Should I follow up to confirm diagnosis? If I should, how or what should I do next?

Hi everyone,

Great to find lots of useful info in here. But still, I have a few questions and would like to hear some advices.


30 year-old female; Known drug/antibiotics allergy in childhood (face swollen and hives whole body); Moved into a new house 1-2 years ago. Myself have/family history of chronic rhinitis. Consulted w ENT and tested for allergen (blood test), but couldn't find a particular allergen (either allergic or non-allergic rhinitis); Done blood test, pulmonary function test, chest X-Ray and came out normal.


Down with a flu in Feb 2014. Then the dry cough and chest tightness dragged on and off for 2-3 months, especially early morning, cold air/drink and laughs. Symptoms were getting worse and my primary care/PCP prescribed an albuterol inhaler for temporary relief (it helped for my symptoms). 2 months later, experienced coughing fit at night. Could hear a little whistling sound if cough really hard. As it's bothersome and used the inhaler more often, I visited urgent care next morning. UC doc suspected asthma/cough-variant asthma so started 3-month trial of Singulair/generic. Symptoms improved after a week.

I did experience an edge of breathlessness (cough & chest tight) when my co-worker burned her lunch via microwave, which caused lots of smoke in my office. Fortunately, symptoms gradually faded out an hour later w/o using my inhaler.

So now I am on few meds for long-term:

- Flonase nasal spray (generic) x1 daily (recently stop refilling but keep using neti-pot)

- Singulair (generic) x1 daily at bedtime (have been taking for over a year)

- Claritin/Zyrtec x1 PRN

- Proair Albuterol inhaler x2 puffs PRN

I asked my PCP if I have asthma. She said it's only allergies coz I don't wheeze. But somehow she gave me a pneumococcal shot and keep authorizing to refill the generic Singulair. No visit for any review so far. Actually my inhaler expired in Sept 2015. I asked her if I should refill and she said I can keep using it as I don't use that much...

Later, I visited UC for other issue (persistent rash around ears after using Rx cream for scabies). The UC doc, who also a dermatologist, said it may be allergy-related/contact dermatitis as I have atopic diathesis. He noticed that I have record of using inhaler and asked if I have asthma. I said not sure but occasionally used the inhaler (3 times in 2015 so far). Then he said I probably have asthma (allergy-related) as my symptoms respond to the inhaler.

So I wonder...

If I should follow up (or do anything) to confirm the diagnosis of asthma? I do occasionally have symptoms but mild (hope fall-winter will be ok too). The problem is I have to go through my PCP for further progress/referral...Thoughts?

Thank you so much!


3 Replies

  • Have you had allergy tests to determine what you are allergic to? I would imagine you should push for this first. I know when I was first called to see a consultant the first thing they did was allergy testing and lung function. I would go and speak to you GP again.

  • Hi Incz, with what you describe I would definitely follow up for a more detailed diagnosis. If you are in UK try nurses at Asthma UK number can be found on their website. Also the Asthma UK website as more details about varied asthmatic conditions and types. Good luck

  • Hi JC,Was there any chance the sound you thought was whistle could have been a crackle. One of the main symptoms of non-cf Bronchiectasis. Most GPS cannot hear it - even the chest (very rude) told me to stop making so much noise with my breathing as he could not hear whether I crackled or not! I never had allergies before contracting Bronchiectasis. I was told after an allergy test that it was a no-no. The list is endless now rape when it is near harvesting, standing diesel fumes, oven sprays etc. You can oly confirm Bronchiectasis by CT scan. A lot of people myself included are misdiagnosed with asthma. Take care Kaye.

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