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I keep going to the doctors with asthma symptoms including one time where I phoned the doctors and they told me to go A&E. They have all said costochondritis but they gave me a blue inhaler but it cant be that because 6 months down the line my symptoms are getting bad again.

I think hay fever is one of my triggers because my nan has just started to get symptoms for hay fever.

16 Replies


Strange of your drs to give you the blue inhaler for that if they're saying it's not asthma...can't see what that would do if they think just inflamed ribs but not asthma?! And why tell you to go to A&E with that unless you were having chest pains and they worried it was something else? Or was that the asthma symptoms? I'm a bit puzzled...

I think they're failing to connect the dots as untreated or poorly controlled asthma might well give you costochondritis (did with me, all the effort of breathing!) And if you're having asthma symptoms - are you having hayfever symptoms as well as your nan?

I think you need to persist with the GP - maybe a different one, or have you seen more than one and they've all said the same? If you've had to go to A&E with possible asthma symptoms you definitely need to see them asap so they can get it sorted whether or not you do have asthma and if you do get you onto a preventer - doesn't really sound like the blue alone is doing the trick.


Hi thanks for the reply,

Well the blue inhaler does work for me and I have seen different GPs and when I went to A&E (I had chest pains from the start) I was put on ECG, did a peak flow and he listened to my chest. The doc wanted to give me an inhaler but his boss said to wait so i diddnt get one. It wasnt until a few days later at school I got sent home because the school nurse was worried. She said to my mum that I should see a doctor urgently. We went to the doctors again strait away and she said the same thing but this time I said ""Im pretty convinced its asthma because my brothers and sisters have it some quite bad, my dad had it, so does my other nan and my symptoms I am having are matching theirs more or less. The only thing is that I dont weeze. Is this common for an asthmatic not to wheeze but then again I am yet to have a proper attack. In a way i want to have one (although i should not wish it) to show the doctors and my mum that it is asthma as my mum is listening to the doctors more me. My siblings with asthma are step with my dad as the relation.

My nan I referred to in the post does not have asthma but suffers with hay fever and she has started suffering withing the past few days (same as me).

Any ideas? bearing in mind the too and throw with the doctors was last summer during august time.



I see what you mean re hayfever now - wasn't sure if you and your nan both had it but see you do.

I know what you mean about 'wanting' to have it when you have the symptoms but people are saying you don't - I had that for ages. Better not to have the symptoms at all but if you do you want to be taken seriously.

tbh with your family history - both sides as well - and the fact that you've noticed the symptoms are similar to your asthmatic siblings (even if they're not related), asthma ought to be about the first thing that comes to their mind - they ought to be listening to what you say (though obviously I'm not diagnosing here, not a medic and this is a board - just agreeing it does sound a serious possibility which needs investigating properly).

And though they may say differently, you do NOT need to have a wheeze to have asthma. I don't, nor do many others on this board, and they certainly shouldn't be waiting for you to have an attack before they do anything. There is an Asthma UK blog post about wheeze - might help to print that out and take it to the drs so you can show it's not just you, it's what Asthma UK says as well.

If you last saw them in August I would go back asap. See a different doctor if you can and explain it all again. Before you go, if you have time during the day (though hard when you're at school I know), you might want to give the asthma nurses on here a call. They are usually great and very helpful, and might be able to give you some advice for tackling your GP about it - plus might carry some weight if you say you were having asthma-like symptoms so rang the specialist nurses and this is what they say, so it's not just you (though as I said they should be listening to you anyway).

Maybe go without your mum, if you can and you're worried her views on it may not be helpful? I don't know how old you are but you have the right to see the dr alone without them informing your parents you've been even if under 16, if you think you'd prefer to. EDIT just realised though that it might be helpful to have her on board and to persuade her at the same time.


Thanks for the advice I was going to call them tomorrow and tbh when i go to the docs next im gonna be like this is what im experiencing, its not costowhatever because my inhaler works. I dont want it to be an attack that makes them realise thats its asthma because my friend had an asthma attack at school few years back (I was with him) and it was really bad. I called an ambulance and they were really qick (there within about 2-3 minutes) but it was so bad that he stopped breathing. I screamed down the corridor and saw the school nurse running. I said he wasnt breathing and she started doin CPR. He was then in intensive care for 5 days in a coma for 3 of those days. So yeah i dont partically want ito be down to an attack because of that and aswell my mum wouldnt have a clue what to do.

At least I know im not alone because it is extremely fustrating, especially when my mum has to do a trip concent and not put down asthma! Normally I just say mum you need to put it even though im not offcally diagnosed yet.

Another thing, do all asthmatics have to have flu jab because i have really bad fear of needles (passed out for about 2 minutes last time I had one)

Thanks again! (BTW im 15)


HI, you're welcome! And welcome to the forum - it's a very friendly place and hopefully will help while you try to get a diagnosis. I know just how frustrating that one is - it took me forever, though a lot of that was me being deeply weird and not having any helpful signs like wheezing or low PF. I got there in the end though!

You're not going to like this...I'm afraid you do need a flu jab if you're asthmatic. Getting flu can really mess with asthma (it's what set mine off again after I thought I'd got rid of it). But if you need one perhaps tell them about passing out etc and that you don't like needles as they might be able to surprise you with it so you don't have to worry beforehand. (I'm not even bothered by needles and my GP said 'Have you had your flu jab? and when I said no he had it in practically before I noticed what he was doing!)

As you say your mum probably should at least put that you have asthma symptoms and an inhaler down so the school are aware. Could you mention it to the nurse as well - she clearly knows you are struggling? And your mum definitely needs to know what to do if you do have an attack - that sounds a scary experience with your friend but at least you knew what to do and did it promptly. This site, as you may already have found, has a lot of useful info so might be worth trying to show your mum if she'll listen, esp the section on what to do in an attack.

Of course first step is drs to see if you do have asthma - but like I said it definitely seems a strong possibility! Good luck and I really hope they listen to you this time - you have your head screwed on about it all but it must be frustrating that they're not listening.


Thanks again for all your help. That was not the news i was hoping for. Anyway such is life. The school are aware that i have possible asthma and know that i have hay fever. I will talk to my mum about the docs and hopefully will get diagnosed. Do the doctors go through stuff like what to do etc and do they do a plan strait away?

Anyway thanks for the help and i will keep you posted! :)


You're welcome - and sorry to be the bearer of bad news re flu jab lol.

The doctors *should* go through that but whether they will...they *should* also listen to you and take your family history and symptom description seriously! But there do seem to be quite a few people who come on here straight from seeing the doctors and being diagnosed and they have a lot of questions, either because the dr didn't explain stuff to them (and to be fair they only have so much time) or because they didn't think of some questions at the time.

They may well try you on a preventer if you say the blue's working but you need to take it a lot - trying asthma meds to see if they work is actually one of the ways of diagnosing it, and you're already partway there if the blue works. It might take a bit of time though to get things right.

Glad the school knows at least - they seem to be pretty sensible as well.

Best of luck - if only the drs all thought as clearly as you seem to! You don't fancy being a doctor by any chance? ;) Always good to have someone who knows what it's like, even if it would be 10 years or so before any of us could take advantage lol.


Thanks i will keep you posted. My school are fab u might have seen them on tv (edicating essex on channel 4) i cant praise my school enough for the support i have reveived.


Also i have an important science exam thursday what do u suggest i do if i am still bad?


Haven't seen that programme no but might have to check it out now, I'm curious! Great to hear about such a supportive school when others are...less than helpful. I remember a few disagreements about inhalers and PE in particular at mine, but they weren't too bad compared to others (Samuel Linton's, for instance).

When you say important exam, are we talking GCSEs? (They never had them at this time of year when I did mine). I'm afraid I don't know what the procedure would be, my asthma was being fairly quiet at 15 and luckily never interfered with any exams, but would imagine letting the nurse and perhaps your group tutor know that you're worried tomorrow would be a start. You might be fine but it's probably best to know what you would need to do if you are still bad and that they'd need to keep an eye out. I assume they'd also be in charge of letting the exam board know if you're ill during the exam or can't take it - there must be standard ways of dealing with this especially if someone is stupid enough to put public exams in February/March when everyone is ill!


Hi thanks. Well yeah its gcse and tell me about bad timing but thats edexcel for you. Is it possible for you to help steer me in the right direction? If u want to watch it its on youtube.


Ah, Edexcel. You don't need to tell me about them. Mind you OCR and AQA are just as bad in their own little ways...

I want to help but I honestly don't know what the procedure is for this! I just thought as your school are so helpful they would probably know what to do so the first step would be to ask the nurse and a teacher as they ought to know what happens in this situation. Or would you be able to get to a phone to ring the asthma nurses on here between 9 and 5? Does your school have payphones anymore now everyone has mobiles (it's free from a landline)? They advise on all sorts of things including the practicalities of having asthma and problems with school.

Meanwhile, you could do a separate post on here asking about this. I may not know the answer, but I bet others have been in this situation, or their children have, and they know what to do.

Sorry I can't help more but I hope you do get something in place - and that you don't need it!


I will be going to the docs soon tosee if i can get a diagnosis and was wondering what the best things to say and ask are?


Hmm, well I hope it will be a different dr from last time so you can hopefully get them to listen and not be influenced too much by what's gone before!

Maybe start out by saying that you're still having symptoms of breathlessness, the blue inhaler helps but not enough and you're taking it a lot.

I'd write stuff down beforehand if I were you - answers to their questions which ought to include:

-what exactly are the symptoms you've noticed? Being short of breath but also chest tight?

-What does it feel like when you're short of breath? (sounds odd but I've been asked this, think it helps them as shortness of breath is not all the same)

-How long symptoms have been going on for (mention what happened last summer)

-Your family history (mention this if they don't ask)

-What time of day symptoms are better/worse and if they're bad at night

-What helps? what doesn't? (include taking your blue inhaler in this)

-Noticed any particular triggers - hayfever and anything else?

Ask about whether they could add something to the blue inhaler, since that's helping but not enough, and if they can check your inhaler technique. Maybe ask for a spacer and a peak flow meter (they might prescribe one anyway) so you can do some peak flow readings. They might ask you to do some for a few weeks then come back, especially if they try some preventer medication.

If you can manage to ring the asthma nurses on here that may also give you some pointers - if you can just ring them and say you're having symptoms but no firm diagnosis, blue helps, you're going back to the dr and what should you say/ask? You don't need to have confirmed asthma to ring them - I often rang asking what to do next about getting somewhere with a diagnosis!


I cant even start to say how greatful for you to help me!!!!!!! My symptoms are gerting worse. I went to toby carvery with some friends aout 6 i was not bad just a nasty cough. Wen i got home and watched tv with my mum my chest started getting very tight and breathing hard. I am being excused from pe tomorrow and my pe teacher will understand as he is in a simular situation that i am and i will definately reccomend these forums and the site in general. My symptooms are not yet bad enough to warrant emergency actin but i said to my mum that i want to go to the doctors before it gets worse. I dont want it to be a 999 call that makes them realise especially with my past experience with my friend. If it gets any worse i will start by calling an asthma nurse and going from tere. Thanks again for the support!!!!


You're very welcome! I have been there with the no diagnosis - it took me forever so I'd like to help other people take a short cut if they can.

I hope you don't end up in hospital - though you clearly know what to do if things do get to that point (If you're not sure, check out the relevant section on here - 'what to do in an asthma attack') Might be an idea to see if you can squeeze in tomorrow at the GP's if your symptoms are bad. Might be worth telling them you have an exam on Thursday and you'd like to see them before then (and in fact if symptoms are getting worse you ought not to wait till after the exam anyway).

Hope it doesn't get any worse! Annoying of the doctors not to try you on a preventer before; if it had worked you might have avoided this round your exam.


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