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advice for newby with chest tightness

hi everybody, i am new to this forum but have had asthma since i suffered a pulmonary embolism aged 40 ( now 47). until the last 7 months the asthma has been under control but i suffered an attack in september which resulted in a visit to A & E , where i was given 2 neubs and steroid. This attack really floored me and it has taken me 3 months to feel as well as i did before. 3weeks ago i started to cough whenevre i exerted myself and this coughing increased until i relented and went to asthma nurse( i'm stubborn). as my chest was clear i was given pred at 30mg a day. 4 days later the coughing had eased but the chest tightness was immense and i had a real severe chest pain on tuesday night which eased after a couple hours. wed stared off ok but the tightness increased and by lunchtime i felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. At 3pm i had chest pains and my arm was burning all the way down, i was sweating and breathless. SO i called the doctors but it was closed and i was transferred to the night docs, the receptionist kept asking me loads of questions but i couldn't say much so i put fone down., the nurse called me back and i said i would call hubby to take me up to them. next minute 2 ambulances turned up my door. after 3 hours in a A & E and all the tests they said i had just strained my chest muscles with coughing, So today i still have a chest tightness and breathless on exertion, and i feel really stupid about wasting all the professionals time.

8 Replies

Hi there,

please don't feel stupid - you didn't waste anyone's time. Symptom like that need checked out, as they could be serious. If you are still struggling with chest tightness and breathlessness you shoudl try to see your own GP - they will have all your notes and are best able to help you.

Does the tightness get better with your reliever inhaler? If so, use it when you feel the tightness is bad.


hi. no the tightness doesn't ease when i take my reliever. i am just going to take it easy for a couple days and see if it eases off



If your chest tightness does not ease with the inhaler then maybe you have anxitey attacks as well which can often be mistaken for lots of things. Since i have had the asthma the panic attacks have also worsen, i also had to call the ambulance one night when i was really bad. At first i thought it was a panic attack and then i went to believing it was the asthma until eventually when the ambulance turned up, the breathing eased off a little as i was in a right state, however on paramedics asking did i want to go to hospital i said yes, due to the tightness of chest and also asthma. it was then noted that i had a very bad chest infection along with the asthma and panic attacks so although at first i felt i was wasting the time of the paramedics i soon realised that without them i would have been lost.

Hope you find out soon what it is, im sure you will sort it but it takes a lot of perseverence and a lot of visits like i did.


Obviously someone felt that with your symptoms you needed an ambulance. You didn't ask for one yourself so you cannot be blamed for wasting their time. Remember, if you feel you need an ambulance or any other healthcare service make any necessary phone calls. Better to call soon than to be too late. If the situation is bad and getting worse it is no good waiting. Call them when you feel you need to. We have felt guilty in the past. Not any more. Doctors do not hesitate to dial 999 in situations where we would not have done. Chest pains could mean a heart attack which could be fatal.



i was also admitted a couple of weeks ago for 5 days after an attack and with a bad chest infection...4 days later I was sitting relaxing on the computer when I suddenly became aware of an agonising pain high up in the centre of my chest...again it was a heaviness which then spread across to above my left breast..up into my throat and a slight pain in my left jaw,,,if this wasnt enough a pain then came through the centre of my back between my shoulder blades..felt queezy and sick and decided to phone nhs 24 for some advice once the pain had died down...remember i only phoned for advice but they decided to send 2 ambulances!! paramedic said my bp was quite high and gave me an aspirin and a gtn tablet to put on my gums..was taken into A&E and spent 3 hours there before being sent now being referred to a chest pain gp has stated that it definitley wasnt an indigestion or reflux pain but in his opinion its cardiac please dont hesitate to contact the emergency services if you get a pain that severely disables you or worries you or is out of the ordinary


hi scottishmum.... that is exactly the same as what i suffered.. i too was given the tab for under my gums and woke up friday morning with one huge abcess in my mouth.. so on top of the steroid i am now on antibiotics..probably a coincidence i know but soup is def on the menu now for a few days. not that i have an appetite much anyway.

the chest pain has eased a lot now but i am still getting breathless when i climb the stairs and just the exertion of putting on my shoes and coat leaves me panting. my peak flow is doing well now and i have increased upto 350 from the 250 i was last week and i personally don't feel the breatlessness is asthma related. i shall wait a few days to try and get back to my normal every day routine and see how i fair. hopefully all will be ok for you as well as i...feel free to keep in touch if it helps to chat


just an update. still have a huge crushing feeling in my chest.....feels like somebody is standing on me. i am breathless when i climb the stairs, putting on my shoes, talking , eating etc. been to nurse and doc today and am being referred to chest clinic..i have a peak flow now of 375 average and have a new seretide250. personally i do not feel as if the breathless is the asthma as i have no wheeze or chesty, just the pain and panting


What happened after you went to the chest clinic? Did it all get sorted? I'm struggling with a constant tight chest and can't find out what is wrong, I don't think it is my asthma either.


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