Severe allergic asthma

Hi all,  I am new to the site. I have been through the ringer with asthma, allergies and gerd for the past 2 years….a trifecta of misery. Anyway, I first encountered the gerd/asthma connection 4 years ago when I had my first bad asthma occurrence of a flair in many years. Anyway, that was the first time in my life (was 47 at the time) that I saw a pulmonologist at the time and he mentioned the gerd/asthma connection to me for the first time. Long story short, he got me back on track with a combination of meds. Fast forward to the end of 2017 and I began encountering constant problems again resulting in multiple hospitalizations. So, I quit my job at my family's dry cleaning business thinking the fumes were doing it. Well, coming back to the allergy component, my pulmonologist at that time had me do an allergy panel test and a specific IgE blood test. The results at the time showed very high allergies to a host of indoor and outdoor components and my IgE levels were 715! That is almost 7 times the normal level. Anyway due to quitting my job recently at the time and my test results, I qualified for Xolair for free for one year. Great news, except the pulmonologists office never followed through with the paperwork. Don't worry, this is actually leading somewhere. Anyway, I stopped going to that pulmonologist due to this occurrence, and started going to another one in 2018 who diagnosed me with COPD via my PFT results. All values were normal, except the fev1/fvc ratio was below normal (it has actually come up since then). Anyway, he did not help me much, as I was hospitalized at least 8 times last year due to respiratory issues. After a recent 5 day hospital stay and a visit from a different pulmonologist who told me after looking at my CT scans and recent PFT's that he didn't think I have COPD at all, but severe allergic asthma that is poorly controlled. A recent visit to an asthma/allergy doctor confirmed what he said. Anyway, I am now scheduled to have another allergy testing panel done in 10 days and subsequent immunotherapy. I did have allergy shots for several years like 30 years ago and they did help tremendously. Anyway, sorry for long-winded post (no pun intended), but just looking for some guidance on if this could be my issue and would the immunotherapy possibly benefit me again later in life (now 51). Thank you.





Comments 10

  • Emelina

    Kmcnamara, welcome! I’m glad you found us. I’m no expert onnimmunotherapy so will differ to the other people here. I’m hoping to start immunotherapy soon as well against dust, trees. I’m hopeful it will be helpful! Good luck!

  • Melissa G

    Hi KMCNAMARA68, welcome to the AAFA forums!  

    Wow, you have been through a lot! 

    Here is some information on

    What are some things you are doing currently to

    Here is a free online , it has a lot of great asthma care basics in it. 

  • Shea

    Welcome, KMCNAMARA68. Im sorry yo hear about your struggle with severe allergic asthma, including the struggle to get a proper diagnosis.

    I have a severe rare allergic disease called churg-strauss syndrome, and allergic asthma is one component of it. I have been stabilized since being diagnosed 7 years ago after it caused me a heart attack from allergic eosinophils surrounding my heart, but I have to take maintenence prednisone, and use inhalers. 

    One of my biggest allergic triggers is cat and dog dander. I avoid it like the plague. It is hard because so mant people have cats or dogs, and I am so sensitive, even secondhand exposure causes a reaction. I dont entertain guests who own cats or dogs in my home, because one of my big things is keeping my home environment as clear of allergens as possible. It really has helped– because allergic triggers are everywhere– so having the safe space in my home has really improved my symptoms and allowed me to be on less medications, and helps me feel more safe and secure. 

    I did do xolair for a year, and nucala for a year but did not find success, so my main thing has been allergen avoidance, maintenence prednisone, and slowly weaning as tolerated while using inhalers and nebulizers to help. Also, I take benadryl every night to help with any exposure throughout the day to allergens (dander, molds, pollens, dustmites). AAFA has some good info about how to reduce allergens in your home environment that you can find here: 

  • Marie E Natzke

    KMCNAMARA68 welcome to our group. I too suffer from allergic asthma my trigger is anything with fur and feathers. I have had allergy shots and they do help. Right now I'm off of them due to a different health issue in having and medication I'm on. Hope the allergy Dr can help you.

  • kmcnamara68

    Thank you so much Marie. I hope the treatment does help some. And I wish you the best with your other health issue.

  • K8sMom2002

    Hi, Kmcnamara68 and welcome! It sounds like you've been through the ringer!

    You asked specifically about immunotherapy and asthma. AAFA had a recent blog post about how .

    I know when I figured out my asthma triggers and avoided them as best I could, my asthma got a lot easier to control.

    Could you look also at the "low hanging fruit" of asthma control? Things like …

    • improving your indoor air quality? AAFA has a great blog that is called ""
    • annual flu shots?
    • a pneumonia shot (that helped me tremendously!)?
    • asking your doc about a sick plan — what to do when you are ill with a cold or flu?
    • asking your doc about a pre-treatment plan when know you will have triggers you can't avoid?
  • kmcnamara68

    Not at the moment, thank you very much. I am just going to go through allergy testing again (next week), find out results and take it from there. Hopefully that treatment and controlling my gerd better will make my asthma easier to control than it has been.