Asthma UK community forum

Atypical asthma

I am just wondering if anyone has information about atypical asthma. The consultant diagnosed me with this last week after going through literally every test he could throw at me. I am now really keen to learn more or hear from others diagnosed with it. Looking on-line, many times 'cough variant asthma' comes up but I don't always present with a cough so I don't feel that really applys to me.

I have always referred to my asthma as 'non-classic' or 'strange' so am relieved in a way to have the 'asthma' diagnosis confirmed.

Thanks Jac

8 Replies

I too have been told I have atypical asthma, but I don't have cough variant asthma either. To be honest I am not entirely sure what it means even in my own case. I never wheeze and I mostly have good lung function but still need frequent oral steroids, and have occasional hosp admissions (though none for a year now- so pleased!!).

Glad your consultant has ruled other things out, it can seem a bit like you are on trial!

I don't have anything that useful to say, just wanted to let you know you are not alone.


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Thanks for your reply Bryony.

Mine doesn't show up as asthma in any of the tests and I don't wheeze either. You are right it does feel like you are on trial!! lol. I did have an abnormal lung function result in one of the tests but that is a mystery to him as I don't have any of the conditions that normally cause that result. He did say they would test me yearly as it is either just me and some of the blood vessels that should lead to my lungs are bypassing them or it may be a condition yet to manifest itself. This causes me SOB on exertion (just to confuse things.)

I am responding well at the moment to a 12 week course of pred (5mg daily) and this is why he has concluded I have atypical asthma. It surprised him that the pred is helping as he really wasn't sure it was asthma until I told him how much better I am. I was sure it was asthma after all of the years of symptoms but I was clueless of why I was different.



As you know I can't shed any light on things but of course you know I'm in a similar position - finding it good to be reminded I am not the only one whose tests all come out fine but what I feel doesn't match up. Though I don't respond to any of the medication so thinking maybe consultant is right...arrgghh, confusion! Will just have to wait for the physio and hope it does something.

Sorry, this is turning into me ranting! I do hope you get some guidance from somewhere, it really is hard when you're not 'textbook' but this forum seems like a good place to hear from fellow oddballs as we know. xx


I quite like the idea of being a fellow oddball Philomela, it's definitely better than feeling like the ONLY oddball!!!

Jac xx


Oddballs unite! I'm glad to be able to help someone out with fellow-feeling, though after Thursday's appt I am feeling more like a fraud than an oddball, like I *ought* to be able to breathe and walk more quickly and there's no reason why I can't.



There is definitely a reason and just think it is their job to find it! I have felt so stressed with GP's over the years because I don't fit the 'norm' and at least I can now throw the 'atypical' at them and a copy of the consultant's letter when I receive it.

Will you be seeing a physio linked to the respiratory dept? Do they have them? Were you referred by your GP last time? Whoops, loads of questions... sorry.

Jac xxx


No, I'm sorry - I'm hijacking your thread! I had a long rant on Thursday after I came back on my original thread about being nervous but the thread is a way down the page now. I should really stop using yours to moan on though. So glad you have that magic piece of paper!

I will be seeing chest physio who is part of resp dept yes, apparently techniques have come on in the last couple of years so cons thinks it may help even though it didn't last time. Back then I was referred to the London Chest Hospital by the cons I was seeing (who thought it was hyperventilation as well), but it was for one session and then another one months later - this time the intention seems to be to have several sessions to try and nail it, and the waiting period is apparently shorter here than it was in London where it took ages - here the waiting for appts is long but it seems waiting for physio may be less.

Have you seen a chest physio or did they not think it was necessary with the meds working?


I don't mind you hijacking! lol. I know how much I have needed to rant at my sisters over the years. Fortunately they have never minded.

No he didn't mention it, I must remember to ask him next time just to see if it is worth having some physio input. I'm happy to learn anything I can to be honest. I have just ordered a Yoga dvd for absolute beginners to see if that helps too. Partly because I have lost so much suppleness over the last 15 months.

Jac xxx


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