Very confused-any advice?

Hi. I used to have asthma as a teen but haven't had ANY trouble for 17 yrs. The last couple of months I have had a few bouts of terrible chest pain... mostly when I breathe in... because it's painful it then makes me more breathless as it hurts to get deep breaths. I have had all tests on heart, ecg, x-rays and scans and blood tests to rule out heart probs or clots and pleurisy. The docs in the hospital were totally baffled. Sent me home to rest and thought perhaps it was muscular. The pain lasted several days... came back a week later for a few days and then returned a couple of weeks later again for a few days. My GP referred me for lung function tests with asthma nurse (she's great and has helped me with my son who is asthmatic).

Anyway, apparently my lungs performed fine...she used a machine and we did a stress test. Then she gave me some ventolin and repeated the tests... and there was an 18% improvement in my lung function... apparently 20% is an asthma diagnosis. SO she thinks asthma is my problem and I now have to use a peak flow meter for a month and go back to see her. To be honest... the inhaler HAS helped my chest pain (she said to use it if I get pain).

My questions are... is it really possible to have asthma and ONLY have chest pain? I have no wheezing at-all. She said my presentation isn't normal but the test is conclusive. Anyone had this?

Also... if my lungs function fine without ventolin... then why take it? She said that if I didn't have asthma the ventolin wouldn't make ANY difference but an 18% increase is good and obviously I 'need it'. But surely... if my readings are great without it... why do I need them to be even higher? It's so confusing! I don't mind taking an inhaler but only if I really need it.

SO basically... I just wanted to see if anyone can identify with any of this! Thanks for your advice and thoughts...

6 Replies

  • I only wheeze if you put me near a cat! Other than that I either just get pain (which, although very real can make me feel like a bit of a fraud!) or I cough.

    Apparently the peak flow is just a guideline, my predicted best is 450, my actual, personal best is 500.

  • For me sometimes I can just get a pain in my chest - like a tightness. This particularly occurrs when I exercise. (I get no wheezing at all sometimes). The ventolin inhalation then eases that. Hope that helps.

  • i get that strange pain too and an odd cough. They keep trying to tell me my spirometry is normal but yet ventolin inhalers and nebuilsers take away the pain and relieve the cough which is apparently how i have asthma attacks. It is very odd i do agree, as i never wheeze, the nearest i get to it is crackling just before i start coughing.

  • think medics are confusing in general i saw gp last week and was told that def didn't have asthma cause don't wheeze except on odd occasion. ob all in my head. starting to think that drs think i am putting it all on.

  • do you do lots of exersize?

    if you do then that might be the cause

    ive been cycling since i was 4. i still have chest pains when i am cycling

  • No wheeze doesn't mean a thing! In fact you can be to bad to wheeze! I have just been to the doctor. 'Bubbly lungs' but no wheeze! Mind you I am also almost to breathless to talk. OOps. And the pain on the right side is pretty unpleasant too but this is a fairly common symptom according to people I've talked to on patient transport.

    I was a chesty child but outgrew it in my teens. Came back when I was 35 as a chronic cough which took several years to diagnose and longer to find any remotely effective treatment - I currently use symbicort and oral steroids - and only have a few attacks a day.

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