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Respiratory Therapist/Asthma/Chest Congestion.



Good day to you. The reason of writing you is that I have just come from hospital where I was being treated with below doses.

1- Nebulize with Ventolin alongwith 0.9% Sodium Chloride
2- HY-CORTISONE (Hydrocortisone sodium succinate U.S.P), injection for I.M & I.V use)

My blood pressure was 70/110 in the hospital.

I was having flu since past 2 Weeks but it was not flowing. It was stuck in my chest. My nose was permanently dry. I was having trouble at the time of sleep so I used to put vicks vaporub inside my nose to have a comfort sleep.

When my flu didn't started to flow, I put two drops of mustard oil when I woke up in the morning 5 days earlier. Since then I keep continuing to sneezing with regular intervals. I was convinced to make it flow that it may clear my chest congestion but it didn't worked upto the expectation.

Last night it was unbearable for me to keep continue with sneezing and headache, I took 2 panadols for this, it  relieved for half an hour just, then I slept deliberately.

In the morning, I felt alot of chest congestion. Also having sounds of weazing from my mouth and nose. I took steam and again sneezing but it was unbearable for me when I coughed. I felt that someone has roped my chest from inside.

I am having dust allergy since past 7-8 years and I need to nebulize once or twice every year specially in winter season.

Now a days, there is a dusty season in Karachi. I am 28 years old married guy. Weight is 73 kgs. Need your advised on this to overcome this issue.



ANSWER: The reason why you keep having congestion is due to the vicks, asthma and vicks and hot steam will only make it worse.  Years ago vicks was what they used on ones chest to relieve congestion but it would just keep the congestion in longer.  Cold is the answer.,  First of all if you are having chest pain you need a chest xray to rule out pneumonia,  People who are asthmatic and get colds are very susceptible to get pneumonia.  The next thing to do is to continue taking the nebulizer treatments.  That is a cool mist not steam, that is the only thing that will help the congestion.  Most important thing,  your nebulizer machine has a filter .  It is usually under a circle in front of the machine which can be popped open, You will find a small piece of sponge or cotton.  Every machine is different.  Others have a washable filter on side of machine that is sticking out which you can wash.  Look in the instruction booklet and it will tell you where the filter is or  look up company online and the model, or call them, or bring machine to pharmacist.  This is imperative.  Im sure you were not told or even read the booklet about this filter when this filter when its not changed and you use the machine, you keep reinfecting yourself.  The small sponge or piece of cotton can easily be replaced by a small cotton ball.I tell all my patients to get a bag of cotton balls and change it every week, or even every day after your treatments this way the machine is always sterile.  The manufacturer or even surgical supply store will tell you you need to buy there filters which is a piece of cloth, sells for $20 , a cotton ball works better.  Next you need to buy at night  at your local drugstore or online at walmart or or cvs, a vicks pediatric cool mist humidifier. It sells for about $40 but will pay itself back to you a million times over.  Its a simple plastic tub you fill with cold water up to the fill line. I want you to put a tablespoon of simple table salt in the water. Place in your bedroom, buy a small table where you sleep at night, but not so close that you are getting soaked from the mist.  Place in room with bedroom door closed 3/4 at night. You can place on top of a towel to muffle the noise as its very noisy, but you will get used to it.  What happens is the cool water cleans the air and the salt water clears up the mucous in the throat.  You also should take a breathing treatment right before bedtime.  On the side of the bed where you sleep if there are rugs, place a plastic garbage bag on top of the rug where you sleep.  This will keep the dust from irritating your nose at night.Remove any stuffed animals in the room .  Also when you buy the humidifier also make sure you buy an extra package of filters, Like the humifidier its imperative these filters must be changed to, but these filters you must buy usually 3 for ten dollars, and should be changed every 3 months or when the filter turns gray.
You must also ask your doctor for a prescription for a peak flow meter if you don't have one. This is a little machine you simple blow out all your air then blow into this tube real fast and hard it will make the ball move. You must do this 3 times in a row and take your highest number.  This would be the number then you must reach tomorrow. It then will fall into the ranges of the asthma action plan your doctor will fill out . I will give you the links. When you get attacks, the key is to stay in the green zone, which is good to go, yellow is watch out you will get an asthma attack soon and red means to go to er, the key is to always stay in the green .colors are like a traffic light.  green yellow and red.  For each color your md will fill in what do do according to the number you got on the peak flow meter.  This will tell you when you are getting an asthma attack and ward it off before you get another one.  They also are sold over the counter at around $20. This, the nebulizer machine and the and humidifier are the 3 things to take total control over your asthma. Here are pictures of the peak flow meter, the asthma action plan to print out and give to your md. feel free to email again Karel.asthma action plan at end of page is the packet to print out. next is a picture of the peak flow meter,  get either the first , second or 8th one pictured on the page


vicks cool mist humidifier

lastly go to American lung association, click on diseases asthma, its a great website with good tools to learn.  good luck.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Bundle of thanks for this detailed reply. Now I realize that vicks has made this attack worse. Two things which I want to ask you are

1- suggest me the brands of humidifier and peak flow meter (which are easily available in Canada or in Saudia), my cousins are about to come next so I may tell them to bring if I wont get from local store here in Karachi

2- Send me your complete e-mail address, you missed to type it completely in your above reply.

Once again, thanks for your support.



the humidifier I sent you the link is the vicks cool air humidifier , its on which they ship worldwide you can get it on their website. also the peak flow meter I also sent you the link its also on amazon. the first 2 pictured or the 8th picture on the page.  You can simply go thru ;all experts respiratory/sleep medicine,  thru their site, so I will get it so I know it is you.  Here is the amazon.canada link. for the vicks cool mist humidifier,  you want the second one pictured on that page.

peak flow meter the third one in the picture also on amazon.canada.

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Karel Sleis


Basic questions on coping and maintaining asthma, copd, emphysema.Basic questions on oxygen therapy at home, no ventilators.


I have been a Respiratory Therapist since 1989

American Association of Respiratory Care

University of Mississippi Respiratory Care Program NYC Dept of Education Respiratory Therapist License

Past/Present Clients
Have been n expert on sleep disorders also on this website for years

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