British Lung Foundation
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How do I know if I really have asthma...

My GP diagnosed me with Asthma 6 years ago after 3 chest infections. Currently I’m on sertetide, my question is how do I know for sure that I have asthma? I don’t wheeze nor have I ever done so. If it a very windy day I feel that breathing isn’t as easy as it should be, ventolin makes no difference at such times. I was a smoker for 40 years non smoker for 8, spirometry tests showed large lungs with normal results. My main complaint is constant throat clearing with elastic type mucus at the back of my throat, When I cough up mucus it always feels as though it comes from my throat not my chest. Could seretide cause excess mucus in my throat? Or do my symptoms sound more like post nasal drip?

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Post nasal drip causes throat clearing and excess mucus. To really diagnose asthma you should have a lung function test. You should speak to your GP about one and an MRI of the sinuses which can determines PND and/or chronic sinus.

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Also, nasal drip and sinusitis can cause chest infections, the mucus drips into the lungs. You may need treatment for that rather than asthma. GP shouldn't guess, asthma should always be diagnosed via the correct tests.

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Many thanks for your reply

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A possibility is silent reflux Osame - the mucus you describe is exactly what silent reflux produces, kind of gluey and coming from the throat. Post nasal drip is part of that too. Talk to your doctor about that. And reflux can cause asthma like symptoms too.

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Thank you for your reply it gives me something to go back to the doc with.

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My new Pulmonologist did a ImmunoCap lab test and a Methacholine Challange with the PFT, both were negative for Asthma but he still wants to treat me for it based on symptoms. I suppose those are two of the usual test based on my experience. It's best to see a lung specialist, I asked my GP for a referral...

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Thank you

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Hi Osame my doctor treated me for asthma for over ten years, even though I told her I didnt think it was asthma, the sprays made me worse. It was when we have a new doctor for a little while who listened and sent me for ct scan that showed it was bronchiectasis. Ask your doctor to refer you, they are so often wrong. This is a great site for info x

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Thank you I will do just that. The more I read on this site the more I question my diagnosis, I’m going to ask for a second opinion.

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I've been on seretide for about 6 months and started to have the same throat mucous problem. My wife, who's a chronic asthmatic, said to use a spacer rather than taking the seretide direct. Been using the spacer for a week and I can't believe the difference - sooo much better. And my asthma has improved too - I think the constant throat clearing was making it worse.

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Hi I was taking my seretide through the spacer. I agree with you the constant throat clearing does seem to make it all worse. Since writing my original post, I took myself off all inhalers after about 2 months it became obvious that I do have cough variant asthma. So now on qvar not as strong as seretide I think. As for the constant throat clearing I’m booked in for a gastroscope at the end of the month.

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