Log in
British Lung Foundation
37,009 members44,136 posts

Chronic cough

Hi I am new here so any advice appreciated. I am 59 year old female and have never smoked. Normally fit and healthy apart from a chronic cough which I have had for 10 months and making me feel drained and unsociable

It is difficult to expectorate as a female but it is thick yellow mucous hard to cough up. My bronchus feels red raw. I have had 2 chest rays showing clear lungs. I am on my 6th antibiotics this year which masks the problem whilst taking them and then flares up again. Feeling exhausted and also getting breathless on exertion. Feel conventional medicine is failing. Any ideas?

19 Replies
oldestnewest

Go back to your GP and ask to be referred to a respiratory specialist

5 likes
Reply

Good advice. :)

3 likes
Reply

I will do thank you

1 like
Reply

Hi sorry to hear this. Are you taking any steroids as well?

Reply

No. Just antibiotics and waiting for results of a lung scan which I had 10 days ago

Reply

Maybe you need to ask your doctor for steroids. I know my infections don't clear up without steroids as well as ab's.

Reply

Not been given any steroids

Reply

Short term you can try Fishermans's friend..spearmint is the milder, the original are hard to take (very strong)...but you do need to go back to your GP, and if not happy ask to be referred to a Pulmonologist...The only meds that work for me (Chronic Bronchitus) are 50mg Prednisolone...use them for a week and they have never failed me...But what works for one may be useless to another...I wish you well

3 likes
Reply

Thankyou. Worth a try

Reply

I agree with scardycat that you need to ask that be referred to a respiratory consultant .. or insist. I'm not experienced enough to say what it could be but I had problems with a cough/ infections/ phlegm for 2 years . Kept being told it was asthma or reflux. Turned out it I had a partially collapsed bottom lung due to low down infection which didn't show up on X-ray but did on a CT scan. This led to bronchiectasis diagnosis.

Am just recounting my story to help give you the confidence to insist on a referral or if not then quiz the GP more as they really are not experts!

Hope haven't scared you as I know it will be fine when you get the correct advice. It's just I wished I'd pushed earlier .

😉 good luck! X

1 like
Reply

Sounds exactly like me . Keep saying gastric acid and I am on lansoprazole. But when I am on antibiotics it just seems to mask everything and don't even need acid meds then. Cough feels like trying to cough up treacle!

I am persistent at the gps weekly and am getting nowhere. I am waiting to see chest clinic but appointment end of November . How are you managing with your diagnosis and how is your cough now. Are you on meds.

Reply

Well it's an ongoing learning curve.. re Bronchiectasis and have peculiar upper airways attacks which is probably due to silent reflux but no one sure although take lansoprazole.

Long story but summing up.. after constant infections, complications triggering awful asthma attacks .. in desperation I phoned the asthma society. Although I take an inhaler for asthma it's not usually a problem. Anyway the nurse was so so helpful, told me I was in a real mess and advised me to ask for a consultation at the Royal Brompton. As I'm retired I was able to do that. Turned out the previous respiratory consultant had read the CT scans wrong, I got put on different antibiotics, all sorts. Am so grateful to that asthma nurse and that I made the phone call!!

It's still a work in progress but it's learning about what's right for you , knowing when you are infected, ill .

I'm by no means suggesting everyone has to go the Royal Brompton but if I'd pushed earlier before I had the diagnosis the bronchiectasis would not have been getting worse. Also I felt something was wrong with the advice I was getting from the 1st consultant.

I think in my case, bronchiectasis is easy to miss.. it seems.

Of course you've probably got something else so it may not apply to you.

Interestingly i got diagnosed at 59, am female ,now 62, and decided to retire then as I was missing so much work. I also have elements of CFS ( that's how it was described) , IBS and other problems.

It seems alot if females have all sorts of problems which are related to inflammation in one way or another... am sure hormones play a part. But then I'm in my 8th year of bad menopause symptoms!!

This forum is brilliant for help, support and advice so do keep in touch!

Xx

Reply

Ps just read your post again. I get a dry cough from reflux so initially I wondered if yours is reflux related but antibiotics can make reflux worse and in your case it doesn't so would think it's maybe not reflux?

The ongoing phlegm which keeps on returning makes me wonder if there is an infection but you aren't on the right antibiotics.

My 1st consultant just put me on a high dose of amoxicillin (1000) and whilst it cleared it up initially it kept returning. Was in a cycle of infection, amoxicillin then 2/3 weeks later infection again. This went for 18 months until I got to Royal Brompton and found it was completely the wrong antibiotic! Consultant never suggested another antibiotic! Was then put on levofloxacine. My GP hadn't even heard of it. So when you get a diagnosis think .... if it's at all possible.... you really research it .... and if you're not happy with the advice.... consider changing. But then I'm biased!!!! X

1 like
Reply

Pps last word ..... when you don't know what's wrong and you are obviously feeling unwell.... it's exhausting, depressing, you feel unsociable.... ! Total sympathy with that x

Reply

Thankyou for taking the time to post . You have been really helpful x

Reply

Ah that's good x

Reply

Amoxicillin is a good wide spectrum antibiotic so your doctor made a good call in view of your symptoms. Without samples to show what bugs are present and what they are sensitive to it's hard to prescribe right 100% of the time. Levofloxacin targets certain bacteria. Always ask to be referred to a respiratory unit if you're not improving.

Reply

Hi. Been on 6 lots of antibiotics including amoxicillin, doxycycline and erythromycin. Sputum sample says should be ok with all of those. As soon as I finish a course it is back in avengence within a week x

Reply

Hi helpful people. I have been for result of my lung scan and diagnosed with mild bronchiectasis and mucous plugging. Peribronchial consolidation in left lower lobe.

Been prescribed inhaler Anoro Ellipta daily. I am finishing a course of doxycycline tomorrow and feel absolutely shattered and breathless going up incline and steps. Is this just the start ?? Feeling worried 🙁🙁

Reply

You may also like...