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recurrent chest infections

I keep getting chest infections, having had 4 since October 2012. Each time it is treated with antibiotics and clears up, however, I seem to pick up another within just a few weeks. I use symbicort, montelukast and ventolin to control my asthma, and doxycycline for chest infections (because I am allergic to penecillin and erythromycin). My doctor says that my asthma is under control as it doesn't seem to be affected by the chest infection to a risk level.

The doctor has examined my chest and it looks normal, and I have had spirometry tests which showed no changes in my asthma and no blockages. The doctor is not sure why I keep picking them up, but has advised that the complications are developing COPD or bronchitis in the future if I keep getting chest infections.

Does anyone else have this problem and any advice on how to get well?

21 Replies

Hi I am experiencing same at the moment, 6infections from oct 12, have been for lung function tests which were normal, waiting on results of allergy test and ct scan with review app with consultant in three months. Truly don't know why this is happening but advised on usual diet, exercise if you can suggest anything , will try myself. Try to keep chin up know its not easy at moment, am trying to be positive, regards


Hi I have been suffering similarly since December 2012. I think the cold, wet weather has a lot to do with it. Normally I am OK in the winter, but this time it has been different.

I also take Montelukast, Ventolin, Symbicort, Atrovent and Phyllocontin to control my asthma. At present I am on my fourth course of steroids this year, and fourth course of antibiotics.

I have never had that many chest infections in the past. I am also on Ciprofloxacin antibiotics now, as Amoxycillin did nothing for me.

I have a nebuliser at home, but it is not powerful enough. Does anyone know of a powerful, portable nebuliser, that is not too big. Keep well.



Has your Dr sent off a sputum sample to be analyzed? If not I would say this would be a good idea as the ab's you are on may not work on certain infections etc.



I too am in a similar situation, in my 31 years I have never seen a GP about a chest infection (i.e. if I ever had one, it was never bad enough to see the GP), then since Dec 2012 I have had 3 and believe I have another starting now. Antiobiotics appear to clear it up, and eventually the pred helps my asthma (GP never gives a high enough dose of the stuff!!), but then off I go again with another ;-(

I am on ventolin, montelukast and for the last month have been on seretide 250 2 puffs twice a day, previously I was on flixotide but the GP wasn't happy with my asthma control and hoped it would help with the recurrent chest infection related asthma problems (early indications appear his hopes are dashed lol)

I haven't had spirometry since May 2010 when first diagnosed, and never had further investigations eg sputum samples sent

I will be watching with interest for any replies which might shed light on this!!



I'm the same also.

I have chest infections and really inflamed lungs and really hard to breath and low pf.

I have just spent December,January,February and march on Steroids with four lots of antibs along with lots of asthma stuff.Been put on home neb now by asthma team and doctor when multi dose on reliever ten puffs 3 hourly by hospital advice so use neb then and always contact my doc and asthma team to see if need kick my steroids in and get checked up if got green gunk .I use my reliever as main reliever but.know when need my neb....lol


Hi Sandrina ,

I use a Omeron micro air neb.

Its small and fits in my bag.

uses 2 AA bateries that run for about 8 hours and option to buy mains conection for it........lol


Have you been checked to see if you have reflux or are aspirating? I was getting monthly severe chest infections and it turned out to be caused by silent reflux and aspiration.


Hi everyone, I am new to this forum stuff so apologise if I ask questions that have already been addressed etc please bare with me!

I am a 32 year old woman who has has chest infections (that feel continuous!) for the last two years. I go to my doctor and am given antibiotics and steroids (which they find had to ween me off!) I have been for test after test and have finally been referred to the RVI at Newcastle for Omalizumab injections. I was just wondering if anyone has had or experience of these injections??? My asthma is that erratic and brittle that I am unable to work and complete my teaching degree! Hope you can help, would be nice to talk to people who understand :-)


Hi Elphaba! Welcome to the boards - i haven't had Xolair (Omalizibub) myself, if you search in the box at the top you can see all the posts that mention it, (http://forum.asthma.org.uk/yaf_postst10767_Starting-Xolair.aspx for example) I know some people have really positive experiences and some negative, sadly i guess like every medication it varies. Have you seen your consultant in newcastle yet? Have they specifically said you'll be getting the injections, i only warn you i was reffered being specifically told that because of my IgE levels i would be having Xolair, and then they decided to go down a different route - just worth not getting your hopes up for a specific treatment (even though i was happy to try anything that might work - i had it built up in my mind and then was dissapointed things didnt go as expected)

ave you looked into DSA (https://www.gov.uk/disabled-students-allowances-dsas/eligibility) this can provide things like taxis to get you to and from lectures, note-takers for when you are too ill to go in, difference in accomodation costs if you need to live somewhere specific (eg for accessibility reasons - i have only heard of this in cases where someone specifically needs an en-suite, so not sure if it works for geographical issues), laptops so you can work in hospital, dictaphones to record lectures, software to make it easier and faster for you to work. Obviously what you will get varies dependant on your specific circumstances, my uni course is currently being affected by the amount of time i spend in hospital, so i am given funding to help me keep up no matter where i am studying. Not 100% sure it is suitable for your course - some ones aren't eligible - but you can look that up yourself. It takes a while to sort but it can be very beneficial!!

i'm sure others can give more advice (i tend not to get that many chest infections personally) but thought I'd help with the studying side of the issue :-)

hope things are sorted for you soon!!!


Thanks Soph, I have finished my actual degree but it's the QTS (Qualified teacher status) I am yet to get because I collapsed on placement with three weeks to go to completion and since have been to unwell to complete! What course are you studying?

I was told by consultant that he would be referring me as he is hopeful it will work?! At thisoment in time and almost two years on I am willing to try anything!!!!!


Hi I've been looking for reasons why over the last two years there have been many chest infections. I picked up three or four from June 2012 throughout the year. Having asthma that has got progressively worse over the last 7 years sonce hitting 40 and not a wheeze before the since I was about 7 it has become life changing.

The one thing I have noticed is over tha last two years how easily and regularly I have picked up a chest infection one after the other back to back over the whole year. I actually noticed three weeks when I stopped coughing earlier this year and it was literally like a breath of fresh air and coming back into a world which I had forgotten. What's going on? Somebody must be looking at the health statistics and seeing a trend. I know now it's not just asthmatic me , many colleagues have suffered multiple infections but not all of them need about 5 ventilation inhalers dotted around their bedside, car, pocket, wife's handbag, just in case.

Soayne someone knows something. Has London become more polluted? Is there a strain of something different going around that we haven't seen before? Is it just timing? I.e. my age/ asthma sensitivity/ current pollution level meets a normal two year round of virus cycle? I hope it clears up otherwise the next few years are going to be a nightmare. I might have to move somewhere warm and sunny with a nearby desert to improve my quality of life. The human body is pretty robust and I'm usually healthy, fit and positive but this is really beginning to have an impact on a normally very normal human!

1 like

It's a relief to find I'm not the only one suffering recurring chest infections. I was a mild asthmatic, having only needed reliever occasionally, been on basic Clenil for preventer, and never needed a trip to A&E. I'm now on Seretide accuhaler after my peak flow dropped last year and have been through more ventolin in the last 8 months than the previous 4 years combined. I am on my 3rd chest infection this year having never had one before. Antibiotics do clear it, but within a few weeks my persistent cough is back and as soon as I go through a few nights without enough sleep another chest infection hits. Unfortunately my so called asthma nurse is useless, and I've since discovered isn't qualified, which doesn't surprise me seeing as she doesn't even know she's using an out of date peak flow measure.

I'm due an asthma check-up next week, which my surgery will insist is with the unqualified nurses, so who knows what rubbish she'll come out with. She'll probably tell me I don't have asthma again, and that I don't have a chest infection either.

Do specialists / consultants only deal with severe cases? I have no idea whether my surgery are doing all that can be done for me, or whether they should be referring me for tests / consultant.



I have exactly the same as Littlegoth!! Have had three chest infections a cough and have suffered mild asthma since 40year old and am now late 50s and I am now on my third lot of penicllan since last September! I will ask to see a consultant if this persists though..


I have a chest infection just had it a week had chest x raytoday.

still bringing up thick yucky flem.

& have a cough as well nearly finished antibiotics but they still have not done anything for me

will have to go back to gp


It's just going into spring over here and, even though winter was mild this year, I've had 6 weeks worth of antibiotics. Pants! Only just diagnosed as asthmatic and getting used to it all.


hi all

went back to see gp still coughing they have now put me on amoxicillin 500mg.

no better by next friday i have to go back again.

This is 3rd lot of antibiotics hope it clears up this time.

hope you all ok love destiny


Mybacteria was resistant to amoxicillin


I get a lot of admissions chest infections. My latest 4 day admission was severe acute asthma exacerbated by an LRTI, so on antibiotics til mon after over 2 days of IVs.

I think asthmatics are more prone to them?


I had this problem very recently, was getting to the point where I was having one about once a week. If anyone is reading this and suffering from similar problems I would recommend checking your room for black mould and getting a dehumidifier running. This was the case for me and ever since it's been working haven't had a single chest infection, can't guarantee anything but it is a suggestion.


anyone had silent chest with their asthma it is apparently potential fatal end spectrum of acute asthma if so what cured it? I havd had 5 lots of antibiotics in 4 weeks and spent time in resus and HDU. Before this winter it must be nearly 20 years since I had a problem with my asthma and just dont know whats happening just now...


Hi, I recommend getting a sputum test (if you are bringing up anything). I kept getting chest infections which got worse with each one. No doc took me seriously til I took pics of what I was coughing up and took in a sample to be checked. It was found that I had a a resistant bacterial infection resistant o certain anti-biotics. They then knew what to treat it with. It took a while but thank god I am now fine. Even my asthma has cleared.


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