Small airways asthma/disease - Asthma UK communi...

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Small airways asthma/disease

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Hi everyone,

Does anyone have any knowledge or experience of the above? I am currently being assessed by a specialist and the above diagnosis was one of the possible ones mentioned to me. I have never fitted into the 'classic asthma' symptoms/variable peakflow but have had poorly controlled asthma (or whatever it is) on and off over the last 22 years since my initial diagnosis when i was 26. In my 20's and in my 30's i was assessed by specialists and they confirmed it was asthma. Now, with the improved technology and tests there is a huge question mark over my diagnosis. The little bit i have read about small airways asthma/disease does match my symptoms but alot of information online is in medical journals with the usual jargon. I am now awaiting a CT chest scan and more lung function tests but, this has come as a big surprise to me as the diagnosis of asthma, i thought, was a question long answered...

Thanks for reading Jac

7 Replies

OMG this sounds just like me too. I am going to see a specialist on the 9th Nov and I will certainly bring your diagnosis to his attention for like you I have been suffering for 20+ years!

I haven't been diagnosed yet, they are questioning whether this is even asthma? But, 15 years ago when i saw the last specialist he said he thought it was asthma but, it was my small airways affected. It wasn't until the specialist said last week that there is a 'small airways asthma/disease' that i realised it was separate from 'mainstream' asthma. There is nothing on the AUK site though, i am going to ring the AUK helpline next week to see if i can get any info. I believe i do have asthma but, i know it is not the same as 'classic' asthma and always confuses GPs. I would be interested to hear your experiences too if you don't mind.

Oh my goodness misslovelyc, i just read one of your previous posts, is it asthma or not? We really are in a similar situation!!

I have been looking online at small airways asthma/disease and there is no wheeze, it doesn't show up clearly on peak flow meters or spirometry tests. I did read somewhere about other FEV tests show up, i think it was FEV4 but i read so many medical journals on it all of the jargon ran in together so i may be not quite accurate. Only started reading about it yesterday. The new lung function tests i will be doing are different expiration tests. These medical journals also said as knowledge grows of how inflamed small airways affect breathing the medication manufacturers are trying to improve the medication reaching them. I wonder if my asthma gets out of control so often and is then slow to calm down because my small airways aren't getting enough medication and they remain inflamed. (All of this sounds logical to me and just fits with my experiences.)

Out of intrest what symptoms do you getr?

Shortness of breath - mild to severe, tight chest and usually a mucousy cough but not always. No wheeze.

I read this with interest as I also feel my asthma symptoms are not classic. Any further information will be gratefully received.

it seems there are quite a few of us with these similar symptoms!

I too get a tight chest, shortness of breath and a chesty cough BUT no wheeze and my symptoms dont very often have anything to do with my PF readings. weird huh? but then i have only been diagnosed for a year now so although they have told me it is asthma we havent really got to the bottom of what triggers me and what help the best at the moment.

would be really interested to hear more about this too! :)


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