Asthma UK community forum

Bad cold

Hi! I feel a bit bad about bothering you with all my questions over time, but you are so helpful. Short background: got a semi diagnosis after a persistent cough for 6 months, started treatment, then on follow up appointment we did a spirometry which came back negative (i was however taking my preventer at the time), thus no official diagnosis. Now I got a cold again and I don't really know what to do. I hate going to the doctors so I don't want to go unless I really have to.

I've had the cold for about a week, and on day 2 of the cold it hit my chest. I've now been blowing peak flows of 260 in the morning and 350 in the evening (personal best of 410, bust mostly blow 350) since then. Is this normal? Or should I got to see my dr? I do take the ventoline a couple of times a day, which helps. I also have a LOT of gunk in my lungs, especially in the morning, which almost feels like it's going to choke me sometimes. How long does it usually take for it to go away? I'm assuming this will all end in months and months of dry coughing, like it did last time.

How much of this is caused by the infection, and how much of it is asthma? I get like this every time I get a cold...

6 Replies

I would see your GP, that's exactly how I get with a cold and always end up needing steroids & antibiotics. Sounds like you have a chest infection. I was told if my peak flow goes to 300 or below to start my steroids. I've been struggling for a month now after a cold so understand how you feel. Hope you feel better soon.


I can echo that whenever I get a cold it hardly ever bothers me in terms of cold symptoms, but the chest problems can go on for months (& to be honest, antibiotics don't always fix it).

I don't really know what exactly would cause you the cough. Probably a mix of virus, infection & asthma, but I would definitely have a word with both your GP & the asthma nurse if there is one. They might encourage you to change the amount of preventer you are taking or even try a different inhaler.

I'd also try some clearance techniques to keep shifting the gunk. Probably the best is to breath in deeply through your nose, then purse your lips (as if blowing out a candle), then blow out as long as you can. Eventually you will trigger a cough which will push out some of the gunk & hopefully give you some respite.

Good luck & get well soon.


If anyone has a lung infection they should see a doctor. As regards 'gunk', well, I find warm drinks (I prefer black coffee) help - lots of fluid in general is helpful. Some people have recurrent lung symptoms that may or may not be infections or asthma. Sufficient sleep, fluids and enough time in low irritant environments can help. best wishes, Ollie.


Hi if you are coughing up coloured phlegm then the golden rule is to see your doctor for ab's (and maybe steroids) as it is probably a chest infection. You need to be proactive as more damage could be caused to your lungs by undue delay. Don't leave it get it treated. x


yep go to your GP as you may need antibiotics and/or steroids.


Thanks for all your replies :) how do I know if I have a lung infection? My body feels pretty ok besides from the coughing, chest pain (which are probably just sore muscles), gunky airways, and the aching sinuses. I don't have a fever, and the lung gunk is clear, as opposed to the nose gunk, which is yellow.

I went 7 years without having a cold, and when i got the previous one, i ended up with an asthma diagnosis, hence all my stupid questions. When i was younger (and also had asthma), it would play out exactly like now and last for months, so I pretty much continuously had a cold.

I guess I'll give my GP a call over the weekend if I'm not getting any better.

How do your colds usually play out?


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