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British Lung Foundation
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How often we should go for check ups and what should be done when we are there?

Ok, so when I went to the lung doc in May, I hadn't been for a decade (!) I avoid doctors unless absolutely necessary.

He was pissed off at first and asked if I'd got another lung doc. I explained that I hadn't and that I avoid docs, then he was ok again :-)

He did several x-rays, the horror breathing cubicle thing tests (and allergy tests). My x-rays were fine, but the rest were crap, apparently, although I wasn't given the details.

What tests need to be done for asthmatics, and how often do we have to have them done?

Thanks xxx

28 Replies

It is your body and you have every right to do what you want with it!

If you have had all the tests, i would want to know exactly what the results showed! Personally, i would ask for a copy of the results and if your gp doesnot satisfy you call the blf helpline..

Enjoy your weekend


Thanks for your reply. I think I will do that - next time I see that lung doc is early July and I'll ask for photocopies.

Enjoy your weekend too!


Back Kev. I dont like going into the cubicle to huff and puff but you need to know all.


The cubicle is horrible, I get really scared and claustrophobic. Plus it's in Germany so I worry I won't understand something they tell me to do. But the nurse was kind and did it extremely quickly so I could get out ASAP.

Yes, you're right, I need to know the results.


You are not alone. That breathing cabinet terrifies me. Ever since my emphysema got worse I have been extremely claustrophobic. I can't stand enclosed places and even tight shirts can get me going. Does anyone else feel like that?


I,m becoming the same way about my shower cubicle, used to be in and out at the slightest excuse, but now I keep finding excuses why I haven't the time.

I think that it's the concertina door that is worrying me, if i were to pass out in there (after a coughing fit) i feel that I would never get out !

Nobody visits so they would end up having to wash me down the plug-hole !


Better get yourself on a diet dukes mate. Those plug holes aren't vey big. lol



I wouldn't want to 'Waste Away', Bobby !


I have always had a bit of claustrophobia ever since being trapped in a broken lift stuck between floors when I was six.

It took them one and a half hours to get me and my 4- year old sister out. She was unaffected by it but I refused to go in lifts till I turned 18 and decided to force myself to go in them again, although I rarely have to , luckily.

I am terrified of claustrophobicy type things, and always need to see a window, door etc

That lung cabin is horrid and is made worse by the fact that sound is blocked out so much once the door is shut - I really, really hate that. I have to consciously calm myself down, but I am on the edge of total panic in there.


My husband's asthma has been stable for many years but even so he sees the respiratory nurse at our GP's surgery every 6 months to check his peak flow.


Ok, thanks for the information. I don't go often enough, that is something I need to change, and not wait for a bad attack like this spring.


For COPD the surgery have to do a yearly check-up at the very least, mostly by the Respiratory Nurse and then the G.P. I would have thought it was the same for asthma.


My GP who I don't often see (I mostly go straight to specialists) does check my chest with the stethoscope thingy but of course that isn't peak flow or those other things.

I have usually relied on my own feeling, so how tight or mucousy my lungs feel. I need to attend regular check ups though, that is what I have learned from the terrible asthma I suddenly had in April.


I think you should be firm and demand to have your test results, after all they belong to you not your Doctor Not sure about asthma but I attend every 5 months with an open door policy and is more often in winter xxxxxx Julie


Hi Julie xxx You are absolutely right and I will do.

Getting copies of results is really easy here, they sometimes offer it actually. This lung doc didn't but I'm sure the nurses or receptionist will print it all out, they are lovely at that practice. They are Muslims and the ladies wear headscarves but they are so kind and jolly I felt really welcome and comfortable despite not being Muslim myself.


loos, when you find out will you kindly let me know - might be one for the blf nurse.

I've been DX with asthma for 9 years, mild until 2010 and I've never known.

I went to doc with a wheeze & she said try this brown inhaler and if it makes a difference then you've got asthma!

Recently had skin prick tests but only because horrible cons wanted to prove there's nothing wrong with me particularly not aspergillis as my GP suspects.

At least now I know I'm not allergic to pet stuff or dust mite.

Let me know if you find out anything Koala.


Ok, so that is one way of testing to see whether it was asthma or not! Bit shocking though when you think about it - asthma is a serious condition so diagnosis shouldn't depend on trying a spray. There's a provocation test I had to do to test for asthma but it is horrific if your lungs react, it was awful so I'm happy for you you didn't have to do that!

Lucky you not being allergic to pets or dust mites. There are thousands of other allergens out there though of course.

My Mum was diagnosed with aspergillosis recently, very recently in fact. Her cough is overwhelmingly bad, her lungs are totally full of mucous but as a life long asthmatic with a hiatus hernia, her GP had more or less thought bad luck then. Fortunately she kept pushing and finally got treated properly by a good consultant.

What are the reasons your GP suspects aspergillis allergy?


Hi, that's pretty awful for your Mum. How old is she & is she in England or where you are (Germany?). I'm told the Royal Brompton is great for aspergillis.

I had back to back infections from Oct '12 to late Feb '13.

When gp sent off sputum the sample grew aspergillis. I then had to do 2 more samples to test for aspergillis which were positive.

He referred me for a CT scan in Dec which St Georges Tooting ignored & then again in Feb. Cons was distinctly unpleasant saying nothing wrong but poorly controlled asthma. I pulled out the print offs re asperg & showed him. so he reluctantly referred me for blood, lung & skin tests.

Bloods came back negative for asperg (phew), skin reacted lightly to asperg but more to moulds.

I'm really relieved about that, I wont go on because I dont want to bore you again except that there's still no diagnosis for me.

Cons wouldn't give me a CT scan, on 2nd visit he repeatedly said "I WILL not treat you for something you do not have". 3rd visit I cancelled because I couldn't face him and my GP promised to refer me to someone else (but hasn't. He gave me some Montekulast to try for 2 months instead!

I'm naturally worried that I have something other than chronic bronchitis that could be being treated. Grrrr

we can confer on the 8th :D


My mum is in England, I'm in Belgium but work over the German border so am insured for med treatment in both countries but use the German system on the whole because it's free with the insurance card and you can go straight to the specialists and there are no waiting lists. Belgium seems good too but you have to pay a supplement each time, the insurance covers around 80%.

Thanks for the recommendation, I will tell her. She is currently being treated in Kingston-upon-Thames.

It's a pity so many consultants are up their own arses. I hope they find a definite diagnosis for you soon and you find the treatment helpful.

Yes, let's confer after 8th July!



Time for bed ........ Re asthma.

It was annual checks with respiratory nurse but like you had not been for a while, time moves too fast to keep up, besides I'd been fine.

I went a few weeks ago and she was great, very helpful, chasing up a bone density test (broke both feet a year ago) and putting me down for PR. Weighed me, checked peak flow. She told me that due to recent events I must upgrade (downgrade?) to 6 monthly checks.

I now realise I've got a few questions to ask her so I've got appt for 8th July so I will ask her your question. P xx


8th July, wow coincidence, that's when I've got my next lung doc appt too!


I don't have asthma, but my older sister does. She is checked every year.

Lynne xx


Thanks for letting me know. xx


How ever often you go for an Asthma or COPD check up, they should never put you through the breathing checks if you have had an infection within the last eight to ten weeks,


Oh that's good to know, thanks for saying. Eight to ten weeks is a very long time though, and in my experience they don't even ask.

When I had whooping cough during the initial diagnosis they made me do an asthma provocation test and it was horrendous. I thought I'd die or something, luckily I didn't and am still here ten years on to tell the tale. I hadn't been to that lung doc before though, maybe that is why.


If you have done PR or got the COPD handbook any other way, it tells you in there as well. I;m lucky because I see the Adult Respiritory nurse once a month and she is very clear about this and has even bollocked my surgery over even suggesting that I do the tests.


I've never done PR and haven't got COPD, so maybe that's why I didn't know.

I get fewer infections than I used to these days, but it's good to know for next time I have to get into the evil test cabin!


Well I have to say that the last time I saw the chest consultant (referred by the consultant who had treated me for a breast cyst and who had listened to my chest and said it was horrendous) he said he could hear nothing on my chest but he would try me on Theophylline then neglected to see me to follow up. Perhaps I was lucky (judging by other comments above)!!! What is it with consultants? Though perhaps they are like the ones I used to work with - brains in books, no idea how to talk to normal human beings, and had contempt for anyone who they had to see unless they had something interesting that they could write a paper on. Me - prejudiced against them - me - why on earth would you think that!!!!!


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