Lung crackles and wheezing help please. - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation
45,153 members52,838 posts

Lung crackles and wheezing help please.


Hi. I'm looking for a little advice, please.

I've been having dull chest discomfort/pain for about 2 months. It's been accompanied by wheezing, breathlessness on mild exertion, a non-productive cough and I can hear crackle sounds when I breathe in. Ive been back and forth to my GP and have had ECGs and a cardiac stress test which they said was all fine. I've also had a chest X-ray that showed enlargement in the centre of my chest. (I think he mentioned the lymph nodes). But the report from the radiologist was very vague and they said it "could" be a chest infection. My GP prescribed me antibiotics but they didn't have any effect at all.

I went back to see him after I finished the course and he still had no clue what was going on. I asked if it could be asthma and he said it was unlikely as it wouldn't show on an X-ray, but he prescribed me a salbutamol inhaler just in case. I've been taking it (the prescribed 4 times a day) and it doesn't work. In fact I've stopped taking it because it made me shaky and my throat feel tight. I've also been referred to a respiratory dept to look at my X-ray, but this could be weeks away.

It's stopping me from doing things as I get so out of breath from the slightest things. Housework is extremely difficult. Is there anything else I should be doing/asking for? I'm worried that it's something serious and everything takes so long. It's weeks between appointments and referrals.

Thank you if you made it this far! Any advice would be appreciated.

11 Replies

I made it to the end Holly and just wanted to say you could ring the BLF who have nurses to offer advice and support. Click on the red balloon.

Wishing you well and hope you get to the bottom of your problems very soon. It is hard having to wait so long for results etc. Xxxxx


Hi have you ever had a spirometry test? It is possible you have copd and this is the test for it. If nothing is found then a CT scan could be helpful. I hope you find some answers soon. x


If it is an infection you probably needed a second course or a different Antibiotic, is your chest tight or are you bringing up any mucus. Go back to your GP and demand he takes another look.


Welcome to the site Holly. I wish I could be of more help for you. How long did you use the inhaler? I don't know if that one, is for inflammation. He should have given you one that is. Could be allergy related also.Have you been exposed to anything different around the time it started. Sometimes one antibiotic doesn't work and they try another. Don't think much of your GP! I'm sure others will be along to help you out.😊 Rubyxx

Hi Holly, I am one of the fortunate ones who has a really good GP. When I presented with chest problems which didn't respond to antibiotics, I was sent for an X-ray. Like you, it showed something but the GP didn't know what so she immediately referred me to a consultant who ordered a HRCT scan. If I were you, I'd ask your GP for a referral to see a lung consultant. GPs don't have detailed knowledge about lung conditions and it is not good enough for your doctor to just GUESS !!!!!

I hope you get an answer soon. Take care.


Are you producing sputum? If so, I would be asking that a sample is tested to see iof any infection is still there and to identify the bug so you can be given the correct antibiotic.

Hi HollyW1,

Your symptoms definitely sound like COPD. please ask your doctor to order a spirometry test. If I were a betting lady, I would bet my last dollar that's what is causing it.

You've come to the right place. Everyone in this group has a wealth of information on lung disease (including COPD) and tips, tricks and advice to help. They are also a caring, kind and nurturing group of people. You are not alone.

I hope you find answers and know you will find friendly, caring friends in this group. Giant hugs to you. Keep us posted on how you are doing.


Wow, thank you so much for the lovely replies. All so nice here! My GP has ordered a spirometry test so hopefully that will be soon.

(I realise that I didn't give much other info so, in case it helps, I'm a 40 yr old female, I've never smoked and I rarely drink. My cough is not producing any sputum at all.)

Welcome to the group Holly - hope you get answers soon.

Just had my "urgent" referral through to see respiratory consultant. Can't see me till September. :( I guess it's normal to have to go on a long waiting list, but I'm gutted I have to wait so long.

Hi HollyW1. I have suffered with Asthma for 40 odd years, I was always able to control the Asthma, then about three years ago it seem to be getting worse and I kept getting chest infections. The GP sent me to the respiratory department at our local hospital and the Consultant kept telling me it was the Asthma and gave me this inhaler and that inhaler and I wasn't getting any better coughing up sputum , I new it was more than the Asthma , I seem to be going round and round and not getting anywhere antibiotics after antibiotics for chest infections. I got my GP to get a second opinion at the next hospital 30 miles away, best thing I did as the Consultants there diagnosed Bronchiectasis, in the last 12months I have been Hospitalised 7 times,. The Consultant has now sent me to the Royal Brompton hospital in London, as I am still not as good as I should be with the two complaints. The Bromptom hospital is taking me in next month for 5 days to do tests on me. My point in all this is if you feel you are not getting anywhere you GP can send you to the Brompton , to seek help it is the main Lung and Heart hospital. Please don't take it that what I have, is what is wrong with you. But unless you speak up you might take longer to sort your problem. I do hope you can get some answers soon all the best. John

You may also like...