Asthma UK community forum

Unsure about a lot/asthma diagnosis

Hello! So recently some stuff happened and I'm just looking for any sort of heads up in the right direction

I'm nineteen now, but when I was young, I had really bad asthma. I remember hospital trips and always carrying around my inhaler but I don't really remember anything about it but attacks because by the time I was ten or so, my asthma seemed to have gone away. Everyone assumed I'd grown out of it because I didn't have any other attacks save for feeling a little chesty in cold weather now and then.

A few months ago, I went to my doctor with a cough (very bad - caused me to lose my breath, coughing up mucus, at one point I thought I was going to die because I couldn't breathe) and he said I had a chest infection and gave me some antibiotics for three days. I took the course, but the cough didn't ease so I went back a couple of weeks later. He then took a mucus sample and I waited for the results but they came back normal, so he told me the cough would go away on its own.

A month passed and my cough is still horrendous, as well as this, when I breathe in, my chest seems to vibrate. I have a horrible and constant stabbing pain in my ribs which everyone has assumed is from all the coughing - perhaps it's bruised or I have a strained muscle. So, I waited a month and went back the other day

The doctor listened to my chest again and said I sounded wheezy, asked about a history of asthma and then prescribed me some inhalers and said it looks like it has come back

My issue is that I don't even trust him and it's making me so paranoid - I can't remember what it's like to have asthma so I don't know if my cough is really it? Is the mucusy cough and vibrating chest common symptoms? There also haven't been any triggers, this whole thing has been constant. My doctor hasn't been much help at all, I asked him about the asthma and he said "You can pick up the inhalers from any chemist" as a dismissal and my anxiety is stopping me from going back to see him. I just can't help thinking, what if he's wrong? Does it sound to any of you like my asthma has come back? Should I take his word and try to deal with this, or would you recommend something else?

3 Replies
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Hi there, Welcome to the forum. As you had Asthma as a child, and had numerous coughs growing up, it sounds as though your chest infection triggered your asthma. Asthma, is basically caused by your airways overreacting to some trigger. Virus's and chest infections are common triggers as are a number of other things.

I assume that the inhalers he prescribed are a steroid inhaler and a reliever? However, I suggest that if after using the inhalers for a week you are still coughing, waking up at night, and generally feeling unable to breathe you should definitely go back to the doctor.

Inflamed lungs can take a long time to get back to normal so you have to give yourself time to heal. However if you are still very symptomatic, there are other treatments that the doctor can give you to help this, including a short course of oral steroids.

The pollen count is very high at present, and that may be making your symptoms worse, as mucus from post nasal drip can cause coughing. And if pollen is a trigger for you, it could be directly affecting your lungs. There are a few self help things you can try to see if they make a difference too.

1. Nasal rinsing, Neil Med system (available at boots, chemists or online)

2. Steroid nasal inhaler, (beconase or Fluticasone) available in chemists

3. Antihistimes, Zirtec, or Loratidine, available in chemists

Coughing can also be exacerbated by acid reflux, which is common in people with asthma. I would suggest that try the above for a few days as well as seeing your doctor before seeing if Acid Reflux is a factor.

As you have not been treated for Asthma for a long time, I would ask if your surgery has an asthma clinic, and ask for an Asthma review. You need a written asthma plan, and ideally spirometry to give a profile of your breathing. Most surgeries now offer basic spirometry. Also probably a reversibility test.

Finally, If you don't like/trust your doctor, I would try and see if you can find a local GP near you with an interest in Asthma. You can normally find profiles GP interests on the surgery websites. Some GPs are much better with Asthma than others!! If that is not possible, Asthma UK has a brilliant help line, which is staffed by fantastic nurses. They give really solid advice about how to move forward.

Never ignore Asthma symptoms, Asthma can kill you, but it can be really well controlled. There are many people on this site with all levels of Asthma many of whom can give really good advice, but we do not know you in person, so please find a doctor you like and see them.

R

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Hi I can't add to the excellent advice from risabel59 except to say that if you are in a group practise you can see any doctor you want. So see someone else. If there is only 1 doctor then you can change to another practise.

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Hi Jungkook

As already mentioned on the thread, please do give our nurses helpline a call to talk through how you're feeling, you can reach them on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

Take care,

Dita

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