confused and frustrated!!

Hi Everyone. I'm just looking for some place to leave a wee rant or maybe get some advice. Its been over a year since i was diagnosed. I'm currently on Seretide, Montelaukst and ventolin. I haven't had many attacks thankfully and know there are a lot of people who are worse off than me but i just feel so frustrated just now.

I haven't been feeling great for a long long time now. I was at my asthma review about 3 weeks ago and the nurse said that everything had settled well and my peak flow and improved a great deal and my asthma seems to be controlled.

Why is then that I still have a constant cough well more like a bark? I have had this from when i was first diagnosed. I feel i'm wasting the doctors time and that they think i'm just moaning for the sake of it. I was at the doctors this morning and i got a locum doctor. He said i ""might"" have a chest infection. I'm really not sure. Anytime i've had chest infections in the past i have been completely floored with it even before my asthma was diagnosed. I'm not sleeping due to the cough, its now starting to get painful with each bark and the doctors don't seem to have an answer.

I know coughing is a symptom of asthma but i never have a wheeze and my chest is normally always clear. If my asthma is under control why do i still have this painful cough and why can't my doctors seem to help?

Sorry for the rant just really frustrated.

9 Replies

  • Hi, sorry you are having a difficult time with your cough. Just a suggestion, but it maybe worth asking your Dr or Nurse to see if you have thrush in your throat as this can cause the bad cough you describe. Thrush can be a problem with steroid inhalers.


  • Hi Sonja, I didn't realise that, I will mention it to the doctor when i go back. I have had this cough even before I started using the inhalers though but anything is worth a shot. I just want to be able to sleep and work and not have this annoying cough getting in the way of everything. Thanks again.

  • Seretide


    No need to feel that wasting docs time with the cough, as coughing is a symptom of asthma, so they need to find if it's your asthma making you cough. Having night time symptoms are not good as get so tired. Do you keep a record of your peakflow and symptoms, to help show when u are having symptoms to nurse / doc so they can see how it is affecting u?

    (these are the ones from AUK peakflow diary)

    Have you had difficulty sleeping because of your asthma symptoms (including cough)

    Have you had your usual asthma symptoms during the day (cough, wheeze, chest tightness or breathlessness)

    Has your asthma interfered with your usual activities - eg housework, work, school etc)

    What type of Seretide inhaler are u using? if it is the puffer type rather than the powder evohaler, are u using a spacer with it? Just that some people get sore throat / oral thrush with the seretide but using the spacer helps as reduces the side effects. I use one all the time now and throat is less sore and voice is less hoarse.

    If it's making u feel frustrated and interfering with your sleep it's a pain, regardless of whether your asthma is very severe or more mild. It's how it affects you. Feel free to PM me anytime if u need to rant etc


  • Presumably you've had a recent chest x-ray? if that was clear, and your asthma is well controlled, then you're right you shouldn't have a persistent painful cough and shouldn't be feeling unwell. If your gp has failed to come up with any explanation, why not ask for further investigation ie referral to a consultant. Don't be fobbed off.

  • Thanks for the positive words Jsy_Duck. I have kept a diary in the past and nothing has really got rid of this cough. I am keeping a current record of my peak flow now for about 2 weeks now and i will take that with me when i go back to the doctors in a few weeks.

    My asthma nurse knows about my cough and she has said that the doctors will need to address this as she has now got my asthma under control. I’m not so sure though as i’m coughing like mad and i still have a tight chest almost every single day. I have difficulty sleeping due to my cough and it affects things at work too. I was a very active bagpiper until this cough started to plague me, now i can’t even play one tune without a coughing fit.

    I’m using a seretide evohaler with a spacer. I asked about oral thrush but they said i didn’t have it.

    Thanks Polly, I had a chest x-ray about 6 months ago, it came back clear. This was after my cough got so bad that i damaged my windpipe. I ended up in total agony due to the inflammation. I couldn’t eat, drink, sit up, talk or even turn my head to the side without being in severe pain. I lost over 2 stone in weight when this all happened.

    Thanks for both your advice, I think i will be pushing this with the doctor as i do feel i’m being fobbed off. Ash

  • Update

    Ok so now i'm really confused. I am not long back from the doctors. After reading through my notes and listening to my chest and bark, sorry cough, the doctor has now said that he thinks i have been wrongly diagnosed with asthma all because i have no wheeze. I have tightness of the chest and i have a terrible barking cough. I hardly sleep because of it. He thinks i was diagnosed as i previously had asthma when i was younger.

    I don't think my doctors have any clue. The doctor i saw the other week apparently put in the notes ""i'm not convinced the patient has a chest infection"" but he still gave me anti-biotics to treat it after i agrued i didn't need them. Now today, the doctor is unsure i have asthma at all and thinks i may just have acid reflux which is causing my cough. Why is it then I have been prescribed inhalers and tablets for asthma for over a year and i have also had treat for reflux inbetween this and i still have a barking cough. Am i going nuts here or does it sound like my doctors heads are up their arse?

    I have been told today to stop talking the Seretide. I am worried that I end up in a state i have been before which is unable to move for chronic pain down my chest and windpipe. I am meant to be going camping and hillwalking next and am now worried i will have an attack or end up really ill.

    I don't know what to do. Am i right to worry or should i trust my doctors?

  • Have you tried phoning the asthma nurses on the Asthma UK helpline? Then maybe go back to your GPs and politely ask- it is time to refer you to a specialist to see whether it is indeed asthma or something else.

    Don't worry about ranting- I would be fustrated if I were you!

    Good luck


  • Not all asthmatics wheeze!

    Please see the thread about it......

    Take a copy of the new guidelines to your GP to help them !


  • Thanks for the replies Kate and Bryony, I did think about calling the Asthma UK helpline but I just so confused. Don’t get me wrong, I will be more than happy not to have asthma but I just concerns me that I’ve been getting treatment for asthma for over a year and I’ve had asthma attacks put on nebs and now they are unsure. The doctor I saw yesterday is meant to be my surgery respitory specialist and now he is convinced that it’s my stomach. I have no pain or discomfort in my stomach my cough is in my chest and I have chest pain. I have had reflux may times and my cough definitely doesn’t feel like it’s coming from my stomach.

    I have read the thread about not having a wheeze and it seems a lot of people don’t have a wheeze. My doctor seems to think no wheeze no asthma. I have to go back in six weeks or sooner if i get worse but I’ve to see the doctor I got yesterday and he is going on holiday next week and won’t be back for 4 weeks due to the rota or something.

    Thanks for listening to my rants and offering advice.


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