Xray for breathing problems, should I... - Asthma UK communi...

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Xray for breathing problems, should I take steroids?

I have had asthma since I was a child and am now 50. For four years I had no symptoms whatsoever and then quite suddenly last September my asthma kicked off again. It has been controlled some of the time by seretide and ventolin but in December I had to have a five day course of steroids which helped a lot. It has been a lot worse again this week and when I saw my GP she recommended I have an Xray on Monday.

Last night I had a lot of pain when breathing and today it is still quite uncomfortable. I know an xray doesn't show up asthma so she is obviously looking for something else. I feel as though I should take another course of steroids (which I have been asked to do if I feel the need) to help settle things down again but don't want to do so and cover up anything that might show on an xray.

Just wondered if anyone has any experience of this or who can point me in the right direction.

Thanks JA

7 Replies

hi JA

like you had xrays and tests,they are to rule out other problems,one time mine was a chest infection that was severe but had no weeze or cough or rubish and 2 times had clots im my lungs and other times was my asthma not well and had nebs in hosp.

Dont worry they just checking it is down to asthma and not a underline prob.love Glynis xxx

Thanks Glynis, I haven't had an Xray since 1980. And that was at a medical before I could start work.

I presume it is okay to take my oral steroids as I have been recommended to do when I feel like this.

steroids ok to take Glynis xxx

the hops would tell you not to if carnt like for breathing tests xxx

Thanks Glynis,

I will take them then and see how I feel. I hadn't thought that I would have been told not to take them by my doctor.

It feels a bit daft after all these years of living with asthma to start needing advice. I really appreciate your help.

JA xx


Asthma (bronchoconstriction) will not show up on an xray - however, pulmonary embolism (""clot"" in the lungs), infection/pneumonia, and other things that are solid enough to show up will. This is usually done to rule out any other causes of breathlessness and other symptoms that can mimic asthma, such as a pneumothorax. It is perfectly safe to take oral steroids as this should only affect your asthma and nothing else that could potentially show up on an xray.

Hope this makes sense (not too with it today!)

Emz x

Thanks emz, I had the xray today and will find out the results on Friday. The doctor I saw this afternoon said it was okay to have been taking the steroids.

The radiologist said my xray wasn't too bad considering I have asthma. Just have to wait now for my results.


Hi JA,

I had a chest X-ray when I developed asthma about a year ago. This was, like others have mentioned, to rule out anything else (such as TB etc.). However, my chest X-ray did come back showing that I had inflamed airways and I was reassured that this was because my airways were inflamed due to my asthma.

I was put on a course of steroids and now continue to use a long-lasting/steroid inhaler. My asthma is now under control. So, contrary to one of the posts below, a chest X-ray can reveal inflamed airways due to asthma, but only if at that time you are experiencing asthma symptoms.


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