Asthma UK community forum

20 year cough

Janice 13 Apr 12 6:37pm

Hello all, I am new here.

If I can go back to the beginning to give you a idea of how things lie, I'm hoping someone might be able to give me some advice.

30 years ago when I was 22 I used to do a job that involved driving round rural areas, farms etc delivering newspapers, groceries etc. This involved a fair it of jogging to get things done quicker.

I would start at 6am and this went on for two years, jogging and deeply breathing in the cold morning air and fog.

At the same time we had an open fire, so the first shake down of the grate in the morning left a tray of red burning embers which I would take down the garden. I could feel the burning heat of this as I breathed it in.

It then started. Every year I had this terrible cough from November to March, 24/7 regardless if I had just had a cold or not. My breathing, however, was never affected, just a terrible cough which ended as a squeal, bringing nothing up and leaving me exhausted.

I suggested to my then doctor that the cough could have something to do with the above two items I have just mentioned but he said no...... It's asthma.

I was prescribed Ventolin and Becotide (brown) but they never worked.

20 years later it finally stopped of its own accord! I couldn't believe my luck!

Last year I got a cold and the cough came back again afterwards. A doctor at my new surgery said when I feel a cold coming start taking the brown inhaler.

I didn't get another cold for a year till 3 weeks ago. Very bad cold and the cough started so went to doc's for an inhaler. Different doc. He checked my chest and said 'you can breath perfectly well so you don't have asthma'.

Told me to steam chest....but it's not working. Still coughing, tight chest, easy to breath though.

Husband says go back and see another doc but I have almost had enough to be honest.

The cough leaves me feeling like a piece of chewed string.

People keep looking at me while shopping, they think they will catch something?

What do you folks think and what would you do?

(sorry it was a long old message but had to get to the beginning)

Replies to: 20 year cough

Janice 14 Apr 12 10:19am

Thank you everyone for your replies.

I will follow your advice and make an appointment to see a different doctor at the surgery next week.

Janice 13 Apr 12 11:22pm

Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. I will return and see a different doctor. :)

Philomela 13 Apr 12 7:31pm

Hi Janice and welcome!

I would agree with what the others have said and with your husband. Asthma can come as a cough - cough variant asthma - so you don't necessarily need to have the 'classic' symptoms. However, some drs are better than others at recognising that asthma doesn't always present the same way.

I read recently that a startlingly high number of athletes have some degree of exercise-induced asthma, and it's thought that this may be due to them exercising a lot in the cold rather than an inborn susceptibility - though some may of course just have been likely to develop it anyway. But I wonder if you could have done something similar with all your jogging around in the cold?

I'd definitely go back and try to find a doctor who will listen and try to find a solution. Good luck!

Annista 13 Apr 12 7:24pm

Hi Janice, welcome to the forum.

Sadly, your description of your cough sounds exactly like mine - absolutely relentless and exhausting. As breathing steam hasn't helped at all m ybe you could see another GP at your surgery who would be more helpful and understand that we don't all display the same symptoms.

Good luck

glynis 13 Apr 12 7:00pm

Welcome janice to the forum. I would keep going back the docs and pushing for answers xxx

GrannyMo 13 Apr 12 6:57pm

Sounds like me. This long standing cough.

Go back to your doc and be insistent that he listens to your tale. For years, I had similar cough and had to push to be given ENT appts, barium meal just to see if maybe there was a physical cause. Started to feel they thought it was all in my head. Quite by accident, few years back, Out of Hours Doc put their finger on it - Asthma.

Started off with the brown inhaler which, yes made a difference at first but soon moved on to another inhaler. Have had numerous inhalers since. Each does a slightly different job. Can take a while to find one that works for you. Hang on in there and don't be afraid to speak out if ones not working for you.

PS I changed Doctors Surgery last summer. What a difference. Folk who properly listen to their patients and know a lot about Asthma.


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