chest clear but difficulty breathing


I went to see my doc on thursday with a chesty cough and breathing problems, my doc said my chest was clear (surprise, surprise!) and gave me some antibiotics to take if chest wasn't any better in a few days, I then mentioned that I was having really bad coughing fits where I couldn't catch my breath and was coughing all night and she gave me some pred but said I didn't need it at the moment due to my chest being clear. She also said that if I felt I needed to take pred they would need to see me incase I needed a nebuliser. So now I am unsure when to take anything! does anyone else go to the doc feeling really poorly only for them to say ""well your chest is clear so you're not that bad!"" it's so frustrating!


9 Replies

  • Yes I've had that before. I know the symptoms of a chest infection in myself, so if I go to the GP I'm sure it won't just get better on its own and I just take the antibiotics and pred without waiting. I've only once been told that there was a wheeze when a doctor has listened to my chest, but I've definitely needed the pred each time I've had it, as I couldn't walk anywhere or talk for any length of time without coughing and getting short of breath.

    I think it could be partly due to the fact that I've already had loads of ventolin by the time I see a doctor, so that might be why chest sounds clear.

  • I was coughing non stop while she listened to my chest and actually couldn't take a deep breath! but she didn't seem atall concerned, she also told to use a spacer when taking my inhaler so I asked her what do I do if i'm on the train or out somewhere, and she just told me to take my meds before I leave my house, which really wasn't very helpful! I think I will probably just start taking eveything tomorrow due to still being very chesty etc.


  • oh this one - I swear we should start a club or something! It's so annoying isn't it, and you feel like a fraud even though you know you're not and the symptoms are real. I often wish I just wheezed as it doesn't actually seem to mean the asthma is really any worse most of the time (this could be total rubbish but it just seems to be an individual thing is the impression I get from here) and it would make this sort of thing easier.

    Luckily my GP now knows me pretty well, so if I go to him with symptoms like that he will listen but if he doesn't hear anything he'll say so and still give me antibs etc or whatever if from the sound of my symptoms I might need them - it helps having someone who listens to what I'm saying as well as what my chest isn't doing!

    Given that (and the fact that RBH when I told them I had similar symptoms just stuck me on antibs and pred right away even before seeing me so it's clearly not an unreasonable thing to do - when they did see me a couple of days later chest was clear but they still had me take the steroids for quite a while), I would just start them now, see how it goes, and if you're not getting anywhere go back - but perhaps not to the same GP? Is she your usual one? It can be hard to get the one you want for an urgent appt but if she is your usual one I'd try another one as she does sound massively unhelpful!

  • Yep I know the feeling

    Maybe I should get a top with a qoute from a clinical text book listing coughing as a symptoms of asthma or clear chest dosn't mean it's ok and wear to to visit my gps!

    Maybe they would take the hint?

    Coughing so much vomiting occurs has anyone else had this experance?

  • Not actually been sick tyber but can be gagging in the mornings - very unpleasant!

    On top of the clear chest problem, I seem to get a kick of adrenaline when I'm going to see a doctor, so the symptoms I've had will disappear while I'm in there and come back as soon as I leave!

    Luckily my GP & asthma nurse usually listen to what I'm saying has been happening and decide what to do based on that.

    Lejaya if you were coughing that much in her office, that's even worse! Definitely think you should try to see someone else if possible.

  • I do sometimes wheeze but not very often and the doc occasionaly hears a few crackles but most of the time my chest is lovely and clear, even when one time I was coughing up massive amounts of green phlegm, my chest was still clear! luckily I have a note from my cons telling my doc to give me antibiotics to keep at home to use as a rescue pack, so I just take that with me!

    you are very lucky to be able to see the same doc, I always see someone different, due to my surgery being rather large and having a very high staff turn over!

    I really do just wish that my chest would make the right noises at the right times and not when I'm at work or trying to sleep!


  • and tyler i have never actually been sick from coughing but I often gag alot to the point where I am almost sick. sometimes I wonder if It would be better I actually was, might get rid of a whole load of phlegm!

  • ah I get you - annoying! My surgery is pretty small and it's the same one I was registered with at uni with all the doctors who were there then still there! Doesn't help if you see someone different all the time, there isn't a smaller surgery anywhere close that you could register with instead to get some continuity?

    Also know what you mean about never the right time! I once had to ring OOH at 4am with what turned out to be the start of bronchitis (I was coughing loads when I moved, had had loads of reliever and couldn't lie back properly). OOH were really unhelpful and just told me I could trek across town to see them if I wanted but not to take any more reliever (wtf?) I went to see a GP in my practice that afternoon and of course I was much better, she was thorough but just said I had a virus and to rest but clearly didn't believe I had any asthma problems or anything more than other people with the same virus. I kept saying I wouldn't make an urgent appt or even bother to see her for a viral infection unless something else was going on, and it was 'up most of the night with breathing issues' that got me, but of course at 3pm after taking reliever it wasn't nearly as bad. Then got worse again and I started hacking things up, which I could tell would happen as the cough I had to start with was that painful one where you know there's stuff there but it won't come up.

    Anyway sorry for ramble, but you are not alone - hope you feel better soon! xx

  • Sometimes I have some good crackles and wheezing, but sometimes my chest sounds clear even when pf is down. When struggling I've had people listen to my chest and then say anything from 'it sounds clear' to 'oo, your chest sounds really awful'

    I have coughed so violently that I've been sick. Not good as being sick/acid is a trigger for me.

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