British Lung Foundation
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Hi! I have had a chronic cough & wheezing, etc for 4 years. And it's difficult 2 breathe now. Could I request to go on oxygen? Thanks! (:

My symptoms are


-feeling like I can't get enough air


-I cough stuff up occasionally, yellow.

-it's hard 2 swallow

-I feel like I have mucus build up, (I have a ruptured eardrum, which is now healing and i don't want 2 blow my nose and put pressure on it until it's healed. So I just wipe it with a tissue)

-I have horrible back pain.

-I was depressed for a while, and it mostly went away (:

-sometimes it hurts 2 breathe in, it feels hollow and just kinda hurts.

-I'm always super tired

-I have a difficult time breathing in all the way, so I constantly yawn to feel like I can get air

-I've had multiple chest xrays, and the last doctor said he was mostly happy with my xrays

-I have been on puffers, some of which help for While then I finish them and it's good for a month or two and then it's back to normal

-I have a Samsung s5 so I can measure my heart rate, and it's normally 50-65.

-I can run for MAYBE 5-10 minutes, less even, until I feel like I'm going 2 collapse from loss of breath

-I snore? Haha (some of these are just things that MIGHT matter)

17 Replies

Have you been diagnosed with a specific illness? Are you taking medications at the moment? I can see you say that you used puffers but finish them? My husband takes his inhalers but has to take them every day.

Your respiratory team would be able to advise if you need oxygen - you would need an oxygen assessment to determine if you need oxygen. It is doubtful if you can run! My husband couldn't run ever anymore!

My advise would be to ring the BLF helpline and ask their advise - click on the red balloon. Take care, TAD xx


hi ilovecats. I agree with tadaw . you need to take inhalers every day.good luck


You sound like you have COPD. Have you ever been check out by a pulmonary doctor. Breathing and not getting enough air is probably the biggest horror one can live with or is that die with. Please check it out there are medications that can cure, if not stop or make one breath easier, it all depends on the right diagnose. Please do yourself a favor and get a better diagnoses and treatment than my comments.


The fact that you can run for 5 mins would suggest that O2 is not a problem in the scheme of things.

You have not said what you are being treated with?

If it is asthma then you need to keep up with the ventolin blue inhaler and use when needed.

If you have been given a brown inhaler for morning /night use keep it up they are preventers.

You mave have a seretide inhaler keep it up until told different.

Try the huffing technique to bring up the gunk.

Try and get a spirometry test at the doctors to see what your breathing/lung capacity is.

As for snoring this can be more sinister than you think but the majority of the time is just an annoying noise to your partner. Have you woke up while in a sleep gasping for breath? Do you wake feeling tired? That could be sleep apnea this can be dealt with.

I am not a medic just a lung problem sufferer that gets out of breath going up stairs and I am not on O2

Be Well


Adding to the above.... you need to drink loads of fluid too to help liquefy the mucus, chest and sinus, making it easier to expel.

Many of us here take Carbocisteine which helps to keep the mucus moist.

You need proper medical care to manage whatever condition you have.

Inhalers need to be taken regularly to keep your airways open. Preventives are taken regularly and the rescue inhaler, usually blue (ie Ventolin) are taken as & when needed ie before exercise and to open airways in emergency.

Do please take above advice and ring BLF, they're marvellous for expert guidance on whet to expect from the doc. 03000 030 555

PS "mostly happy with your X-rays"? I wouldn't be happy with that comment at all. X-rays don't show everything.


The respiritory team will be able to assess you to see if you need oxygen bur you need to be aware, it is not to help you breath. If your SATS( oxygen levels) in your blood fall regularly below 90%, then you may need oxygen but it is only used to protect your internal organs, not to help you breath.You may benefit from PR or at least some breathing control exercises. Go onto you tube and follow some of them, far more effective than ventolin for getting your breath back.


It's a common misconception that oxygen is a cure for breathlessness when in fact organ protection as you have stated is the primary function. Many oxygen assessments use the SATS below 88 figure when prescribing oxygen even for short term use during exacerbations.

1 like

Oxygen is the last resort you should ask about a nebuliser they really help


You don't need oxygen if you can run for 5-10mins I can't run at all and am not on oxygen I use a nebuliser


It's unlikely oxygen is what you need ..... & be aware supplementary oxygen can be very dangerous.

You can run for 10-minutes ..... that's a very good sign.

Ask to have you sputum tested, you may have an infection.

You may need something like Carbocisteine tablets to loosen the sputum.

You say you take puffers, but don't mention which ones & it seems strange to use them until they run out, but not continue with them. For most people on puffers, once they start, you use them regularly for life.

I'm not doctor, but gut feel says sinuses ....... I would also ask for a full lung & cardio examination.


I wish I could run again...


You are not at the oxygen stage with thia illness if you can run, people on oxygen find it difficult to even walk at times let alone run.You need to get your medications checked, its sounds as if they are not working for you. The other advice from this site should help you if you take notice of it. It could be you have an infection that has brought on this shortness of breath, and and made it feel worse than it is. The doctor may prescribe antibotics and steroids to asssist in getting rid of your infection if it is still there. Inhalers are used daily as a medication as aalready explained. regards Malk.


I would agree with others on here in saying you're oxygen levels should be assessed, but it sounds as if the fact you can run means that it's unlikely. You can buy your own pulse oximetry finger device. We got my mother one from Maplins £60 and it's good quality and fairly accurate. If low oxygen isn't the problem, but you feel breathless, try a small hand held fan. Fan therapy is now being used on some wards for respiratory problems and some clinic administer hand held fans. You may need to use your reliever inhaler more. I also agree that your snoring is a problem that needs sorting and could be adding to your problems. You may not be sleeping properly and feeling tired.

1 like

My oximeter is from Biosync via Amazon. Very good and was £19 inc postage.


Aww thanks for saying this about your oximetry, I have been looking to buy one from amazon but was nor sure which to go for.


You're welcome :) I'd hate to think you might spend more than necessary.

One reason I got this one is that it's also recommended for use on babies too so it must be good.

One thing about Amazon is their reviews are always very useful for info. . . best, P


Thanks Peeg :)


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