British Lung Foundation

Heavy Wheezing and potential Lung Infection - help?

Hi, I'm Jake - and yes, I'm new here!

Since the first week of October I began to develop a cough/cold where I'd be coughing up yellow mucus, and blowing it out of my nose. After a few weeks, the colour went and the mucus I was blowing out of my nose was see-through. This turned into a mild "cough", very mild, it was just me coughing every now and then but it wouldn't go away, so I went to see the GP who prescribed me antibiotics.

The course of antibiotics helped, but I still had a cough so was prescribed another course of antibiotics. This also helped, but a few days later it came back. Now I've been given my 3rd course of another antibiotic.

I was given a chest x-ray, which turned out to be normal. My chest had crackling heard from my left lung, which the doctor says is mostly an infection. Over the last few days, I've been waking up every morning with heavy wheezing, more than I've ever had in my life. This only happens at night, however, I do wheeze during the day also, but manage to control the symptoms. When I wheeze I can feel it coming from my left lung, and have slight upper back pain (not sure if muscular or something else) randomly, every now and then too.

Any help? Any ideas on what this could be? It's really affecting my life negatively and I just pray something can be done about it. I'm a 21 year old male, never smoked, used blue salbutamol inhaler for the last 10 years maybe about once a week if required, however, since October I've been using mostly up-to 3-6 times a day, and gone through a few inhalers.

Symptoms: Wheezing (especially when waking up), coughing up yellow coloured mucus, irregular back pain. Chest X-ray came out normal, I've been asked to give a sputum sample and getting the results for that in a few days. On-going since October, severity has been alternating. Some days I'm fine, some days worse, last few days have been the worst.

5 Replies

Hello Soulmeht, sorry to read about your sore lung and coughing. I have bronchiectasis, a chronic condition that includes some of the symptoms you describe. You might want to raise this possibility with your GP and request a referral to a lung specialist plus a CT scan, as an x-ray is not sufficient for detecting bronchiectasis.

Good Luck



I was going to say the same thing about bronchiectasis , I doesn't show on an X-Ray, need ct scan



It's possible the pain in your back could indicate the infection - the ones lower down can often cause this but yours is in your upper back, so not sure. Could be muscular from the coughing. The sputum results may indicate that you need a different antibiotic. And I also have bronchiectasis, worth asking about that. Feel better :)


Hi this sounds like a chest infection which just won't clear. Now you have given a sputum sample your doctor should be able to identify which ab would be the most effective. This should solve the problem. It doesn't sound like a lung disease and at 21 you would be far too young to have copd.

I don't know if you eat much dairy food? If you do try and cut it back a bit and drink lots of water (not tea, coffee, alcohol etc.). Dairy doesn't increase your mucus but it does make it thicker and harder to cough up. This should help with the cough. x


It does sound like a chest infection and the sputum sample will confirm this or otherwise so that they can give you correct antibiotics. If it is not that you should ask for more tests etc. Good luck and welcome to the site soulmeht.


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