Negative spirometry

I've just had a spirometry for reversibility and the before results were almost perfectly normal while the after results showed half the level of improvement needed for diagnosis.

I've had an inhaler for over 20yrs and take it most days, at least once but recently more.

I had a peak flow trial while starting a brown inhaler and saw a lot of variation but nothing to show the inhaler was helping, I wasn't taking my blue inhaler less either.

Took the test and was quite wheezy which was made worse with the test. Took the Ventolin and I'm still not fully recovered, still coughing up mucus and wheezy on the out breath - as I was during the second part of the test. I even took another puff of Ventolin on the way to the car.

I am set to trial a higher dose brown inhaler with another peak flow trial. I was about to start Seritide which I was prescribed many years ago with success but as a uni student and young adult this slipped and I've only had short term use of preventers since. I've never been hospitalised thankfully but do need my Ventolin and carry everywhere, when I did forget recently the symptoms didn't pass but got worse until I managed to get an inhaler off a lovely pharmacist as an emergency.

So if I don't have asthma what do I have? I get the symptoms and my peak flow isn't as high as it should be but the spirometry is normal. I suspect without Ventolin I'd be in big trouble so I'll be prescribed inhalers, I hope, but they won't be classified as for asthma.

2 Replies

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  • Wish I could help but do not have the knowledge but if you phone the helpline they will be able to :-)

  • Hi.

    That sounds very complicated! If I'm reading it right what you are saying is you often feel wheezy & ventolin helps that but the spirometry readings aren't throwing up the numbers that would indicate a formal diagnosis?

    If that's correct then I think it probably does need a more detailed conversation with the doctor. I don't know enough about diagnostic parameters to say what that would mean.

    It might be that you just haven't found the right preventer or dose, so see if the new one helps. There are of course all sorts of other possibilities other than asthma. If the cough is very productive then maybe press for a sputum sample which might give some clues.

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