Asthma UK community forum
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Introduction/Quick Question

Hi there, Health Unlockeders!! {Hmm, is that even a word?!} My name is Adelyn & I'm 22. I've had asthma & allergies/hayfever most of my life.

I have a quick question for you all, although I'm not sure l'll be able to ask it in a way that actually makes sense, so if you all look at me with a face displaying utter confusion, I'll know that it didn't make any sense whatsoever hehe! Here goes! So, at the beginning of my asthma attacks, when my chest starts to tighten, it feels sort of tickly, and as though it's a lot harder to breathe out, but I can still seem to breathe in fairly fine, I just breathe a lot faster. I usually cough a lot during an attack, and as it worsens, it feels like air isn't getting out at all, and then I also have a lot more trouble breathing in, due to the coughing etc. I'm just going to note here, that I never, ever, ever wheeze. Well, maybe once or twice, but hardly ever, that I can hear/feel at least. Anyway, it gets to the point where I can't get any air out, and I can't get any in, although I'm sure that's mostly due to the fact that there's no room left in there. My main question is, does this sound like a typical attack, as I know a lot of the time, people say that they feel like they can't get air in when their chest tightens, but getting it out is fine?? Whereas, for me, the coughing makes it extremely hard to breathe in, but breathing out feels almost impossible, not so much the breathing in.

Ahh, very sorry for the huge ramble!! This is something I have wondered about for a while, and thought that this might be the place to ask. Hopefully my question does somewhat make sense, and once again, I apologize for the essay of a question!! Very much looking forward to meeting you all!! xx

6 Replies

Hi, I'm a brittle asthmatic who rarely wheezes, I find at the beginning of an attack I can get air in, not a huge amount but in non the less but not so much going out, as the attack progresses I find it harder and harder to move air either way to the point, sorry for the odd description coming up but not sure how else to put it lol, my lungs feel like all the air has been sucked out to the point that the inside of my lungs are stuck to each other like a sucked out capri sun packet and each time I try and get air in there's no room for it. Does that make an sense whatsoever? 🙈 I hope it has helped in some way lol xx


Hey, thank you for your message! Oddly enough, I totally relate to the feeling you're explaining haha, so thank you for taking the time to leave me a message. I'm getting the impression that what I'm feeling is considered normal for asthma, so that's a relief. Others have described it very differently to the way I feel, so I was really just wondering if the way I felt during an attack was typical. Thanks again for your response!! 😃

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Haha my doctors find my asthma complex, I generally have none of the usual symptoms of asthma being that I don't wheeze etc I have also found as I've gotten older more things trigger me, I don't respond well to steroids either. I'm glad that my description helped, it's always nice to know ur not alone in feeling or getting symptoms differently to what's considered the norm xx


I'm brittle too and know this feeling. I agree with all the comments


I hope this helps. Asthma is a respiratory problem where the airways constrict your breathing out, hence the cough and the difficulty in speaking. You breath faster because your brain is reacting to the increase in carbon dioxide in your system and wants the right balance back. I have never really understood why our chests hurt.


My asthma isn't severe or brittle but I know exactly what you mean by that 'tickle ' feeling. Every time my asthma does flare I get it: that 'inner itch' that you would love to scratch but can't get at; I usually end up rubbing my chest.

As others have said, you're not alone with the 'no wheeze'. In my case I use to wheeze as a child, but don't seem to now. Fortunately my GPs don't seem to rely on the wheeze/no wheeze - they will check peak flow and oxygen sats. But they have known me a long time (over twenty years) and they know that I know my asthma very well.


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