horse-lover it made me chuckle!  Thanks for brightening my morning!

    I have cough-variant asthma, too, and have had the same thing happen to me of something else setting me to coughing and that triggering my asthma.  Had never heard, or don't remember hearing, of this connection so thank you for mentioning it!  As many of you who have had to deal with asthma longer than I have realize the more you know about it the easier it is to deal with.  Relatively speaking, of course!

     

  • Jeana

    It’s nice to know that I wasn’t the only having hoarseness with the asthma 

  • LK

    @Jeana, I just joined this group a few months ago and up until then hadn't known of anyone with asthma as severe as mine, just a few people with very mild cases.  I was starting to feel like I was an anomaly.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate everyone in this group for all the support in dealing with the challenges of life with asthma.  It definitely helps to have others traveling the same path!

    Remember the old saying, 'Suffering builds character'?  Seem to remember my parents telling us that as children when we wanted to do something which we thought was more fun than our current activity!  I guess all of us with a chronic disease have a lot of character!    Found another saying along the same lines, 'Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope'.  I like that one better as the final product is HOPE!

    Hope you are doing better!

    Take care!

  • Katie D

    Hi @Jeana, hope you're feeling better today!

    @LK that is a great attitude to have and I just wanted to thank you for sharing how this community has helped you.  While we don't deal with asthma everyday in our household, listening, connecting, and learning more about the day-to-day struggles of severe asthma from you and the other members of this community has definitely made me more empathic, and your strength, positive attitude, and willingness to share and help others is admirable   

  • lindamarie

    Hi @Jeana!  I haven't been here very long, but I've suffered for years with bronchitis and laryngitis.  Each holiday season I'd end up calling the doctor for a prescription and was usually give a cough suppressant with codeine.  The last time that happened, there was a "go-round" with the doctor's office because it seemed like they simply ignored my call.  From that, I finally got testing and was diagnosed with asthma.

    The doctor has me on a lot of year-round allergy medications, together with my inhalers, etc.  Fortunately, I don't have much trouble with losing my voice anymore — but I still have to fight the mucus. 

    Thanks for sharing with us!  I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

  • GigiGibson

    I have found that I get hoarse with certain inhalers. Lord knows I’ve tried them all. Dulera was one I recall. Since I take mucinex twice a day I don’t really have that issue. 

    Mom adult onset too, 2016 and I’m 48. Welcome to the 5% club. Actually my doc is trying to call me 1% now, lol. 

  • Pljohns

    Gigi-we're in the same boat-adult onset in 2010 and I was 46 at the time.  This is one club I would rather not be in-

  • LK

    Gig and Lynn, Me, three!  Adult onset in 2012, and I was 48.

  • Jeana

    Me too! Winter has been pretty good too me. I have only one bout. Were I needed the neebulzer. 

  • Pljohns

    I'm ready for my bout to be done with-been doing nebs around the clock every 3-4 hours for a month today-finally went to every 8 hours over the weekend, pred taper down from 80 mg, then back up to 60 mg and now coming down again-go to 30mg tomorrow.  I still have 23 days of pred before I'm down to 10mg and can quit and 2 more weeks of nebs every 8 hours, then down to extra nebs only twice a day and hopefully by the end of Feb will be back to just my normal meds-that is if i can keep DH from sharing his respiratory junk with me (and i'm afraid he may have already done that!)

  • K8sMom2002

    You can do it, Lynn! Crossing fingers and toes and eyelashes that your DH is not the generous sort with his bugs!

    @Jeana, so glad winter has been kind to you — winter can be rough on us, and this flu season has been really scary to me. 

    I'm a member of the adult-onset crowd … I probably always had asthma, but it wasn't diagnosed and didn't start interfering with my life until I was in my early 30s, after a lovely (not) case of bronchitis. 

  • LK

    Pretty sure I had asthma at least a few years before I was diagnosed.  Had a chronic cough but no real shortness of breath or wheezing. 

  • Jeana

    Thanks, you know most of my childhood was growing up with bronchitis too. But had this cough for a few years and couldn’t shake it. Hacking hacking. Then a couple bouts of phuemonia. Finally went to my allergist and breathing test and she came up with my diagnosis thankfully. Asthma/COPD

  • K8sMom2002

    Ugh on the pneumonia, Jeana! It took me forever to get over my last bout of pneumonia. Does your doctor recommend you get the pneumonia vaccine?

    AAFA's blog post  is a good recap. 

  • Jeana

    I have had the pneumonia shot and the Shingles shot. So I’m good to go 😊

  • Kathy P

    I had ear infections and bronchitis a lot as a kid too. And I would cough like crazy in gym class any time we had to do endurance stuff like running.I got my first inhaler during a nasty bout of bronchitis when I was in not quite 30. I was not told then that I had asthma. It wasn't until a couple years later when u went to my current allergist.

  • Pljohns

    I never had anything as a kid but got H1N1 when it came around in Dec 2010, followed by pneumonia less than a month later, we thought I was over that, but wasn't-came back in both lungs and then popped positive for whooping cough-all within about 3 months.  That was just more than my lungs could stand and I ended up with asthma.  The idiot doc i was seeing then refused to give me anything for it other than combivent for a rescue inhaler-I honestly thought I was going to die.  Found myself another doc and referred myself to pulmo and yep-asthma.  It's been a roller coaster of the last 7 years.

  • K8sMom2002

    Lynn, it's really interesting how it seems that many members here describe their asthma developing exactly like yours and Kathy's … a bad bacterial or viral infection in the lungs that just wouldn't go away. I hope future research will look into patterns of how adult asthma develops in people — maybe one day, they'll know which people are at risk for developing asthma and they can do things to prevent it (or at least be on the lookout!). 

    And I'm glad you got the help you need!

    Kathy, I honestly thought that everyone's "lungs hurt" when they ran. I remember in elementary school being amazed at classmates who could run, thinking, "Gosh, how do they ignore the pain?" 

    Jeana, you're one better than me — I haven't had the shingles shot. I've never had chicken pox, though … I asked my health department about getting the vaccine for chicken pox as an adult, and they couldn't believe I hadn't had chicken pox. So they tested me for it, and sure enough, I was right — never had chicken pox. They gave me the vaccine. I'm wondering … will that protect me from shingles? Or do I need to take that at some point? Good question to ask my doc!

  • LK

    Cynthia, Believe it or not, I never had the chicken pox either.  My doctor tested my blood, too.  I also got the vaccine.  The Mayo Clinic website about chicken pox says the vaccine for chicken pox is the same one as the one for shingles, so seems like you should be covered.

    Varicella virus vaccine (Zostavax®) is also used for the prevention of herpes zoster (commonly known as shingles) in people 50 years of age and older.

    It says adults only get one dose of the vaccine. 

  • Pljohns

    I was one of the lucky ones that had chicken pox twice!  LK-they are 2 different vaccines-I think it has to do with the strength or something but the varicella virus is what gives you shingles.  I've had chicken pox but as soon as I hit the age requirements, shingles vaccine is for me.  I've seen how much pain those people endure when they get shingles and I don't want any part of that.

  • LK

    Lynn, That makes sense.  I reread the article and I see what you mean, there are two vaccines.  Since I got mine before I was 50, I think I'll call my doctor and see if I need the other one.  Thank you for pointing that out!

  • K8sMom2002

    Thanks, guys! I'm putting a shingles vaccine on my list of questions to ask because, ahem, I'm getting mighty close to the big 5-0. (at which point I will start counting backwards. )

    @Jeana, hoping both your asthma and your hoarseness is continuing to do better. I can definitely see patterns with my voice coming and going, even without having to use my inhaler. 

    @Nora, what about you? Has the weather warmed up enough to help ease some of your breathing problems? 

    Waving to @lindamarie … hope things are going well with you, my friend! 

  • Jeana

    Thanks having a spell today, with hoarseness and asthma acting up today! 

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs on the hoarseness and asthma … may it straighten up and behave. At least, that's what my mom used to order me to do when I was little and acting up. I wish asthma would listen half as well as my mom trained me to do!

  • Jeana

    Thank you, Thank goodness for inhalers. And all our meds to help us breath! 

  • Pljohns

    Just an FYI-in most states, shingles vaccine isn't covered by insurance until your 60.  Makes no sense to me because I would certainly get it NOW but it's super $$$ if you pay out of pocket for it.

  • K8sMom2002

    Jeana, I hear you! Modern medicine certainly does help!

    Lynn, thanks for the warning … I do wish that insurance would cover medications for "at-risk" populations. But maybe we're not at risk unless we're 60 or older?

    Definitely something to ask my doctor!

  • Pljohns

    I hear you on the "at risk" population-they tell us to take all of these things, but then they don't cover them.  I guess the 'at risk" only starts at a certain age-