long term chest problem

long term chest problem ..Hopefully get some feedback. I have been having problems with my chest for about 6 years now, at the beginning it would be a bad cough a couple of times a year. A bs would normally do the trick after a few treatments. I would have several months cough free then back to the docs. In 2009 I had a chest x ray which showed some lung scaring but nothing to worry about (I was told) around this period I found I had nasal polyps and was producing a lot of mucus from my nose and chest. The coughs got worse had another x ray 2011 with the same outcome, had the polyps removed March last year. I thought after the operation things would improve but if anything they got worse and in June the same year I was taken in to hospital with pneumonia and I have not really recovered since. My current situation is I had another chest x ray last week. Last month I had Abs this did help for several weeks but now it is getting back to normal I have tinnitus caused by my ears being full of mucus, I use a nasal wash every day and modulate 100 twice 2 puffs morning and evening plus a shot of Avamys up each nostril. The cough does not keep me awake at night but the last few days I have been very low on energy and my muscles have been aching (back to pre A bs symptoms) around about 3 in the afternoon once I have moved all the mucus off my chest I don’t feel too bad. By the way I am 65 years of age not over weight and have never smoked; any thoughts would be much appreciated

Thanks for reading sorry for going on so long!

20 Replies

  • Hello and welcome. Sorry that you are suffering. There may be a number of reasons for your problems, not all of which will show up on an x-Ray. A CT scan and breathing tests are usually needed as well. Do you have a hospital consultant looking in to your problems or just the GP?

  • Hi monkey 65 thanks for replying

    at the moment its just my GP I have seen several GP's over the past 4 -5 years, and they all appear to be stumped when there is nothing obvious showing on my X rays also I get prescribed antibiotics which will give me a few weeks of being normal. I am thinking of going private to try and get this problem resolved.

  • Hi Caerleon,

    After having all these problems for this amount of time I am astonished that your GP has not referred you for a CT scan and to a respiratory consultant. As monkey has said a scan will show up far more detail of your lungs and airways, so that is really essential for you. You are perfectly within your rights to ask for referral to a consultant, and in your position I would insist on it. I had asthma for years, and when I became worse after a viral infection which then became a chest infection it was all put down to the asthma. I got steadily worse and wasn't referred to a consultant for over a year, but then I got started on treatment for copd and the Spiriva along with mucodyne ( which thins down the mucous and so makes it easier to cough up) helped enormously, although I did get pneumonia as well. Your GP can also arrange for you to have a spirometry test which can be carried out by a nurse in your health centre, and this will give an idea of how your lung function is.

    It will cost a fortune to go private, but if you have the means to do it, then it will be worth it, but maybe try and get a referral to a consultant first, that is your right.

    I hope you can get something sorted out soon as your doctors have been far too slow in referring you, particularly when they appear to be stumped!

    Good luck.

    hugs from Huggs xxx :)

  • I would strongly suggest that you ask your GP for a referral to a chest consultant who can undertake tests other than x-rays. Good luck.

  • Good Morning, I am so sorry to hear that you are suffering so much. I care for my husband who has severe COPD and over the years my experience has taught me to be proactive. Our doctors seem happy to just let you carry on unless you complain very loudly! I agree with all the other advise that you should ask for a referral to a chest consultant and just wonder if the BLF helpline maybe able to advise you how to get the best from your GP - You can call the helpline on 03000 030 555 Lines are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. Good Luck, lots of love TAD xx

  • Thank you all very much it is really helpful just to have your support and advice it is really appreciated, to be honest I think all the decisions made at my practice are based on financial considerations.

  • Hello and welcome

    Totally agree with all your friends above. This has been going on far too long and it seems the docs are scratching their heads. As said a CT scan would show in great detail any underlying problem, along with a lung function test. I too can't believe your docs have not referred you to a respiratory consultant. You need to be proactive and ask sweetheart. Agree with Tad, BLF will advise you.

    Let us know how you get on.


  • Hi welcome to the site. I agree it's time for you to ask for a referral to a Consultant. In the mean time can you ask for Spirometry testing at your pracice. Love Margaret x

  • Hi and welcome, I agree with the others....keep asking for help from the NHS first

    One thing I noticed was that you had nasal problems........do you tend to breathe through your mouth, if so try and gentle nose breathe with a relaxed diaphragm. This warms and filters the air before it reaches the lungs and helps stop hyperventilation too.

  • Again many thanks for all the good advice, I am back with my GP on the 26th and hopefully he can explain to me why I get relief with antibiotics for a month or two then my symptoms return? thanks again to all of you.

  • Don't let that GP fob you off. It took three years of repeated visits to mine before I got the referral, and then only because I happened to see a very junior member of the practice for a different problem, and she didn't like the sound of the cough. Wish I had known about this site before then! It may be that you have something like bronchiectasis, where the mucus just collects in your lungs and you are susceptible to repeated infections.

  • Thank you flibberti, that download describes my symptoms to a t. Why are GP's not very good at doing what they are paid a lot of money to do? When I see him on my next appointment we will be discussing my third chest x ray since 2009 the third set of peak flow meter readings and numerous chest infections. I produce lots of mucus and still the penny hasn't drooped!

    sorry for the moan

  • Hi all, just finished another round of antibiotics (last Friday) and as usual felt good whilst under the influence of the tablets for a couple of weeks. I have now been referred to a consultant but my GP recommends that I go private to avoid waiting months.

    I am with him in an hours time and will raise some of the points covered by your good selves, many thanks again for taking time to comment take care

  • Hi all, your support and advice is much better than I was getting from my GP !

    The latest news is that I decided to go private and try and get some answers. My CT showed that I have damage to both lungs (being worse on the right side) my consultant (private) advised me to have physio to learn ACBT, I have done this and to be honest to me the effectiveness of the process seams limited I think that I just produce too much sticky mucus. I am back with the consultant in a months time I will tell her how I feel with the hope she may suggest something else. I feel that I am getting more and more depressed because at the moment I can see no light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thanks again for taking time to read and reply.

  • Hi Caerleon,

    Its only natural to feel depressed with this having gone on for so long, and not getting any better during that time.

    The good news is though, that you have now seen a consultant and have been referred for physio, which you will know is to help with all the secretions, and it can be disheartening when you feel you are getting nowhere, but for your own sake do stick with it, as it will kick in and help, once you have got the hang of the whole process.

    You don't mention if you got a diagnosis from the consultant. I have copd, and at times have huge volumes of mucous, especially in the mornings, and to help with this was prescribed Mucodyne ( carboceisteine) which loosens and thins down the mucous, making it easier to cough up. It takes a few days to work, but I found it make the world of difference to me, although others have said it hasn't helped them. It would also depend on what you have been diagnosed with as it may not be suitable for some conditions, but it is well worth asking about.

    You have had your lung problems for such a very long time, that it might take a bit of time before you feel better as treatment should have been started a while ago, but chin up, as you are on the right road now, and if you stick with the physio, and maybe ask if a PR course would be beneficial to you, as well as getting back in touch with the nurses on the BLF helpline as they are excellent at giving you pointers on what to ask your doctor.

    Take care, and good luck,

    hugs from Huggs xxx :)

    ps Please don't go worrying about any biopsies unless they are actually suggested by a medical consultant.

  • Thank you Huggs for a very thoughtful and helpful reply, sorry for the delay in responding.

    My GP proscribed carboceiestine but before I had chance to try them my consultant told me not to use them? which I was disappointed about. My symptoms are very similar to yours and I feel this type of medication would have been beneficial.

    I have been informed that my condition is severe so I think that I need a little more than just ACBT. The consultant recommended that I use it (ACBT) for a month to 6 weeks and she would review my condition. I feel that the method is helping by giving me some control of the mucus extraction, so that is a step in the right direction.

    Sorry but what is PR?

    Thanks again for such a positive and helpful response.

  • If you are in london you can have an EBUS test diwn your throat and into your lungs,then they can actually look down there and take biopsys.you can get it diwn privately its not that much look up dr navani harley street london,get your priblem sorted once and for all.I really know how you feel,ive been complaining of zgortness of breath fir a long time,eventually they found a nodule on my right lung,so recently i had a pet/ct scan fir cancer.still waiting tesults.

  • Thanks hidden for your advice I live in south wales so a little distance from London. I really hope that your scan results bring you good news, thanks again

  • Hi all, I hope that you are feeling good.

    I don't think that I have mentioned that I have been diagnosed with Bronchiectasis, had another appointment with the consultant yesterday (my last private appointment, it was costing me hundreds of pounds and to be honest I get more informed information off you guys) I also paid to learn ACBT which is ok on a normal day but not so helpful on a bad day. I phoned yesterday for the appointment and saw her the same day. I made the appointment because I have not been feel too good this week. She said to just carry on using the ACBT method and suggested I use carboceisteine the very stuff she told me not to take at our first meeting. Felt rough again this morning and coughed until I was sick and brought up a bloody mucus plug (sorry) since that event I have started to feel a little better and my coughing is reducing is this common?

    God bless to all of you and take care

  • Hi flibberti,

    I left a post yesterday thanking you for your helpful post, started a spell on antibiotics today not the answer I know but I need a break from feeling unwell and coughing also I'm worried about doing more damage to my lungs. Finished with the lull in the coughing I talked about didn't last long. I get angry because talking to guys I now know that the signs were there for a least 4 years. The senior doc at the practice said it was all being caused by an allergy to dust mites! Anyway its no good dwelling on the past. I looked at ACBT & AD on youtube and to be honest the method shown to me by the physio at the private hospital was pretty poor. I thought about asking for an acapella would you recommend one?

    Sorry what does to pm you mean ?

    Many thanks again to each and every one of you

    take care god bless

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