Asthma UK community forum
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Apparently there's nothing wrong with me??

I can't find my original post, it may have been deleted when the Forums were being worked on.

Quick recap:

In February I developed a terrible cough that didn't go away. It progressed to nighttime coughing and then eventually wheezing after coughing. I went to the walk in clinic where I was told I may have mild asthma and prescribed a one off blue inhaler.

I waited two weeks but the coughing didn't stop, so I went to my own doctor. A new doctor I'd not seen before. He listened to my chest, sounded fine. Gave me antibiotics incase I had a chest infection. Sent me for a chest X-ray. X-ray was clear, no infection. Referred me to the hospital for tests...


It's been a while since I've posted. The main reason is I've been doing ALOT of waiting and there's really not much to write about that. Lol!

I got referred to the hospital by my GP.   I went to my appointment. Whilst there I was coughing constantly. The test was blowing in to a tube attached to a machine. I could see a graph going up and down as I breathed. Quite fascinating. In the little room I'm sure the nurse could hear the whistling noise in between my coughing.

She clipped a peg on my finger to measure the oxygen in my blood but couldn't get a reading. She tried another machine but still the reading was going up and down and wouldn't settle. In the end she did a very strange test that she said they do on diabetics (I'm not diabetic) and scraped my ear and took some blood to test. She said it was fine.

Today: I went to see the doctor. Was in his office for about 5 mins, it was so quick. He said the result came back clear, very pleased. I'm fit and healthy. And his words, ""There is thing wrong with you.""

He said the test results showed I was hyperventilating. I said that was probably because I was nervous. He agreed. He asked me about my symptoms. I said I am still coughing and wheezing. He said that was due to allergies, that allergies make your throat close up. He said the coughing is me hyperventilating and I should try to breathe in to a paper bag.


I was too embarrassed to say anymore. He's the professional. I said I was pleased that I was ok. I'm annoyed though and don't want to go back, but I don't think everything is fine. I don't want to have to up with coughing and wheezing and feeling crap because my chest feels stuffy!

I do not hypherventiate!!! Why would I??? Coughing randomly comes on...

From what I've read on the net I think I may have cough variant asthma, but the doctor knows best.

I feel upset :(

9 Replies

Hyperventilation syndrom or dsyfunctional breathing is more common among people than people care to admit to. Its not like the old fashioned panic attacks more people forgoet how to breath properly and need to re teach there bodies. It can make you wheeze and can make a cough but it is much easier to treat than asthma. The first step is to accept the diagnosis (even in not completely convinced) and actively particpate in chest physio. The physios are great at confirming what bits are asthma and what isn't.

There is a very good book about hyperventilation syndrom and its worth a read.

Please just as got a hyperventilation diagnosis doesn't mean you get panic attacks


Thanks for your response.

I don't hypherventilate. I breathe normally. I have a cough during the night, cough after exercise. When I'm somewhere dusty I cough and whistle.

I think he's said it because of the test... Yes I was nervous and it was hot in the room. Strange tubes to breathe in to. I was coughing too. Also I mentioned that when I got upset last week and I was crying I found myself gulping for air and then had a bad coughing fit.


Hyperventilation might not be what your expecting it can be breathing more from top of chest rather than diaphragm more common after exercising everything asthmatic has a potential to have hyperventilation syndrome as I see it as the chest forgets to tell the head your breathing is fine. It can make what appears to you out of control asthma when in fact its in control mild etc and the breathing pattern making it worse


I understand what you are saying but...

My only symptom is a cough which eventually leads to a whistling noise. Using the blue inhaler stops this. I don't get out of breath, just have massive coming fits. I even get coughing fits when I laugh. Lol.

Like I mentioned earlier... I cough a lot during the night (I use a sleep talk recorder) and my breathing sounds fine, but the irritating cough is loud!

Can I ask... Do you yourself suffer from the hypherventiating disorder that you mentioned?


Hmm sounds familiar, I have been where you are! Everyone is different but I did get past this in the end.

As Bird says you may be hyperventilating on top of asthma as this is quite common. However, it doesn't necessarily mean you don't also have asthma. Doctors can be wrong, and even if your symptoms are all hyperventilation, he should be helping you to treat them with more than just telling you to breathe into a paper bag, which as far as I know isn't recommended for hyperventilation anymore. If breathing wrongly is causing all this, he should send you to a chest physio or someone else who can help with exercises etc, not just tell you to sort it out by yourself at home, which shows rather a lack of concern about how these symptoms affect you, whatever is causing them.

However, if the inhaler helps, without trying to diagnose here as I am not a doctor and this is a forum, I'd say it's at least possible you have more going on and you should keep pushing them for some answers. I'd book in with a different GP at the surgery if you can, hopefully someone who is a better listener and less dismissive, and ask for help with the symptoms and to at least consider the cough variant asthma issue (while net diagnosing generally isn't a great idea, from reading about people's experiences on here and my own it does seem like a sensible possibility).

Before that, though, I'd also ring the nurses on here. They give very good advice and should be able to tell you what to do next, answer questions without you feeling pressured and maybe help with things to raise with the doctor when you see them.

Hope this helps - I do know how frustrating it can be! Some doctors can be great and are good at using their knowledge but I think all of us on here have encourntered one or two who don't do this, don't listen and don't consider all the evidence (in this case, how your symptoms affect you and the pattern as well as the test results).


This is similar to my story, I kept going back to my GP and eventually they treated me for asthma and I improved even though I passed all the tests which indicated I didn't have it, now they say you cant always go by those tests they are just a guide!!


Cough is a symptom of hyperventilation syndrome as well as teh whisling noise...

I have in the past suffred from it was having allot of attacks and going through a rough patch asthma wise and i was so used to breathing what was easier for me not whatthe best way was. I saw the chest physios and after 2 appointments it was cured..

Try physio and go in with an open mind


I have hyperventilation aswell as asthma, my chest physio told me I was breathing to fast, when I was there for my asthma, she told me I breath from my diaphram which is correct but that I breath to fast so she gave me some really good breathing excersises to do which were really helpful and I find using them when I'm stressed etc really helpful.

I also had normal lung function results but my consultant said that due to my history and symptoms I probably do have asthma, maybe try asking for a second opinion or try seeing someone different, hope you feel better soon.



try another GP also have cough whch depending on which GP I see is either asthma or ?


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