Fed up and tired!

I am hoping I can get some help or advice from this site. 🙏 I am 47 years old and an ex smoker. For the past 14 weeks I have had a non productive cough that has got worse and worse, leaving me very breathless at times. I have seen my GP numerous times, had three chest X-rays (all clear) blood tests (all clear) and been to A and E twice through difficulty breathing. My ribs are bruised and sore through coughing and it is definitely worse at night and when laying down. When I lay on my right side, the crackling sound seems to disappear but not whilst on my back or left hand side. I was given a blue reliever inhaler from the hospital last time which helps slightly but not a lot. I am not sleeping much due to cough, even when propped up in bed and I cough a lot during the day too. Currently waiting on a private referral to respiratory clinic but need to do/have something in the meantime. I am going crazy not being able to breathe or sleep properly. I have tried steam inhaling and all the possible cough pastilles/ medicines available. Plus nasal sprays.

I have also had allergy tests which have gone back negative. Any advice please 🙏🙏🙏

28 Replies

  • i stopped smoking afew years ago and had a terrible cough and shortness of breath for a long time ,in fact nearly started smoking again but carried on without the fags now i feel so much better still short of breath but not so bad, glad you stopped smoking hopefully you will feel the benefits soon good luck

  • Have you had a Spirometry test at all, where you have to breathe into a machine?

    There is also a Reversibility test , after the first Spirometry you take some Ventolin and then do the test again..

    How much of the blue inhaler are you taking.

    If you live in the UK you can contact the BLF helpline for advice either by email or phone.....details are on the British Lung Foundstion website. Asthma UK have a helpline too.

    Best wishes

  • Katiekitten it's very frustrating wen you know there's something wrong knitter reply is a good one hope it gets sorted for you take care.

  • Fo They Have You On Oxygen? I have had pneumonia 5 times in 1 year and the last time I spent 7 days in the hospital and came home on IV antibiotics for another 5 days. If you don't get better, go to the ER. Good luck

  • Hi Katie

    You definitely need to get to that respiratory clinic ASAP. I am also a 'cough no sleep' sufferer so I know what you're going through. I don't have the answer honey and I'm sure nobody here does either but I/we can offer you our support in your hunt for an answer. Keep the faith Katie. They will find out what's wrong.

    A big hug from me.


  • I my self had it 4 times pnumona but i have C.O.P.D. but at moment Broncetisis is courning trouble .I could sleep all night and half aday so tired worne out i havent smoke for 8 years was a Broncectisis was very bad last time blood flesh came up so weak blow on me i would fall over but fighting 9 years has i carrie on smokin has GP gave me blue inhaler said got C.P.P.D. Had a test there so thought oh cart be to bad thats why i carried on smoking for about 6 months more so its 9 years had it .Can you tell me is Broncectisis realy Emerpsma

  • I have similar episodes and find that sucking a menthol & eucalyptus sweet alleviates the cough stimulus and an inhalation from a drop of tea tree oil on boiling water twice a day helps.

  • ,my aunt has had cough for a while ,she is 90 and never smoked . doctor told her it was nerves and to take things easy try to calm down !!!!

  • Hi tannin, ' it's your nerves' was a phrase that they used to use years and years ago......my late mother had a problem with her eyes and was told it was her nerves.

  • Hello Katie

    Has any of these medical professionals proffered an opinion or a diagnosis? It is completely unacceptable that you are left in this obvious distress. It is also unacceptable that you have had to go privately when the NHS should have referred you to the respiratory physicians. My grandson had similar symptoms and I insisted in the end that they referred him which they did. Meanwhile he uses the blue inhaler which helps and I bought a saline salt humidifier which has improved his symptoms too and he sleeps through the night now . We go for his consultant appt in Friday .The doctors kept on saying it was a virus .


  • Check any meds you take to see if they can give this as a side effect. Do you take any ppi's or heartburn/ indigestion tablets?

  • I don't have specific answers but I found anti histamines helped ease the cough. Increase fluid to help thin the mucous - makes it easier to cough up. Hope you don't have to wait too long for the respiratory clinic.

  • Hi - Our left side lung is slightly smaller to make space for the heart. It is also a narrower lobe down to the diaphragm and can be more affected by your stomach pushing up - eating before bed?

    I am no medic but I had a biopsy done on that side (for COPD and pneumonia) and ever since I have had bouts of infection on that side. X-Rays do NOT spot it and my other tests are not conclusive. The CT scan did spot it however, And it spotted changes in my bronchial airways (the first ones on the way in to the lungs) which had not been seen before. So maybe ask your GP to arrange a CT scan?

    Your symptoms attached to how you lie in bed match mine. My cough is often unproductive at these times UNLESS i exercise hard - gym-stuff is best. That IMHO suggests deep seated infection that is hard to dislodge. Ask you GP.

  • Hi my hubby had the same problem for months and had never been ill in his life. He see consultant and has a lung diesese caused by pneumonia and statins.he didn't even know he had Pneumonia . My daughter in law also had same thing and hers was caused by blood pressure tablets. I have brittle asthma and cough a lot and know how troublesome it can be. Hope you get sorted out soon.

  • I too gave up smoking, my chest wheezes improved as did shortness of breath, but I am prone to mild asthma. I have two inhalers blue Ventolin & Clenil Modulite the latter is a preventer medication, but at times these are not enough to stop the incessant coughing, chest crackle and shortness of breath, when this happens I have to get steroid tablets from GP. The steroids tend to calm everything down but sometimes a longer than 1 week course is required. I hope you find the answer to your problems, good luck

  • Hi I am a ex smoker had that problem doc prescribed Virtussin AC Syrup no more coughing slept well at night

  • Katiekitten Hi Iam essiet48 I really hate to say this but my sister was the same way and nothing showed up on her xrays and they kept saying nothing was wrong. She coughed for a year and had many test and nothing showed up. She went into the hospital and they operated and removed one lobe of her lung. She became septic because that lobe was full of pneumonia and the infection spread and she died. I know that sounds terrible but its all true. They can find out if you have pneumonia after all its 2016. Have they done a sputum test? Are you inhaling any mold or mildew in your home. Is there any dust in your house? Have you tried inhaling steam with vicks in it as that always helps me. Have they had you on prednisone yet? There are a lot of things it could be so don't give up just keep trying. Sleep in a recliner and you can tilt it to the desired position. I have done that many times. Sometimes its the time of year that causes coughing. Sorry you are feeling bad but best wishes and I hope you feel better really soon.

  • Hi katieKutten

    Google Smoking Emphysema, sounds like you have ut effects smokers/ex-smokers over 35 years old it's like COPD symptoms are the same and is usually treated as if ChronicObstructivePulmonsryDisease

    Should answer some of your questions and concerns:

    Good Luck

  • it's blf.org.uk Check out COPD

  • consult a homeopath,you can get good relief from your complaints without any side effects.thank you,

  • Hi Katie--It seems to go with the territory--I know it seems odd because you would think just the opposite--I didn't even start it till I was off cigs 3 mos--so it is weird and different for everybody--but rest assured many go thru it-Its almost like forgetting to breathe-and you overbreathe and underbreathe and panic and then it really gets awful-See Dr to reassure you--and hang on--Under topics go to Breathing Worries on your right--you will see some solutions and others with same thing--Take care--Love,MmeT

  • I get this often and the ONLY thing that sorts it is high dose prednisolone for 4 or 5 days ☹️

  • I have the same problem. It's asthma. I also have pernicious anemia. Your breathing will improve if you get out more, I find broncho stop works too, Just back from a holiday and my breathing improved simply because I was going out and about every day. Hope this helps.

    Email me anytime. I am Sandra from Paisley

  • Yes, as Knitter says, a spiro test is a must. My GP did it easily enough. I got the sticky phlegm that's hard to cough up. There is a tablet that helps but I gargled with Himalayan pink salt & warm water. That helped me. Good luck with it.

  • Last week I received my salt pipe that I purchase from Amazon.It really help do gargle really help? How often do you gargle? God bless and breathe easy.

  • Hi Florence. I just used crystal salt to gargle with. have heard of the pipes but don't know much about them. Hope it helps you. Bless you and breathe easy.

  • Sorry - didn't answer your question. I gargle just before bed but might do it more often. Best of luck.

  • The issues have been going on for a while.Things have gotten worst go to ER ASAP.God bless

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