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British Lung Foundation
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Pneumonia

I’ve had a copd diagnosis for 4 years now - i’m 64 and have been really well as a result of doing loads of exercise, using a salt pipe nd taking up the saxophone. But i’ve Had stressful 6 months and have now had pneumonia twice in past 3 months. Can feel the start of another chest infection and am scared I’ m about to go down again. Any advice? I’m desperate to get back to the way I was managing it before. Frances

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So sorry you are going through poor health Frances..I got a good leaflet from BLF on pneumonia because like you I have suffered in the past..

blf.org.uk/support-for-you/...

I think a good check-up and medication review is important. I found that when I got the pneumonia jab and better inhalers my lung health improved..

Exercise is important but not overdoing it..using guidance from pulmonary rehabilitation and respiratory physiotherapy was essential to my personal recovery.

As you got one after the other I would make sure there is no remnant of infection/bacteria in the lungs..sometimes we think it is clear GP/hospital sends you home with your bunch of antibiotics and steroids and that’s supposed to be dealt with but a blood check and a lung xray or ctscan would evaluate the risk of recurrence.

Another suggestion is to boost your immunity levels..so blood work to see what is missing or not and help from a good practitioner..maybe alternative therapy which you would trust..

I believe that anxiety and stress can be a factor which lowers our immunity, and as patients suffering from chronic illness, there is undeniably some element of stress in our daily lives, even if we try to overcome it and leave it in the back of our minds. For that I meditate with all sorts of videos on YouTube..but you can find your own way of course..

Hope it helps. Take good care and let us know of you are getting on xx

Fran 💐

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Ah Fran, thank you so much for taking the time to reply so fully and reassuringly.

It is easy to forget the wealth of knowledge and understanding out there and just soldier on alone - all your suggestions sound good - I shall have a go at each approach!

And take heart, and not be quite so frightened as a result of your reply, thank you so much!

Frances

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I am glad I could help Frances, keep in touch, it is a good caring forum here. You will always get an answer xx

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Hi Fran,. Just seen your reply n it was very good advice. I have since moved house, n that though very hard has helped me manage better, as it's a bungalow. It's also on top of a hill, so the air is fresher.

I still have chest infections, in fact I have one currently. But the consultant changed my diagnosis to asthma, after a CT scan. He also took me off 500 seretide down to 250.

He says notorious for causing pnemonia n chest infections. So scary isn't it, they don't tell you, untill they do!

I still don't understand why my lungs produce so much mucous. They never used to.

Still....

Hope you are keeping well n fit in the flu season :-)

Frances

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Hi Mel

Interesting yes..When you think that only 10% reaches our lung even with a spacer I think..

I was on seretide 250 for a couple of years but it didn’t make much difference either way. The worst for me was Fostair I think, I was taking 8 puffs a day and still found it hard to breathe..

The thing with steroids intake above 800 is that we know it depresses the immune system so it is a vicious circle but I wouldn’t do without..I have Serevent and Alvesco these days it is a good combination for me..plus Ventolin and Atrovent on demand.

I think we get used to those inhalers you know..

Producing a lot of mucus is a sign of inflammation..if you have asthma maybe it is not as controlled as one would wish..try the test on the Asthma UK website..I would give their helpline a ring. They’ve got good nurses and have helped me out a few times with useful tips.

Did you have an ENT check-up to see if your sinuses play a role? I did..I wash my nose with seawater spray am/pm and I have a steroid spray but I find it dries my nose and gives me nosebleeds so I use it sparingly..

Take good care xx

Fran

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Oh, thanks Fran, that's useful to know, will contact the asthma nurses UK website.

I had a bad time on Fostair too, also a few others who's names escape me. Oh yes ,Annoro, wicked stuff to me, tripled or more my mucous.

I have a wheat allergy probably become sensitive due to to all the steroids over the years.

But that causes inflammation, it's easy to make mistakes as it's in so many foods.

Seawater spray, hmm, I sometime use saline spray or syringe some saline u p my nose if it's very dry or blocked, very effective.

But it's so useful to talk to people who understand, what this struggle.can be like.

So thank you :-)

Mel 909

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Yes...trial and error until you get what suits you..same here..good luck xx

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Hi can you explain how your diagnosis changed to Asthma via a CT Scan ? My question is what was your original diagnoses? After reading your post and reply history it’s as though you had Emphysema and now it’s not but it is asthma instead? I didn’t know a CT Scan can diagnose Asthma ? If so

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Well, it turned out that my thick mucous was caused by Aspergillous fungus, three months of treatment, n I am just on ordinary asthma meds. Misdiagnosed for many years...

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Same thing for me last winter! Pneumonia .Fit before that though .But once well after 2-4 weeks abs and steroids was well until this winter. Chest infection x 2 Now on my 3rd lot of antibiotics etc since xmas and still wheezing ! It’s worrying re if it leaves lasting damage? Will carry on with fitness and waking when I get better and generally looking after myself but really worried esp re next winter. I’m a nurse so on the front line re picking up any bugs viruses etc. Good luck. Keep away from peeps with colds etc.

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Thank you! Yes, keeping away from peeps with colds seems to be crucial, but hard to organise! Good luck with your winter too - sounds like you're having a tough time too...

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The only time this happened to me was when using a particular inhaler that had upper respiratory tract infections as a side effect. Once my inhaler was changed I was fine. Worth checking out.

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I'll check this out - thanks!

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Curious as to which inhaler?

Consultant told me seretide was notorious for causing these problems.

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I think you will find that most inhalers with steroid in can have a side effect of pneumonia xx

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that's seriously bad news...

Frances x

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I did not know that! Still we have use them. Often times I get a little frustrated that the medics cannot make it all go away. As you say there is a lot we can do for ourselves. Often while I am well for a while I can get a little complacent, thinking its all gone.

This most recent 'bout, has brought me down to earth with a bump. A few clear months though. Which have been nice. I checked out the meditations, yes very soothing.

Mel 909

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Hi mel909 It was Serertide and I changed to an inhaler with no steroids. That suited me as I have no asthma, only emphysema. I now use Ellipta.

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Hi I can't really improve on the great advice you've already had. I have had pneumonia and pleurisy a few times and totally understand your fears when an infection starts to show. I wish you well and the best of luck.. look after yourself xx

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Thank you! xx

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