Listen to your lungs

Hi guys,

You might have heard about it already but I wanted to let you know about our new campaign.

Almost every day I hear from people who put off going to the doctor when they first started experiencing breathless.

Some thought it was normal – a sign that they were getting older or that they weren’t as fit as they had been. Some were afraid of what the doctor would tell them so they didn’t make an appointment.

Whatever the reason, most of them say they wish they’d got it checked sooner.

Because the earlier you’re diagnosed, the more you can do to stay healthier for longer. Depending on what’s wrong, it might even give you a better chance of fighting it off.

That’s why we’ve launched our new campaign – Listen to your lungs.

If people are getting breathless doing everyday things, we want them to take our breath test. If their breathlessness is nothing to worry about then hopefully it will put their mind at rest. And if there is cause for concern, then they have ammunition to take to their GP and get it checked.

Would you mind sharing the test with your family and friends, via Facebook or Twitter? The more people who hear about this the better.

You can see more about the campaign here -

Or you can take the breath test yourself here -

Thank you so much!


18 Replies

  • Thank you Bethany, makes sense to me. Xxx

  • Hi Bethany, I took the test and my result was that I was coping quite well with my breathlessness but could consider consulting a professional about my fear of being unable to breathe.

    I thought it was a good survey but as always with 'yes or no' answers, it left some grey areas that one had no way of including in the assessment. For example, the list of options to tick when describing your breathlessness : I ticked the second one, which was that I get breathless on exertion such as on a small hill or when rushing. That applied that day but I could have ticked almost every other box as well, right down to be exhausted after washing and dressing and not have the energy to leave the house. That would be a bad day.

    But if the survey is aimed at people who have not been confirmed with lung disease but are beginning to notice that they are occasionally breathless or coughing a lot, it's a very good guideline for them to follow as to when they need to see a doctor.

    Congratulations ! I'm sure this will result in many people being diagnosed and receiving treatment they need to stay as healthy as possible. Well done BLF !

  • Ha! I did it too, out of interest, & got "you need to make another appointment to discuss your breathlessness and how best to manage it." As you say though, it's aimed at people who aren't yet diagnosed & will be very useful for them I imagine. Sometimes breathing problems creep up on people & this will help them stop & realise how much difficulty they're really having.

  • it is hard to keep aware of "symptom creep"

  • Hi Billiejean, I know what you mean about yes or no answers - it can be galling if you fit somewhere in the middle. However the questions are based on the MRC breathlessness scale. Because it's a recognised, scientific measurement of breathlessness, GPs will have more respect for it if someone goes to see them after getting their results.

    I'm really glad you like it overall!

  • I got the same result Hanne!

    This is a good survey Bethany but how will you get it out there to those who aren't on this site? Another thing with the pressure doctors are under these days ie 10 minute appointments, and until lung issues are taken as seriously as the other big killers, I can't see much changing. At least if enough people see it then it will encourage them to go to the doctors. Thank you for posting it and to BLF for doing it. x

  • I have seen it on facebook a couple of times already and I have shared it a few times. You just have to throw it out there and hope some people will do the test and be helped. How else is it being advertised I wonder?

  • We're doing some targeted advertising on Facebook, as well as putting up some bus stop posters in parts of the country that we know have high levels of lung disease. And of course we're asking as many people as possible to share it!

    I'm really glad you like the campaign.

  • I got the same results too. but will be going to the Docs in a couple of weeks.

  • Hi Bethany,

    I think it's great that this campaign is being launched. We take for granted now all sorts of screening for cancers of different sorts. You get to a certain age and an appointment pops through the door - it's an opt out rather than opt in way of doing things. Surely it should be the same for a simple breathing screening. And shouldn't GPs be doing it routinely?

    I took the test and have very severe COPD. I was told I don't need to see a doctor or other health professional - presumably because my breathlessness doesn't worry me, in the sense that I'm having treatment and understand how to manage it. I would think there must be many people out there who say they're not worried because they're using the same paper bag I used to have for some years. It can come on so gradually - bit like saying you don't need glasses because the change is slow.

    Having said all that, thank you for doing it and I hope the take- up is mind-blowingly good. It's so important to get people to be seen early because so much can be achieved by life-style changes. Congratulations for starting the ball rolling!

    Sue x

  • Hi Sue,

    I couldn't agree more. We would love to see lung testing being added to the national health check once you reach a certain age, and we do promote this when we're campaigning in parliament and so on.

    This is really great feedback and I'll make sure it's passed on to the relevant teams.


  • Ad rather not listen to my lungs LAST doctor I seen was amazed how my lungs made every acoustic sound in he's medical journal.

    But like I said fill ya boots as long as I get my antibiotics.

    Anyway seen NHS public adverts going on about lung Heath a DEFO a plus plus as to your site yup shared far and wide.

    Did test myself was very informative easy to use understand even remind me of stuff I forgot to ask doctor.

    But I did notice the hold ya breath test was not mentioned BUT who wants to hear bad news

  • pleased to see an emphasis now on the lungs and breathlessness rather than coughing - well done - I hope people heed it and catch it before it is like me too late x

  • I'm glad you like the direction we've gone in for the campaign Undine. I really hope it gives people a better chance of catching it early too.

  • A friend on here who wasn't diagnosed until she was severe told me that without realising it she had adjusted to her breathlessness and didn't think twice about it. Then she eventually went to the doctors. Perhaps if this test had been available then she might have been picked up much earlier.

    The main problem I think is that the 'worried well' will flood doctors surgeries convinced they have lung problems. There isn't anything you can do about that though and maybe it's worth it if you can pick up lungies at an earlier stage.

  • Hi Lilaclil. Hopefully the breath test will prevent that, as also tells people if they don't need to worry. It would be great to talk to your friend about her experience as that's the kind of story that really highlights why this is so important. If you happen to talk to her, would you mind asking her to get in touch with me? If she's interested, of course!

  • Hi Bethany I would but she left here around 3 years ago due to the trouble on here then. I doubt very much if she would want to talk to anyone on here. I will ask her though.

  • How very sad, I'm sorry to hear that.

    Thank you for asking. If she'd like to talk to me not on here, my number is 020 7688 5557 and my email is

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