Asthma UK community forum


Hello everyone

I just joined the forum today. I wonder if anyone has had experience of being told that their spirometry age is far younger than their actual age? I'm very confused at the moment.

Was diagnosed with asthma and bronchiectasis 3 years ago after really bad chest and two weeks of solid coughing. I have allergies to perfume, chemicals, nsaids and other things.

Anyway, at my recent annual review, I admitted to using ventolin every day, otherwise I would not be able to walk up the hill to the shops at lunch time or take my dog for a walk. I have not taken a steroid inhaler as I lost my voice for nearly ten weeks when I tried. I take tiotropium and serevent and the venotlin. Anyway, the nurse thought I needed a steroid inhaler but decided on doing the spirometry first. I am 50 and it came out age 27. So, I have to see my gp in a couple of weeks with a view to possibly reducing the inhalers ,but I am so worried. I don't think I could cope without them.

Any body had similar experience.

I'ms very confused just now.


10 Replies

how lond before you did your spirometry test did you use your inhalers? if you had used them as normal that day it would have an influence on your spirometry readings. they should try doind one when you have not used any of your inhalers for 4 hrs for ventolin and 12 hrs for others.


Hi Katharine

I did not use my ventolin or any of the other inhalers wihtin 12 hours of the test.

Thanks for replying.



Hiya! Remember this is your health and therefore you are in control. I am sure your gp will not reduce your inhalers once you explain things. Bear in mind that tho most asthma nurses are great, unfortunately some are not!

But in any event you must insist that, in all decisions about your care, your views are taken into account. After all, the day-to-day management is down to you so you must not be made to feel excluded. You must have confidence in your gp etc and you won't have that if you don't feel involved in decisions about your treatment.

As your asthma is clearly not well-controlled, it might be suggested that you try another steroid inhaler rather than relying so much on the ventolin. Which did you use last time and did you use a spacer and rinse etc afterwards?

If your next hosp appointment is some way off, perhaps consider contacting your consultant and say you are having problems and would like the appt brought forward. I have asthma & bronchiectasis too and have never had any problem doing this if necessary.

Good luck



If you find you really cannot use a steroid inhaler, you can always have a low dose of oral steroid (prednisolone)



Hi Polly

Thanks for your response. I have not actually seen a specialist for my asthma. In the last three years I have had repeat prescriptions and an annual review with asthma nurse.

I have had allergies to perfumes, flowers and lots of other things all my adult life. I had a bad reactionto someone's perfume on a train about 3 1/2 years ago. I took antihistamines and went to bed. Woke up in the night with tight chest. As my allergies always affect my throat I thought I needed an analgesic. Anyway, the only drugs I could find in the bedroom (didn't want to go downstairs and wake the dog!) I took some asprin. Big mistake. Although I went to sleep again I woke feeling dreadful the next day. Went to work but coughed all day and was sent to see GP as my lips were turning blue when I spoke. GP was quite shocked at my condition and gave me prednisolone orally. I got better over a few days.

Then I had another allergy problem and developed nasty cough. This culminated in a private consultation with immunologist (work said could not have a perfume bar unless I had a specialist confirmation that they were a problem). As I was coughing continuously by then the immunologist concluded that I 'had developed, or was developing asthma' and tried me on salbutamol four times a day. This improved things tremendously. He also suggested a daily antihistamine.

After several months and more coughing my gp added a flixotide (I think) inhaler. This did not help and caused me to cough even more. Worse still, I had almost no voice for 3 months. Saw an ENT doctor who discovered fluid on my larynx and deduced this was as a result of continuous couging. As I suspected there was something wrong with my right lung, I asked for a chest x-ray. GP had refused this request as he said asthma would not show up on x-ray. ENT doctor arranged x-ray. Anyway, I was then called back to hospital for a ct scan of lung. This showed mild broncheictasis.

My treatment was eventually settled as spriva for the bronchiectasis and serevent and salbutamol. These have kept me well most of the time but more recently I have been having problems after exercise, hence the excessive use of salbutamol.

I have been searching the net tonight - before my go appointment next week and now wonder if some of my breathlessness is due to vocal cord dysfunction. I use sodium crom nasal spray and eye drops for allergies (sinus probs?) and have reflux.I have recently been diagnosed with arthritis, but as I have just had my 50 birthday, GP says, what do I expect at my age Grr!

So, sorry about this very long posting, but it helps to 'get it off my chest' OOPs, sorry, I don't want to offend, but that was so tempting!

Any ideas or support most welcome, as I feel lost at the moment.



Not surprised you feel lost Kathy! As things have got worse recently, I would definitely asked to be referred back to consultant for review. Am sure your gp would be happy to do that in the circumstances, particularly as itis worrying you. Ask if he can preferably refer you to a respiratory physician with an interest in bronchiectasis as well as asthma, if there is someone locally to you. If you're in or near London, the Royal Brompton is supposed to be the best. I'm not a medic but am surprised you're not seeing a con regularly, given the possibility of more lung damage if bronchiectasis isn't properly managed. Are you, for example, doing regular chest physiotherapy to clear your lungs?

Hope they sort you out


Hi Polly

Thanks for your thoughts. I am in West Yorkshire. I will try to search a respiratory specialist in the area and see how the appointment goes. With gyny problems and a diagnosis of arthritis recently, I'm loathe to go to the doctors, let alone ask for a referral. I always seem to go 'cap in hand' to the doctors and whilst professionally, I know I am entitled to the services I need, I can't help feeling that I am a nuisance to them.

Anyway, just a week to go before the appointment. I am trying not to dwell on this, but will try to gear myself up to be assertive, if a specialist referral is not suggested.

Will let you know how it goes.



katy can i share a concern with you? who diagnosed bronch? it should be diagnosed thru a resp consultant by tests such as cat scan, mri, bronscopy. It is a diagnosis which has far reaching consequences with insurance etc. Bronch is not a simple diagnosis and certainly not something a GP or asthma nurse should diagnose. Have a look at the website belonging to the british lung foundation.

I would try and get a specialist referral ASAP. Your treatment with either or both of these deseases are paramount.


Hi Bowmei

The bronchiectasis was diagnsosed after the ENT consultant arranged an x-ray and CT scan. The scan was interpreted by a specialist (or so I am told) and then I was refered back to GP 'to see if treatment was needed' as the bronchiectasis was considered mild.

I have had lots of chest infections over the years and knew there was something wrong with my lung. Following the ct scan I waas given the spiriva, which has helped a lot as the amount of sputum I now produce is much less.




I have brochiectasis and asthma and would certianly as others have said say that you need to be under a resp consultant. There is certainly a treatment plan that goes with bronchiectasis that can be at times very different and sometimes opposite to asthma treatment which is why is is important to have a specialist on board. You dont always have to see them regularly if the bronchx is mild as it can stay that way for many years and cause very little problem but if it does it is important to treat it right.

I understand your not wanting to bother gp but long term it is in your best interest to have a resp specialist at least in the background and your gp Im sure would support this if you resquest it.

I have a recent article that explains bronchiectasis that I can email you if you pm me your an email address that was written in the british lung foundation magazine. It is very easy to understand and explains it very well as I am sure you have found there is not much info on bronchx on the net.


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