Waiting to get diagnosed

Hello all, newbie here. I am trying to work out if its asthma, while I wait two weeks for my xray result and a nurse spirometery test appointment.

I saw my doc because I have repeated viruses and a recurrent cough and sometimes wheeze at the top of my breath. I dont quite describe it as a tight belt, more a limit at the top of my lungs. Maybe the same thing. This is especially in change of air, into cold, in from cold. After exercise or stress. I have hayfever. I had bad bronchitis as an infant. I'm 42. Dad had bad asthma as a child. Son is suspected. Some mornings I wake up with bad searing sinus pain, always left side. Gets better in the steamy shower. Sometimes I cough up green yuck in the shower (sorry!).

Lately its all got worse, after a few months back when I had tonsillitis then chest infection which my 6yr old son got and for him turned into pneumonia needing two courses of antibiotics. The doc said I never got the pneumonia. I just don't seem to shake it and am tired all the time. I've had a streessful year otherwise anyway. My breathing is shallow and breathing deeply is an effort. Standing up or going upstairs sometimes I have to catch my breath after.

Doc referred me for xray, result awaited (10 working days), and the nurse spiro test still 10 days away too.

My son had a blue reliever inhaler to try, which I tried and it did give me some relief.

I reckon I tick all the boxes? Waiting for the spiro appointment is unnerving. Cant sleep, just got up and used a steam inhaler to help clear sinuses, but not sure if its good or not. Worrying waiting and feel vulnerable. Any comments welcome!

16 Replies

  • Hi welcome i had whooping cough when i was a baby then repeated bouts of bronchitis then was fine for years after chest infection got gradually worse to cut a long story short after several inhalers was stabilised and now are relatively stable as long as i take my medication my symptoms were very similar to yours i hope you find this helpful and hope you're soon feel much better x

  • That sounds a bit similar to me. I was finally diagnosed with mild asthma early 2015, since then on medication, which helped ( though as it since has turned out I was still undermedicated). But it is obviously important to get the diagnosis, so stick with it. After my first spirometry I was put on meds to see if it would help. The final diagnosis was only after I had been on them for a while.

  • It sounds like it could be asthma. I am not a doctor though. I was diagnosed at the same age you are now and my only symptom was chest tightness. The spirometry test will indicate where your problem might be. In any event it sounds like your doctor is on top of it. I hope you get what you need from them. Best wishes, Wendy

  • Regarding the steam inhaler. I was reading about some research that has been done, that showed that the best thing for nasal sinus problems is rinsing them with salt water every day. This has worked better than any other meds, including antibiotics, or the head over the bowl of steaming water. Just don't remember er where I read it, I think k it was Southampton Hospital who did the research. Certainly sounds as if you could have Asthma, particularly if the Ventolin\salbutamol blue inhaler helped, The best thing is that you are going for your Spirometry Test. Nothing to be scared of. Let us know how you get on.

  • It is known that many people get diagnosed with asthma after suffering cold or flu. I think the reason for this is that the cold or flu has effected the movement centre control in the brain. This may lead to over tightened muscles in the breathing apparatus. You seem to indicate this.

    It is worth seeing a McTimony chiropractor to see if you have micro cramps in your breathing muscles, chest and back. Removing the cramps would make the breathing a lot easier. It is also worth seeing an Alexander Teacher to see if your head is still nicely balanced on top of your spine. Heads are heavy and if you have to hold the head up using muscle then the breathing muscles will be affected.

    It is worth investigating to see if you can remove the problem by drug free methods.

    Hope this helps.

  • Hii your symptoms sounds alot like asthma drs will confirmed it. Inhalers only work on your if you have asthma. I hope and pray you get sorted soon.

  • Thank you all for the helpful replies. I'm not so much worried about the test, more the waiting so long seems wrong, but there must be people worse off. I suppose they rely on A&E if things go bad while waiting. Reading this forum it seems a lot of trial and error, taking a long time to get it well managed. I do wonder about getting fobbed off if my spiro test looks good on paper or fail to wheeze on the day.

  • A Spirometry Test has nothing to do with whether you are or are not wheezing on the day. It measures air getting in and out of the lungs and volume. It helps identify if you have a Restrictive Lung Disease such as Asthma, where medication reduces the inflammation and the lung tubes return to their normal size; or Obstructive Lung Disease where the lungs have been damaged and the tubes are unable to return to normal size, (COPD which includes Severe Asthma where the lungs are scarred, Emphysema and Bronchiectasis).

    It will also help identify if your condition is mild, moderate, or severe. My partner had a Spirometry test the other week, and showed that he did not have any problems, however he was given a ventolin\salbutamol to take,and his readings improved, so he now has a ventolin inhaler on prescription, though he hardly uses it. I have Severe Asthma with lung scarring which shows that I have moderate COPD. I hope some of this makes sense.

  • Thanks Anne, there is so much to learn about all this! It's a shame the doctors don't give out more information as wondering while waiting is only natural.

  • Hi,

    Check out "Asthma Relief the Easy Vitamin way". As you have only just gotten worse - and from a chest infection, this might help you overcome it. I found it helped me.

  • Hi again,

    Just remembered the vitamins in the book also help sinus - a friend tried it and had great success.

    PS I've only had the tight band once even though I have lived with Asthma all my life and I fully understood what they meant by a "tight band". I was amazed that it really felt as if I had a metal (in my imagery) band about an inch wide around my chest.

  • Thanks Tungin, reassuring about the variety of symptoms people experience but still get diagnosed and interesting about the vitamins.

  • Hi is the breathing problems in throat or chest do u feel strangled sensation

  • Its my chest, see my other post for an update. Now on reliever, preventer and had some Pred during chest virus.

  • A camera test is really good way of seeing whats going on asthma is so much like other illnesses that doctors jump to that conclusion but treating people for asthma can harm them if they turn out to have a different illness i was treated for asthma for 4 years and its left me in a mess

  • My sympathy, not knowing is the worst part. Getting a diagnosis does not seem to be simple. Many options and helpful meds so don't be too downhearted. Do be prepared to work at finding a solution to your problem. Many people here to support you on your journey. Good luck, update us.

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