Any advice appreciated: I was diagnosed... - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Any advice appreciated

robibry profile image

I was diagnosed with COPS 6 or 7 years ago, over the last maybe 6 months I have been having episodes where I am struggling to inhale.

This starts with a coughing fit and quickly develops Into a very frightening very loud struggle to get breath in.

I'm on 2 inhalers, Fostair and Eklira Genuair twice daily but is there any was to stop these episodes as every time I think I'm about to die.

17 Replies

Ask your GP to refer you for pulmonary rehab. There you will be given lots of information about living with your condition and graded exercises to get fitter.

In the meantime, look up singing exercises for lung health on YouTube and try doing some of those regularly. You may also live near one of the singing groups listed on BLF's website, like the one I run in Crewe called Breathe Better Sing Together.

Also try to avoid things that trigger the coughing episodes, like smoke, strong smells, perfume, vehicle exhaust fumes, and automatic air fresheners.

All the best for 2018. Hope you get better control of your condition soon.

robibry profile image
robibry in reply to Ergendl

Thank you for your response, I have been twice to pulmonary rehab first time I forgot everything they taught me.

I have never heard of the singing groups, I will look into that as I love to sing.

Yeah the perfumes and airfreshners etc I get that I have 3 teenagers at home. Thanks again.

Ergendl profile image
Ergendl in reply to robibry

Go to and scroll down a bit, to find a button to search for a group near you.

Personally I would see my GP as it seems as if maybe a different type of inhaler might aid you. Best of luck

robibry profile image
robibry in reply to gingermusic

Thank you sounds like a good idea.

You should definitely speak to your GP about this. Hope you get sorted soon x

robibry profile image
robibry in reply to Dedalus

Thank you.

Hi, sorry I have no advice but this also happens to me, so I am following your post. It is very frightening when you have to struggle to get air into your lungs. This sometimes happens to me when I am asleep and I awake and cannot breathe. I also suffer with acid reflux and think I inhale acid into my lungs which makes me cough and I feel as if the back of my throat is blocked and I cannot breathe in, making the loud sucking in noice you describe. I have a doctors appointment soon and will ask about this.

claracola profile image
claracola in reply to puppylover

I used to get that acid reflux where I woke up like that but omeprazole sorted it for me. Best to make to appt x

robibry profile image
robibry in reply to puppylover

I got diagnosed with sleep apnea as I too was waking up through the night gasping for air. Since I got my cpap machine I don't get it when I'm sleeping now.

The blocked feeling at the back of the throat I do get from time to time, I was sent for an endoscopy but it was all clear.

Thank you.

I have the same symptoms when I have an infection,the last one I struggled through without antibiotics as advised by GP. I am only one inhaler.. The feeling of being unable to get ones breath is frightening. I try to take very short sharp breaths then the inhale and exhale through my mouth. I take Lansoprazole as I vomit flem after 5 minutes coughing .

I have rung 111 in the past but think i know how to manage it. There advice with the breathing is to go to A & E.

I know its no consolation but i have CA prostate and meniere's disease as well .82 years

robibry profile image
robibry in reply to mikefa

Thank you are you like me I can clear a room in seconds when it happens, people don't know how to help and I think it's a bit scary for them.

Hope you're doing ok right now.

I have suffered with this condition and discovered "pursed lip" breathing and "Abdominal breathing" helped me. I always found the instinct was to breath in gasping at air but the answer I discovered was blowing the air out of the abdomen which allows air automatically to come back into the lungs. This gets rid of the trapped air which is stopping the new oxygen to enter thus leaving us with a sense of suffocation. Pulmonary Rehab via your Doctor or Consultant is also highly recommended.

robibry profile image
robibry in reply to hallentine47

Thanks for responding I think I may have to go back to pulmonary rehab again.

The pursed lips breathing I use all the time to get air out nut I've obviously forgot how to get it in. 👍

I also have episodes like yours....I asked the doctor for anti mucus capsule's and they eased the condition x

robibry profile image
robibry in reply to Pauline-pm

Thanks Pauline I need to do something as even the dog runs away when I start. 😁

mikefa profile image
mikefa in reply to Pauline-pm

Thanks for that Pauline i will ask ,if I dare !!

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