Can asthma make you feel like you have a chest infection?

Sorry if this is a stupid question!

I went to my GP this morning convinced I had a chest infection - tight chest, pain, feel feverish, and I had a sore throat the other day which also made me think it's a chest infection.

She said my chest was clear - but it doesn't feel clear.

I've had this a couple of times now and with my asthma not being very well controlled, I wondered if it's just that it's a new feeling to me but is actually asthma?

I know I sound really neurotic by the way! I think my GP just thinks I am a hypochondriac.

5 Replies

  • Hi EmC,

    I think I know what you mean. If I have a virus of any sort my asthma symptoms worsen and i become very chesty, this lasts well past the length of the virus. Sometimes it becomes a chest infection and other times doesn't. Most times I end up having it checked because I can't tell. At least when it is checked and it's not a chest infection, you can just relax and ride it out. following your asthma plan to up your meds, sometimes for me it ends up with oral steroids too. Don't hesitate to go back again though if it worsens.


  • Hi EmC,

    It's not a daft question at all!

    Certainly my asthma plays up when I get a cold, and that has given me the symptoms of a chest infection (because the cold has given me the shivers / fever / general blargh, and the asthma has then contributed the breathing problems and phlegmy chest).

    Do keep an eye on your peak flow + how much Ventolin you're using. If you feel like you're getting worse, do see your GP.

    Best wishes

  • hi emc

    new to asthma, so when i had simliar symptoms to what you discribed i thought i had a chest infection, went to the docters and had a throat infection , the doc said my throat was really sore and red, but with having the asthma as well it just felt so much worse, i couldnt breathe properly, had a tight chest ect, had a course of anti bios and feeling much now, but like you was convinced it was a chest infection, hope this helps. best wishes.

  • I think I know what you mean EmC - last time I had a cold I got all mucusy (uggh, sorry), feeling 'chesty' etc and I couldn't work out if it was a chest infection or not. I don't think it was - got better on its own eventually - but I'm never quite sure in that case whether it's a 'real' chest infection which needs antibiotics or just cold playing havoc with asthma and need to sort that side of things out.

    Hope you feel better soon! Def. go back if you feel worse or it doesn't improve. I felt like I should be collecting Nectar points at the GP's I was there so often, and maybe he thought I was a hypochondriac as well - but he always seemed to be fine with me coming in and wanted to help (the only reason I'm not still pestering him is that he's admitted he can't do much for me at the moment).

  • Thanks for the support - I am glad it's not only me! It is so annoying that a cold can cause so many problems :(

    I do feel worse today, breathless, my peak flow is down. Maybe I went to the doctor too early. I went to the walk in centre a couple of months ago and they told me I didn't have a chest infection then either (and the nurse treated me like rubbish for even going!) but if I still feel this rough tomorrow I'm going to have to go.

    What's the worst that can happen, a bit of embarrassment if they say it's just a cold won't kill me I suppose!

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