Normal lung function test.. - Asthma UK communi...

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Normal lung function test..



Ive just been for a lung function test which has come back normal... however i still get asthma symptoms and have had several attacks this year. What i found strange though was i had no reversibility testing done.

Anyone else's come back normal?

25 Replies
LysistrataCommunity Ambassador

I really wish they would just do reversibility anyway regardless of the initial result. The normal values are averages taken from different studies some of which included smokers. They don't account for individual variations- you may have been 80% predicted but your best after bronchodilator mighf be 120% predicted! Especially if you have done a lot of sports or played wind instruments.

I do know people with severe asthma who can still get good or better than predicted at times. If you were ok when you did the tests it is entirely possible for them to be normal, or like I said they were normal average but maybe not for you.

Are you due to see someone soon eg cons? Can you ask for reversibility testing? I keep track of my FEV1 on a little electronic home meter as mine is a better indicator than my peak flow. It's not ideal but if yiu were ok to buy one you could try tracking at home and seeing if you are reversible there and what your best is on it, nd show GP/cons. My cons etc seem to accept the readings and thr nurse specialist uses a handheld electronic one at appts when I don't do a full set on the big machine.

Hi thanks for your reply,

I wasnt asked to stop any medications, but am seeing the consultant next week. I just feel like a total fraud! Having had a few serious asthma attacks to be told i have normal lung function makes me feel its in my head! My personal best is 460 today it was 380 but it was the afternoon. Feel very nervous about my consultant appointment now.

LysistrataCommunity Ambassador in reply to Melanie1989

So you weren't even told to stop ICS/LABA in the morning/night before (trying to remember the timings)? I should think that might affect it too - definitely mention it when you see cons. I know the 'feeling a fraud' very well but it does help when you actually have a fair test that is administered properly. I really wish they would give better training on these tests grrr as it seems so many people on here have not had reversibility done when they should.

How was the cons last time? If good, worth asking to see that individual one if they are in (ask nurse.or at front desk when you check in). Otherwise can be pot luck. They might want you to do a challenge test if not done already, in which case I recommend looking up how long to stop meds for as instructions for that are often vague and incorrect.

Im on fostair and montelukast and wasnt told to stop anything. The consultant was ok but was one of the whole 'no wheeze no asthma'. The irony is i never wheeze during an attack but have been wheezing all week but dont feel to bad lol.

I so wish i was a straightforward case!

LysistrataCommunity Ambassador in reply to Melanie1989

Hmm so you were doing it on Fostair - more a measure of control than asthma really! Would definitely point that out to cons. If they are a no wheeze type then maybe pot luck is better.

I do feel for you on wanting to be straightforward! I am a freak and even my tertiary asthma centre thinks that, but they do their best lol without making me feel like a time waster.

I wonder if you would be able to get a referral to a difficult asthma centre if you aren't getting anywhere? I didn't really get anywhere with most general resp places because they weren't used to refractory asthma in general and so either wanted to squash me into a box they could manage or tell me it was in my head. Do you have a reasonable GP you could discuss this with?

You are definitly not a freak, even though consultants can make you feel like that when your not straight forward. If i get no improvement i am definitly considering going to a difficult asthma centre.

My g.p is very hit and miss depending on the day lol

LysistrataCommunity Ambassador in reply to Melanie1989

Lol well they have stopped disagreeing with me when I say it... I seem to be a subset of a subset which is always fun.

Any other GPs in the practice?

Yeh there are others, but there all the same really lol.

im the same as you lung function test -normal, fev1-normal consultant made me feel a total fraud and timewaster even though my mum died of asthma, and its very herediatary in the family. he did want me to go for a ct scan but i felt that bad afterwards i refuse to waste time and resources on something else that is likely to come back normal. so struggling on with ventolin, flutiform and fexfenodine.

Melanie1989 in reply to tigga61

Sorry you were made to feel like that. This is what im worried about when i go to see the consultant.

You’re not alone! I’ve got a v high peak flow due to sports and oboe playing and my recent tests were normal, and the original tests were mainly normal although reversibility showed there was ‘something going on.’ But they weren’t sure. The consultant said it showed my asthma was under control. But I cough a lot still, and at the same time feel annoyed that all this grief - especially the last 6 months - doesn’t even show up on a test!

Have you asked for the reversibility test?

Melanie1989 in reply to gamba

I feel your frustration! It is really annoying but i will bring up the reversability test when i next see the consultant.

fingers crossed ou get a good one with hindsight i prob should of went for the ct, as it could be something as simple as scarring on lungs from infection that causes my problems but ratiionallity went out of the window. ive not been back to see consultant either. i figure if im poorly and need walk in they will treat me anyway. but sometimes i struggle as drs wont give out a spare inhaler so i often run out of ventolin .

That is awful but you should definetly follow it up. When you get dismissed though it does make you feel like you shouldnt bother. Im quite lucky as i always get prescribed two ventolins.

I have severe asthma and my lung function when well are "suprs-normal", 150% of what they would predict and more. It is difficult till the gauge your normal. I get 750 on a good/ normal day and when at 500 i feel symptomatic and at 400 i have to go to the hospital. Even though you have no wheeze doesnt mean you dont have asthma, i generally dont get one and have frequent severe attacks resulting in hospital stays. Keep a diary of your peak flow when you attacks occur to show the consultant your variability, and dont give up trying for more assistance :-)

I find it useful to make a list of things I want to ask the doctor/consultant, particular when my symptoms don't tally with the tests (I never wheeze, but a reversibility test showed I had some asthma and the consultant was overjoyed as it's something treatable!). With the list, at least you don't feel afterwards that you didn't cover all you needed too, and it might prompt the consultant into looking more deeply into the problem. Also, medics tend to be impressed if it looks like you've done your homework and feel obliged to show that they have the answers.

Same my lung function was 105% wasn’t told to stop seretide, montelukast, mucodyne, fexofenadine, mometasone. Only salbutamol on the day. Just had mannitol test last month and had to stop everything for 3 days. Prob waiting months for result like last time

Hello melanie I had a normal lung test also but still have asthma attacks urgent care twice in one month.

Thank you all for your comments, it is reassuring that others have had normal lung function tests with asthma. Still really nervous seeing consultant as like a lot of you i still feel a bit of a fraud now even though i have had frequent admissions. Will definitly prepare myself with lots of questions though!

Sorry if I am late to the party like the orginal poster I have had normal lung function test and been told I defintely have asthma. Only if I wheeze and peak flow drops its an asthma attack had mistaken acid reflux for asthma tightness. Felt a bit of a lemon. Rast test 296 and very allergic to house dust mite 5/6. Have post nasal drip too treated with avamyts 2 weeks into it.

Less than 2 weeks to go til manniol test have to be off every thig 4 days before.

Waiting to see what happens at test.

I was seen by top doctor who called me a difficult diasgnostic conundrum. I like the doctor very much excellent professional and friendly too.

Time will tell. Hope and pray all here who are waiting for appointments and test results are come with positive results. It can be very tiring. Feel like I live at my local hospital of late between my asthma and my psinful bladder syrdrome. Thankyou God for the nhs.

Thankyou for the reply, it seems more common than i thought to have normal test results but still have asthma. It makes me less nervous to see the consultant when there has been many in the same boat as me.

Good luck with your tests

Hi Melanie1989, i had one in January at first appointment with consultant and i only stopped evening dose of my asthma meds as the letter didnt specify to stop my inhaler just a named few. My results were also within normal range and i dont usually ever wheeze but my consultant did say that in asthmatics it is quite usual to have a normal lung function and still be asthmatic so they go on your sypmtoms and other tests where necessary. Hope this helps put you at ease. x

Melanie1989 in reply to Kaussha

Thank you so much, definetly makes me feel better about it.

I really feel for you. I do avoidance with lung function tests as I found that either I was holding back or I ended up passing out. I am 54 and had asthma all my life. I was on a syringe driver for over 20 years loads of ITU admissions and yes I still can feel guilty and like a fraud. Remember you are the driver of both your life and illness. I wholeheartedly agree about having a list to see your consultant. I get really nervous and if I don't have a list nothing moves forward. What we also suffer from is financial pressures on medics because we do have a lot of items on repeat but then we didn't put them there. There are so many of us out there who are going through the same stuff

Just to Update, i saw the registrar at the hospital and she was fantastic. She explained that she would expect me to have normal lung function for someone of my age and it was just to check for underlying causes for my asthma. I was expecting to have less appointments but she wants to see me every 6 weeks and wants me to lead my own treatment as she said i would know my own asthma better than her!

I was offered an additional inhaler but i refused as my asthma had been stable, although typically it is flaring again! She did however say if my asthma declined to ring and they would get me an earlier appointment.

It was so refreshing to be involved and listened to. Thankyou all so much for your help and reassurance, it really does make a huge difference.


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