Worried about asthma/chest infection

Hi everyone,

Usually my asthma is well controlled, that is until I developed a chest infection last week. I went to the doctor who prescribed me amoxicillin for 7 days and a 5 day course of oral steroids. These seemed to get it into better control again until I developed a bad throat and ear ache 3/4 of the way through the course. I went to see the asthma nurse who didn't seem to know what to do with me. She took my peak flow reading which was the same as the week before when diagnosed by the doctor. She said I was on the maximum dose of the type of inhalers I use (Seretide 100 accuhaler and Salamol easi-breathe 100), and told me to see the doctor as she was concerned I may need more antibiotics as I was still bringing up mucus.

I saw the doctor who thought the chest infection was viral, hense the antibiotics not working. I told him my asthma was still affecting me and was worried it would get worse again in light of developing new symptoms on finishing the oral steroids. He seemed to think I was worrying over nothing, however my chest is still constantly irritated, especially at night. Im waking up coughing twice a night now opposed to every hour last week.

I was wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation before and if they could advise me as of what to do, whether or not it will be worth me going back to the doctor or waiting it out for another week or so.

Thanks for reading.

9 Replies

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  • Hi, If you feel worse i would go back.If mucus green/yellow they can send a sample off to find the antib you need.If clear mucus but feel worse then a med review would be a good idea if your asthma is worse. xxx

  • Thank you Glynis.

    The mucus is still yellow at the moment. He did give me an emergency prescription for more oral steroids in the end but I pratically had to beg for it, so they are on standby at the moment.

    I understand doctors see people like me all the time but I have been asthmatic for 15 years and know when something isn't right. I guess I had been lucky as it only really bothered me before when I had a cold and that was easy to deal with, I have never had such a bad experience with my asthma and it frightened me.

  • HI Charley,

    Sounds like the doctor is not being very helpful! I would go back and see the doctor, but if possible see a different one in the practice who listens to your concerns and is a bit more proactive - like you say you know your asthma. The night symptoms are meant to be a flag that things aren't well controlled and that is something they should be paying attention to, possibly by changing your medication.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on!

  • UPDATE:

    Im managing to sleep now without waking up coughing which is a big plus. I have noticed that exercise sets off my coughing still, which points to my asthma still not being right :-/

    For some reason my voice is very very hoarse, worse than it was last week even though I feel better in general. My throat is no longer sore either. I don't suppose anyone knows of anything to help this as it is very annoying?

  • Hi Charley,

    I get a dry mouth and gruffy voice so keep drinking little and often helps me a bit.

    If you see doc again for asthma ,Montelucast singulair is a good asthma tablet for exercise induced

    asthma so might be worth asking about it.

    take care glynis xxx

  • The hoarseness is a well known side effect of Seretide - always try to rinse your throat with gargling or a have a drink or water after taking it - the excess medication sits on the vocal cords and so they don't work properly - it happens to me all the time. Definitely go back to the doctor - if he can't do anything else he at least needs to know the drugs haven't worked and you are still unwell. If he doesn't see you again he will think everything is OK when it clearly isn't. I have been exactly where you are and sometimes these infections will take weeks or even months to clear if really stubborn. Make sure you have had the flu and pneumoccal jabs as soon as you are well enough! Hoping you feel better soon.

    karen

  • Thanks guys.

    I know what you mean about the seretide. I always take it before I brush my teeth and have a drink afterwards. That drug for exercise will be worth asking about too, thank you.

    Anyway I spoke too soon as now my voice has completely gone and the sore throat is back. I have noticed when I cough sometimes I seem to be bringing up stomach acid, so I guess thats where the connection is?

    I couldn't get an apppointment at the doctors today so will try again on Monday. I doubt they will be able to do anything though :-(

    Sorry, Im getting completely hacked off with this now.

  • I'd definately try and see your GP on Monday - they should have emergency appointments. If you have an infection, you may need a different antibiotic - my last infection amoxicillin did nothing, but the second type (sorry can't remember what they were) helped really quickly, so my GP now has it on my notes to try them first.

  • During the third week of october prior to going on holiday I was feeling really rough, so I saw one of our GPs at home, but he said there was nothing wrong, possibly just my asthma.

    I told him that I had been choking with sputum each and evry day, so could not really use the peak flow, and was not convinced that my inhalers where getting through.

    At the end of October I was on holiday in Plymouth, and felt ill for the first three days so my my wife got an emergency appointment at a local surgery, where I was told that I had a bad chest infection?, and was given antibiotics.

    Two weeks ago after seeing the asthma nurse I sent a sputum test off, early on the wednesday morning and was told that the result would be in the next day or Friday at the lastest.

    By the Monday morning I was feeling ill and my inhalers were doing nothing to help, so after hearing nothing about the test results, I made an appontment with one of our GPs again, only to be told that it could possibly be a cold? I said that I knew the difference between a chest problem and a cold and did not think this was a simple cold, but all he said was, with your chest what do you expect.

    He gave me another dose of antibiotics, the same as I had received in Plymouth, and I left before I got really angry with this idiot.

    The following night( Tuesday) just as the surgery was closing my wife received a call to say that I had to go to the GPs asap. So as it was to late to do anything at that stage, my wife went up and asked what they wanted, as I had trouble getting up the hill to the surgery.

    She was given another prescription for different antibiotics, something the chemist called ""BLEACH"" as they are so powerful that they kill every virus and infection inside. It appears that the test results had been in since the monday morning, but no one had put it up on the screen.

    I have had these powerful antibiotics before and they really knock the stuffing out of me while I am taking them, but if it works, then its a bonus after all this time.

    Like a few other people I have lost confidence in many GPs who either don't want to be bothered or simply don't appreciate what it is like to have Asthma and then get a chest infection

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