Further tests?

Had a pretty rubbish few months with 7 admissions to hospital between November and January! As well as that I ended up missing one of my university exams so I have the joy of that to sort out as well!

My consultant referred me for an induced sputum and a challenge test to try and work out how hyper-responsive my airways are (so we can work out exactly how much anti-allergy medication I need to be on!). Although who knows when they will be as they were ordered at the end of November but I still don't have a date through yet.

But I was wondering if anyone has had these tests before and could let me know what they're like? As I'm quite nervous about the challenge test in particular as I know its essentially designed to induce an attack :(

22 Replies

  • Dear JS I am very sorry to hear how ill you are with asthma, but the main thing you will have to do is find out what is triggering your asthma, once you find this out you will be able to eliminate them from your life and especially your home.

    I have found the main problem for me was Boi-Washing powder/tablets for washing my clothes and especially my bedding, I then went one to buy a Air Filter/Conditioner, these two thing made all the difference and straight away the difference is amazing. I am able to breath all night and I now sleep the best in years with my "Air Filter"

    Information is what you need to get control. Take heart in knowing you can find your "Triggers"

    I do hope you soon find out what is triggering your asthma.


  • Thank you for your reply :) I'm definitely getting there with triggers - I've always struggled with allergies so have never used bio-washing powder thankfully!

    Also bought a dehumidifier for my room which has definitely helped a lot too.

    Its just getting really annoying as it feels like every time I identify and remove one trigger there's another one that I didn't know about!


  • Dear JS Happy to hear you are finding ways to improve your bedroom. Just wanted to say the Air Purifier is about taking so much from the Air in your bedroom, this will take so much of the dust, pollen etc in a lot of cases it is the "polluted" air that also effects us asthma suffers.

    I hope I have said it right. If your bedroom is damp you are right to use a dehumidifier.

    I hope you get some very good results from the tests.

    Good luck xx

  • Ah yes sorry, I believe my dehumidifier does both things :)

  • Hi dust mites are a very common trigger so you need to make sure all bedding is washed at a temperature of at least 60%, otherwise it doesn't kill them. x

  • Do you know if its possible for them to be a trigger if I'm not allergic to them? Because I've had my allergy testing done and they're not an issue in that regard. x

  • That's good news then x

  • Hi..sputum test I have done they analyze your mucus when you expectorate..a challenge test is that on the bike or the 6mns walking test I don't know..If you think it is allergies you need to find what triggers you have..I am going again to an allergologist on March 20th..you know the problem is even if we mustn't have antihistamins a week before we do take steroids so that lowers our allergic response.

  • I know - the tests are such a pain!

    I think the challenge test is something to do with inhaling a chemical that makes your airways constrict and they see how much they have to give you before you have problems

  • Ohhhhhh I wouldn't like that!!! Good luck with that one!!!

  • Yeahhh definitely not looking forward to it!

  • I'll tell you the ones I have when I go..I already went to St Mary's hospital to have 6 tests like pollen, animal hair etc it all came back negative..then had 18 ones in Switzerland they all came back positive!! Now I have been developing food allergies..it only gets worse I swear..

  • Oh wow that's bizarre! But yeah the allergies never seem to end - I now basically can't eat any raw fruit because of some weird interaction with my pollen allergies that has developed!

  • yes it is because I took a lot of steroids at the time I think..There are connectives but i don't know which one. I know I can't have pineapple any more..nothing spicy either..I had mint tea at my mother's and that started it..and reactions to meds are awful..

  • Oh yeah it could be that - they keep getting confused with mine because I've had so many steroids over the year.

    Really sorry to hear you're struggling with them - they're horrible! Especially when you can't work out exactly what it causing them

  • Well I had one in the middle of the night, mouth and tongue swelling I hadn't eaten anything! so they thought it may have been formeterol which was in symbicort and flutiform and I had problems with both..so I am back on seretide..didn't like it much because of throat problems..we'll see..

  • Oh no that sounds horrible! I hope they can work out what was causing it soon and sort it

  • Thanks..it is always inside cheek, mouth and tongue..I have to take zirtek and 20mg prednisone..I have chronic rhinitis as well but I can't take the steroid spray anymore either..It's a mess..but good luck with your tests xx

  • Definitely not fun! I used to have awful problems with sinusitis and rhinitis so I know where you're coming from there (although typically I got that solved and its since then that my asthma has been bad!)

    Thank you and good luck to you too x

  • Yes you stop something, something else springs out :))) Thank you x

  • I had a sputum test a few weeks ago. Basically they tested my peak flow gave me sabutimol neb tested it again and then put ever increasing amounts of salt water in a neb. They gave me a rest in between amounts.

    The idea is it irritates your air ways and you cough up stuff got them to analyse. However it didn't work for me my lungs had stuff there I could feel it, when they listened to my chest they could hear it and I coughed a lot but I struggle to cough up stuff when I have an infection so I wasn't shocked I couldn't cough it up then, the nurse doing it said about 50% of the time it works.

    After about an hour or so my peak flow which had been gradually declining dropped rather dramatically so she stopped.

    I felt a bit achy in my chest after and whilst it was happening it felt like I was breathing in the sea so it wasn't the most fun ever but it definitely wasn't the worst.

    I went for a slow walk round to see if moving a little helped me cough it up but it didn't. After a while and a fair amount of ventolin my peak flow was above 75% of what it had been at the start so I was ok to go.

    Hope this helps with one of the tests.

    Good luck sorry you are having a rough time with it all.

    Callie x

  • Mention your nervous to consultant remember if you have attack doctors are right there

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