Hi, I visited my doctor a while ago and he suspected that I may have Asthma. He gave me a peak flow meter test (result was 580) and a spirometry lung function test. I was then given an inhaler to use for 1 month and after the month passed I had another peak flow meter test which came out slightly lower (result was 560). Because the 2nd test came out as lower, the doctor told me that I don't have asthma. I was also sent for x rays and all is OK.
My question is this: Is it possible that I could have a case of asthma (even if it is only a slight case) but that the peak flow meter test I had didn't show it (wasn't tested correctly)?
My thinking is that on the day I had the peak flow meter test, my lungs felt great, they were really good that day and I had a high score of 580, then 1 month after I had taken the inhaler daily I had another peak flow meter test, my lungs felt very good again that day and I had a similar results (560).
So could that have been an inaccurate test? How could it show a lung improvement if on the day I took the test my lungs were feeling very good?
580 may actually be the highest score that I'm capable of ever getting, it may be my maximum best.
The test is that after taking an inhaler for a month if my 2nd test was better than the 1st test that would show I have asthma, but it doesn't quite make sense because the day i took the test my lungs were feeling really good.
If I had been tested when my lungs were bad, I may have had a low reading of 450 or something.
Here is some info on my symptoms: I've always been fit and have competed in cycle racing for over 30 years. a couple of years ago I was out cycling in the countryside and went past a few houses that had smoke coming out of their chimneys. It was either coal or wood or similar. The winds were low so the smoke had settled around. I was training hard so was breathing deeply. After I had breathed quite a bit of this smoke in, my chest became really bad and tight, I had a coughing fit that lasted for a while, and I had to ride back slowly to finish the ride. My lungs were tight and painful for hours afterwards.
That was my 1st strange lung experience, the 2nd was when it was someones birthday party in the family and we had a barbecue in the garden, it was one of those small portable barbecue's, the tin foil tray type. I was OK for a while but then my chest started to get tighter and tighter. I asked everyone else if they were OK, and they were all fine and unaffected. When the barbecue smoke came my way each time I felt worse until eventually I had a really bad attack and couldn't stop coughing. I had to get away and was coughing for ages and ages, with my lungs very tight & painful.
My symptoms are that a lot of smells seem to make my lungs go tight/painful and my voice becomes hoarse. Sometimes if there is a lot of pollution around my eyes water and I get a lot of mucus, I have to keep blowing my nose, with chest really tight and aching.
perfume smells, car fumes, clothing detergent, smoke, cooking, frying, chip making, baking, dust, being around a dog, all seem to affect me.
I don't get the bad coughing attacks much but my worry is just wanting know what is wrong with me. I've become very depressed and withdrawn and am suffering from anxiety. I'm so fed up of going to the doctors and thinking that people don't believe me. In all my years of cycling and 1000's of rides I never had an experience where my lungs got affected like they did that day. And since then my lungs get this pain and tightness when certain smells affect them.
When I get a bad chest my family are all OK but they have mentioned to me 'could it all be in your head' and that 'worrying can make people feel ill'. That is what has caused me to become so depressed and withdrawn, having a chest that keeps getting tight and hurting is one thing, but not knowing what it is is the worst of all.
I get confused and irritable and unable to find help anywhere.
One of the worst things that affects me is the pollution from a steel works that is 10 miles away. It's a huge coal burning steel works and if the winds are very low and blowing from that direction, there is a smog build up in the city and the air gets thick, the coal fumes mixed in with it becomes a nightmare for me. When the wind is blowing from that direction, no matter if all the windows and doors are shut I suffer from it. No one else in my family suffer though. Also If there are houses near me burning coal or wood heaters I have to stay indoors.
I've argued with my doctor the other day. I was trying to explain about the steel works pollution and she seemed certain that it is definitely too far away to cause me any problems. she said that out of the 100's of thousands of people in my city why should only I be affected by it. When I told her that perfume smells were causing me problems she asked if I felt unwell today, I replied no I am OK today, she said that there's a lot of deep heat smells in her surgery today so shouldn't I be affected by it.
I was made to feel that I am imagining my symptoms and at one point I got annoyed with her and started to argue with her about it. On a previous visit with her, she had told me that my lung problems were all my own fault because I had smoked many years ago.
Has anyone got any advice so that I could find out what exactly is wrong with me.