Log in
Asthma UK community forum
12,201 members18,122 posts

Chest infection hell

Hi everyone, this is my first time posting here, I was diagnosed with asthma seven years ago at the age of 20 though have always suffered from bad chest infections, I have got a really bad chest infection at the mo and feeling quite low. It's so depressing not being able to move without awful coughing, wheezing and chest tightness and now after 4 days very sore ribs! I did not sleep well at all due to coughing and wheezing and felt quite anxious this morning, knowing that another day of incessant coughing and inability to breathe was ahead of me. Reading everyone's supportive and understanding comments on here for other threads has been so comforting. It's so good to know I'm not alone. Anyone else out there dreading the next coughing fit?

11 Replies

Hi Stffe88, welcome to the site so sorry you are having such a tough time, perhaps a call to your docs or the helpline might help you good luck ♥

1 like

Hi Stffe88, welcome to the forum.

Believe me, you are not alone in the problems you are experiencing at the moment - as you've probably noticed from other threads on the forum. I went down with a viral infection late on Christmas Eve which started with a cough. Nearly two weeks later I'm still coughing. Antibiotics prescribed at the end of December may have stopped a chest infection developing (and may also have prevented sinusitis) but my peak flow is still not back to normal levels and the antibiotics finished yesterday. But from what I've been reading of the experiences of others, I've got off lightly.

Do you have a peak flow metre?


Hi MaggieHP, thanks for your reply,

That's a long time to be coughing you must be absolutely sick of it by now! I hope it clears up for you soon. I think I am in need of some antibiotics to help fight the infection but my doctors was fully booked today so I shall have to try again tomorrow. I do have a peak flow metre but unfortunately it got left at my mum's house so I'm without it at the moment.

This infection came on very suddenly, one evening I was coughing a tickly cough and then the next day ithad totally taken hold. my salbutamol inhaler ran out the day I got the cough so that was awful waking up to wheezing and no relief. Thankfully I have got a new one now. Don't know what I would do without it! Thank god there is some medicated relief that can help with attacks. I often think about what it must have been like for people before there were inhalers and what torture it must have been!


It wasn't great. I developed asthma when I was three years old, but it was a another five years before it was diagnosed. This was back in the 1960s when asthma was too often diagnosed as 'a tendency to bronchitis' or 'a weak chest'. I can still recall being sat on my mother's lap in the middle of the night as she rubbed my back in an effort to get me to relax. I was eventually diagnosed aged eight, my father (now in his nineties) can still recall the difference the correct medication for the condition made. Years later my parents were present when my younger son (then not quite four) had an attack at nearly midnight. We called out an emergency doctor who put him straight onto a nebuliser. My parents were astonished at how quickly it took effect. Less than a minute compared to the sometimes up to an hour (which might then be repeated later in the same night) to calm things down when I was a child.

Re your doctor. Did you explain the situation to the receptionist? At my local surgery they will try to fit me in if I think I have a chest infection brewing; they're well aware that I'm asthmatic and they've seen what can happen if things spiral out of control.


Wow that sounds truly terrifying, how frightening to have to go through that as a child with no relief from the discomfort, we do take all these modern medicines and gadgets for granted I suppose!

I'm not in the best situation with a doctors at the moment. I'm registered at a doctors where my family lives which is over an hour away. I keep meaning to register somewhere else but always end up putting it off as the docs at my mums is really good and I want to find one that's to the same standard. I registered as a temporary patient somewhere to get my inhaler, it's silly to put it off really because then when I get ill like this obviously I'm in a bit of a pickle!

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me, it's a real comfort to know that other people understand.


I'm afraid you really do need to sort that out. I know it's intimidating to find a new practice when you're used to a good one, but there are plenty of good doctors out there. Do you have any neighbours you could ask for recommendations? Getting a good working relationship with your GP is really important when it comes to controlling something like asthma. It's also a good idea to get know the other GPs in the practice if you can. If you need to see a doctor urgently, there's no guarantee that you'll get to see your own GP.


Heya, you're definitely not alone - having even a basic cold is terrifying for an asthmatic because of that chest infection lurking around the corner. Don't be afraid to load up on paracetamol to deal with the rib pain, one less thing to worry about! What asthma meds are you on at the moment? I'm on Day 10 of my flare-up and I needed to be changed to a new inhaler to try and get things under control. I'm not out of the woods yet but I think there's been an improvement so I'm trying to get as much sleep as possible XD


Hi Madmazda86, good call on the paracetamol, reminded me to take more thank you! I'm on a preventive inhaler and a salbutamol inhaler so relatively basic meds, I have an appointment with an asthma nurse Monday so will see if I need to change inhalers. I've done pretty well avoiding a chest infection for a couple of years now, which is definitely down to the clenil preventer as before I had that I got chest infections regularly. Sleep is definitely one of the best medicines isn't it? It's so easy to start breaking down and giving up if you don't get enough sleep, everything becomes so much harder! I hope you start to feel better soon and get a good nights sleep this evening


Monday's a long time to be suffering till! Is your asthma waking you up in the night? Are you needing your blue inhaler throughout the day and night? Are you getting less than 3 hours relief from using your blue inhaler? If the answer to these questions is yes then you need to see a doctor asap even if you have to go to an out of hours GP or whatever. You have to break the cycle of inflammation in order for things to die down. How many puffs of Clenil you taking just now? I was on Clenil 100 before and my asthma action plan was to max the dose (8 puffs a day) and if no relief after a few days go to GP and get steroids.


Yeah please go and get checked i put off going for 3 weeks and am now in hospital on iv antibiotics, iv steroids and nebulisers and habe been told he will only be happy to discharge me when my pf is 75% of my predicted vaule when i came in my pf was 260 (33%) so have a fair way to go to the 480 he would like


How are feeling now Kashwi?


You may also like...