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Other reasons for wheezing

Hi i was diagnosed with asthma when I was very little but now my respiratory consultant is questioning whether it is actually asthma because I'm on many medications and the wheezing still is an issue

What else can cause wheezing, tightness and other asthma symptoms ?

I've never smoked in my life I can't even go near smoke

I'm so confused about everything

Thx in advance

3 Replies

The other causes would be an infection or something inhaled into the lungs. But wouldn't that have been picked up by now? Are you coughing up any mucus? I am not sure how they can say that it isn't asthma? Maybe there is damage to the lungs. I'm not sure what else it could be. You definitely need answers. x


Do you find that your medication helps? I'm not well controlled and on lots of medication but I really notice if I miss any of it. I also find that my Ventolin does help most of the time for at least a bit unless I'm having an attack. Did the cons have any suggestions what else it might be?

I do wonder if your cons perhaps has not seen many severe/brittle asthmatics and their model is based on more standard asthma? I once worked out that brittle/severe asthma would probably qualify as a rare disease if it weren't connected to other types of more normal asthma, based on the numbers who have it. It can be a problem with uncommon conditions that many drs are just not familiar with them, and with severe asthma there is the issue that they expect it to behave like other asthma when it may not do.

My former cons was not really experienced with asthma at all. She once told me that all asthma can be controlled fully, however severe, and in my case decided that I had very mild asthma and a psychological problem that meant I went to hospital without needing to. (It's a psychological problem that responds pretty well to asthma drugs and causes impaired lung function, but she wasn't one to let facts get in the way of a good theory). I knew her speciality was COPD but realise that she really wasn't up on asthma as she also didn't seem to realise it is variable. When I crunched the numbers I reckoned I might be the first asthmatic she'd seen who was atypical and not well controlled. I even confuse the specialist centre I go to now!

This isn't meant to be alarming as you may well do much better if you can see someone who is more familiar with difficult and severe asthma who can also test for other things. You might find a specialist asthma centre is more clued up and can run more tests to see what is going on, then if it is asthma, optimise your medication. Also, I say this to everyone but I recommend calling the helpline when they reopen as the nurses there are very helpful.


Hi. Your story is very similar to mine. I’ve always hAd breathing problems diagnosed as copd with traits of asthma. This was 30 years ago. Every doctor I saw said yea - it could be asthma but theres something else. Nobody ever knew what the something else was. So frustrating . Consultant was adamant it was copd with asthma traits. Then last year he retired - his replacement was exactly like yours. His first consultation ended with me in tears after being told if I stopped being anxious - it was all in my head and if I helped myself then I would breathe better. I was furious he made me feel a fake - 30 years of fakeness ! Anyway cutting a long story short I was changed to a wonderful lady who is in charge of the respiratory unit and all trials for asthma and copd. Her diagnosis of me is severe brittle asthma. And she believes in me and understands how I feel and is treating with me care and is in no way patronising . I’m happy. So like me, you can ask to be changed to a different consultant - even a different hospital . Look after yourself and take care .

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