Chronic Asthma but Lung Function Normal

Hi Peeps

I've had Chronic Asthma all my life and have inhalers to control it.

Recently its been completely out of control and i'm now on: Seretide 250 / Ciclesonide 160 / Azithromycin 3 times a week.

I've had a lung function test a couple of years ago and it wasn't that great.... But I went for the test again today and the nurse that was doing the test said my airways seem normal..

I'm confused as I still suffer every night with wheezing etc..

What do you guys think, I felt like a bit of a fraud... I have been intouch with my consultants secretary who is going to get the Dr to look at the results and call me back.

Any advice would be gratefully received



3 Replies

  • Hi Hayley and welcome!

    You are definitely not the only one with this issue here or a fraud (thoguh I know that feeling). My readings are just weird and there are others with 'normal' spirometry and asthma problems. 3 reasons I can think of off the top of my head:

    1) Even if you're bad generally at the moment, you just happened to be having a good period when you were doing the tests, since asthmatics can have totally normal LF if not having problems. I know my lungs have an annoying habit of behaving themselves for the short time I see a doctor/have tests even if they had been acting up before! (It doesn't help when my appt is in the afternoon as that's my best time of day - what time did you do these tests?).

    2) Had you been told to leave off inhalers beforehand? If so, for how long? Might be that you had some too close to the tests, because you needed it or by accident - there seem to be varying views on how long you're meant to leave it but I think it's 6 hours minimum for relievers and some places also like you to not take your preventers (esp if you had Seretide that morning, the LABA might have contributed to your results and some places like 24 hours off absolutely everything, to be sure it's not going to affect the results).

    3)Your predicted best and your actual best are not the same. Maybe a few years ago you were really struggling, or your best was closer to predicted? On one occasion I had FEV1 of 90% predicted which is supposed to be fine, but the consultant's letter said actually it wasn't as good as it looked because the FVC was a lot better than predicted. I think mostly they have to go on predicted because it's hard to know what someone's personal best would be given they can't do it at home (unless you get a weird result like that one I had) but it is worth bearing this in mind - if you've done lost of sports/singing/played a wind instrument, that might affect things.

    Hope this helps a bit - good luck! Oh and I always say this, but the AUK adviceline nurses (number top right of the page) are great so if you are confused about things it's worth ringing them.

  • Hi Philomela

    Thanks for your reply.

    It wasn't a Spirometry test it was full lung function (3 tests)

    I didn't take any meds before going, and my appointment was this morning.

    I phone the nurse adviceline, and the lady I spoke to was great... she said not to worry and that I wasn't a fraud..

    Thanks again for the advice


  • oops sorry, I have just realised that, not sure why I thought just spiro! Though my weird result of 90% FEV1 post-bronchodilator was also on the 'full monty' come to think of it. I have just been told so many different things about taking inhalers beforehand that I thought maybe yours could be affecting the test results!

    Did they do reversibility testing? Sometimes I find that really helps because then 'ok within 80%' for me suddenly shoots up over predicted and then they can see the first ones weren't quite as good as they were thinking; I think that comparison helps.

    Glad AUK were helpful; I've generally found them v reassuring about this sort of thing as they deal with such a variety of people. Hope you can get further along with getting things controlled now.

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