At wits end

I was diagnosed with cough variant asthma last year. I am a 41 yr old woman. Since March i have been coughing basically non stop. I am do short of breath that I struggle to walk up the stairs. The only thing that improves the constant cough are steroids. I finished a long course 28days last week. I am back to where I started. I even lost my voice completely for 5 weeks before the last course of steroids due to the trauma of coughing and not enough air coming from my lungs. I have a small amount of scarring in the lingula but xrays always come up clear. I'm 41 and the only thing I seem able to do is a it still. As soon as I do even a little exertion I start hacking. It is ruining my life I am so tired and no medics seem to want to know x

9 Replies

  • Hi Mgapps

    Sorry to hear you are constantly coughing. Are you under GP care or at a hospital with a consultant?

    I'd suggest giving the specialist nurse team a call here at Asthma UK and have a chat about how you're feeling. Please feel free to give us a ring on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

    Take care,


  • Hi. Thank you for your reply. I have been to see the gp numerous times and they usually give me steroid's which help. They were supposed to refer me to the respiratory team but didn't but I have an appt anyway in 2 weeks. I think I must cough about 30 times an hour if I am sat still. A lot more if I move at all. It's keeping me up at night and my ribs and chest are very painful. I take fostair 200mcg bd montelukast and loratadine daily. The only thing that seems to ward it off are steroid's but within a week of stopping them I am back to where I started. My mum passed away in 2015 with pulmonary fibrosis

  • Hi Mgapps

    Do give the nurse team a call as it sounds like your asthma isn't under control and they will be able to advise and support you with what to do next.

    Take care,


  • So sorry to hear that you're going through this. I had 2 similar sounding flare ups this year; I'm slowly getting back to normal now but having the odd coughing fit. If you've had 2 courses of pred in a year, they should refer you to a specialist.

    The one thing I didn't do but wish I had was call an ambulance when things were really bad. If you've been taking your Ventolin and it's not doing the trick, call 999. I had a few really bad times, especially at night, but I rode it out.

    When I saw doctors and nurses afterwards, they said I should have called for an ambulance, and if I had I might have had more help and been taken more seriously sooner.

    Thankfully the doctor I'm seeing now is not just telling me be patient; he's sent me for tests and trying out new meds. Before all this, I was on fostair as a preventer, cetirizine for hayfever and my asthma was well-managed. Since the flare ups, I'm on seretide 250 for a preventer, I'm on montekulast, fexofenadine as my antihistamine ( he has just told me to go from 1 to 2 a day), spiriva as an additional inhaler and, because my cough is still productive, he just gave me carbocisteine to loosen the mucus.

    The quality in advice and support at my GP has varied; I'm annoyed that I didn't ask for second opinions sooner but trusted them and doubted myself. Now I'm pushing and just repeating that this is not normal and so need help. It is tough.

    I really hope you get more help; I'd recommend calling the asthma nurse at asthma uk as they helped give me the confidence and specific ideas to ask for more help. Very best wishes to you and hope you feel better sooner.


  • Thank you so much. Sorry but it's good to hear I'm not alone. I have had about 6 courses of pred in 1 year. They have now referred me back to respiratory and I have an appointment in 2 weeks. I just can't believe that asthma can be this bad. Thanks again.

    Marie xx

  • Hi Mgapps, I don't cough but as soon as do any activity such as walk for more then 2min I feel like I am suffocating can't catch my breath. Rescue inhalers don't help and my daily inhalers don't do anything except cause muscle pain through my whole body. My GP is sending me to a muscle specialist and have an appointment with a new respirologist since they still don't know if I have asthma or COPD or neither.

  • Hi, i would ask to be referred. I too cough all the time although I don't often have breathing issues. It has taken a long time to get referred but finally have a hospital appointment in October. I think you should go down this route. Don't let them fob you off and keep asking. I am at my wits end too as all the coughing is so tiring. I also phoned the asthma nurse uk and she was lovely.

  • Hi. thank you. I have an appointment on 15 Sept as I rung the hospital and requested it. Thanks again. If they find a way to help the coughing I will let you know. It exhausts me most days x

  • Thanks you.

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