Asthma UK community forum

Few questions I am confused about

I know that the following questions are medical, and I will be asking my gp also but I am interested in peoples opinions who have experience in asthma, as I am still trying to get my head round it!!

Do you think it is possible for an asthma sufferer to have an asthma related cough (or other mild symptoms like a pain or low peek flow) but also have a clear chest on examination by dr/nurse through a stethoscope? or do you think this confirm that the cough/other symptoms are not asthma related?

If the cough was not asthma related, could it still be accelerated through running, like asthma in an asthma sufferer and still not be asthma related? i.e. asthma sufferer has a cold runs around, has to stop because the running has brought on a choking cough, could it be just the virus and not asthma at all?

If someone had obvious asthma symptoms in the night i.e. wheeze, low peak flow, but appeared well in the day, does that mean that the asthma reduces and disappears completely in the day, I know it can come on quick but can it go so quickly?

Can you have a low peak flow and no wheeze? What would this mean?

3 Replies

When I have a low peak flow there is no wheeze.

Some of the older (in the 'posting here' sense) members may have some answers.



Hi mum2three,

Perhaps chatting to an AUK asthma nurse on 0800 121 62 44 (red box on top left hand corner of page) might be helpful. I'll have a go at answering some of the questions.

1) It may possible for someone with asthma to have an asthma related cough but also a clear chest on examination. Asthma can make the airways 'twitchy' and coughing then happens as a reflex reaction to triggers like cold air, cigarette smoke, paint fumes, perfumes, etc.

Chest pain or low peak flow are *not* mild symptoms and need to be checked out by a doctor.

2) Not sure about distinguishing between asthma and non-asthma related cough, GP would be best person to ask. Generally runners rest during colds and viral infections as exercising when ill usually worsens a cold.

3) Night-time symptoms are a sign of poorly controlled asthma. If you're getting these then you need to see your GP.

4) Some people with asthma don't wheeze. But in those that do wheezing can disappear when the peak flow becomes very low (<=33%) when a severe attack has progressed to a life-threatening stage, and very little air is able to move in and out of the lungs. This is known as a ""silent chest"" and is a 999 emergency.

It's best to get your child checked out at the GP's, the out-of-hours service or A&E if you're ever unsure. Also ask your GP for asthma action plans for your children so you know when to get help.

Hope that helps a bit,



Thanks for your replies, what has thrown me is having my 3 yr old son examined 2 days in a row, only to be told he has a clear chest, yet the night in-between the two examinations he wheezed all night. And again but a lot quieter the following 2 nights. He is fine now, it was completely viral related, and has since seen his nurse and gp.

He never gets a persistent cough with his asthma but when he has a cold he can have what I would describe as a normal cough and and asthma cough. I could be wrong here but it is the flemmy choking cough that I see as being asthma related and most other coughs as just normal cold/viral related. He had both during the days he was unwell, he also had what I interpreted as a slight shortness of breath when he talked, I can't describe it, the words still all come out but it sounds different, yet clear chest! The thing is, I am positive the asthma was present both days I took him, but was told he was completely clear and was wondering if it could have been present, but silent, iykwim.I am told he is too young to do peak flow, so I don't get any clues there!

I have now been given contradicting advice about giving his ventolin which I need to go back to gp about. Talk about confused!!!!

The peak flow questions relate to my eldest son, thats a whole other story!


You may also like...