Question regarding driving effects

Ok that's an odd title but I couldn't think how else to put it.

I have, finally, my follow up appointment with my lung doctor. It's been a long wait as I had all my tests back in February this year!

I just wanted to ask, every time I do a slightly longer drive (say over 30 miles) it results in me losing my voice due to the build up of phlegm in my chest and throat. I can't take a deep breath due to the pain and if I start coughing it's really painful and unpleasant. It's a very productive cough too.

I see the doc next week but wondered if anyone here can relate to my problem? If there's a reason it happens every time? I really am very curious as I couldn't find any info on the net anywhere.



16 Replies

  • Hi, I just replied to sparkimoore, and mentioned hyperventilation. I find I tense up when I drive and tend to shallow breathe, you are also in a confined static position and your breathing may be could disrupt your breathing pattern and cause you to cough.

    I find talking on the phone disrupts my breathing pattern too and I cough and wheeze and my voice I have to arm myself with a cough sweet and water.

    Just a thought ...I hope someone else has a better idea.

  • Thanks for the reply knitter. You could well have a point there. I suffer from anxiety as it is and know I tense up all the time. Not sure how to prevent it when driving but will attempt to observe my state next time I drive.


  • ladytelita, I think you have a leak of engine fumes causing the inflammation. I think you may have to drive with your windows down. See how that goes.

  • That's an interesting thought. I should have the car checked and find out if that's the case.

    I often have the windows down but find the problem is much worse than if I close up and use air con. Thankfully I don't live in a town or city which I know would make it worse.

    Thanks for the suggestion, I will take it to my garage and see if they can test for it.


  • Could be your driving position. Maybe with you sitting so upright its restricting the movement of your diaphragm? Just a thought.

  • Not really relevant to your particular problem but I find that driving long journeys produce a delayed reaction of breathlessness and chest pain. A friend suggested that next time I change the car to try an automatic. She said that the difference in not having to change gear all the time could help... Has any one else any ideas around this?

    K xx

  • Hi katinka, my car is an automatic, it is easy to drive, but I still tense up and find myself holding my breath, and sitting forward. I find it hard to stay alert and relax my body at the same driving instructor and my husband always said"sit back" instead of having my face up close to the windscreen...very tiring too.

  • I drive exactly the same knitter. Also in an automatic. I thought it was just because of my back problems. I do consciously try to relax and lean back into the seat these days. But long drives tire me.


  • Jjude have you tried using a seat on your drivers seat? I currently use tempur seat pads for on the seat and one for the back. I couldn't begin to drive as much as I do without them.


  • I'll have a search round looking for them thank for the tip lady t


  • I drive in London all the time and find all the shouting I do at idiot drivers is quite good exercise.Maybe if you stopped and had a five minute walk it would ease your problem,every fifteen miles say.It might not be very practicle but probably what a doctor would suggest.D.

  • Lol I can imagine plenty of shouting happens driving in London. Not many to shout at down here, except when the tourists visit, lol.

    It's a nice idea with only one minor drawback. My mobility is crap. In five minutes I'd have got out of the car and wobbled around without getting anywhere.

    If I'm honest with myself what I ought to do is not use the car every day and avoid longer journeys where possible. It's a shame my medical needs take me so far.


  • Do you think it could be the vibration? I will try this to get my gunk up in future - ha ha!

  • I now have the official answer from my respiratory doctor today. I had tests done earlier this year to find out why I was getting ill so often. I have Bronchiectasis and I am a high allergy person. Not food wise but things like dust, pollution, cat saliva (yes really). Even air conditioning is an issue. Makes driving and traveling not the best option, which is ironic since the hospital is more than 30 miles away.

    I will be seen again in six months. She wants to keep an eye on it all so I don't just fall off the radar.

    Thank you for all your replies. The suggestions have been very interesting and informative. I will definitely be checking that the car fumes aren't entering the car since it seems such an issue. It seems the thing I react to most but they didn't test for it, mores the pity. I may ask if they can.


  • Thought it could have been from the engine. Even tho you may not smell anything.

  • Recently diagnosed with COPD which puzzled me. Ran marathons never smoked generally fit. Turns out my employer decided not to fit cabin air filters to the truck I've driven for nine years. Research shows pollution level inside my truck is twenty times higher than outside. My advice check the cabin/pollen filter is changed often in your vehicle.

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