Ask an expert

19 Jan 2006

Hi Dr,

My mother is asthmatic and has been suffering with this illness associated with heart/asthma from August 05. Im not too sure what it is but shes hearing a noise close to her heart and she could hardly breathe. She vomits every now and then. And now she is very weak. One day she gets better the next day she cant get out off bed its on and off. She went to several private doctors and to our local clinic as well but nothing seem to be working for her. And she lost hope now she tells us shes just waiting for her death anytime now. She even stopped taking her medication cause its not helping her. One doctor will say her heart is weak and one will say its athsma.
I dont know whether am i making sence to you i just dont know how to explain the whole situation and i am very scared.

Please advise I just want any good medication that can get over the counter, as I have spent lot of money to doctors.

Answer 445 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Bongie,

I am sorry to hear that you mother has received such bad service from doctors. If nothing they prescribe seems to be helping her, then there is even less that she can use in “over the counter medication” that will help, so I do not recommend that you go that route. What she needs is to be referred urgently by her doctor, or her clinic, to a state hospital, but she must be referred as an emergency case. In that way, her doctor/clinic doctor can phone the hospital for an urgent appointment, and she will be seen by one of their specialists.

From your description, she could have heart failure : this can often cause a wheezing in the chest due to fluid buildup in the lungs. You do not say how old your mother is, or when she developed the asthma. Remember, that it is unusual for an adult to suddenly develop asthma which is as severe as you describe. But heart problems, eg a leaking valve, can develop suddenly and worsen very quickly. There is effective treatment available, but obviously the problem must be correctly diagnosed. If treatment has not helped, then you must ask whether the correct diagnosis was made. The GP’s are clearly not helping your mother, and you will just be wasting more money on over the counter medication. Rather try to get her to a specialist urgently.

Good luck.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.