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British Lung Foundation
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How 'normal' is a persistent cough?

I have asthma, COPD and Bronchiectasis so I thought my ongoing cough was just par for the course. However, my GP has sent me for a chest x-ray as I've had the cough since November. Actually, I've had it for three years but November was when I had my last lot of antibiotics. I thought I was doing quite well as I get exacerbations on a monthly basis as a rule and have to take antibiotics and steroids, so to go from November with only a cough made me feel great.

Any one else relate to this?

xx Moy

5 Replies

Hi Moy

Sorry to hear you have bronchiectasis, asthma and copd. I am assuming since you have been diagnosed with bronchiectasis that you have had a ct scan and am wondering if that was ordered by your GP or a respiratory consultant.

If you are not seeing a consultant with a special interest in cf/bronchiectasis that woud be a concern. To have a constant cough with bronchiectasis is normal for many but you should have been referred to a respiratory physio to teach you how to do lung clearnace for yourself every day. By doing this you should be more in control of your cough.

Take a look at respiratory consultants at a hospital you have access to if you are not presently seeing a specialist.

Good luck and if you have any questions, fire away. There will always be someone around to help.



Thanks for your reply. Yes, I have had a CT scan through my resp consultant. I do lung clearance every morning but still continue to cough. I was just surprised to have another chest x ray - as I said, I thought the cough was par for the course as it never really goes away. xx Moy

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Similar for me this week. Went to GP on Tuesday believing myself to still have a recent chest infection & he sent me for a chest X-ray plus several blood tests. I think it's routine IE coughing for four weeks = xray. GPs have a process or protocol to follow called NHS Pathways ( at least they did recently). We can look it up and see for ourselves. Personally I think my xray is a waste of resources and my time. The dozen X-rays I've had over the years have been 'clear'. I prefer a CT scan, it shows much more. Hope yours turns out okay. P

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Thank you. You are right about the protocol, I think. I was just a bit surprised at being sent for another x-ray (had one in November) and wondered whether I was missing something and should have gone back to the GP sooner. Apart from the cough and a tight chest, I am ok. No discoloured phlegm - in fact, less than usual, no temperature, nothing to suggest an infection. Still, I'm not complaining. Better safe than sorry, I suppose. Hope all goes well for you with your x-ray and blood tests. xx Moy

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I forgot to mention your persistent cough! It's obviously gone on far too long so it's great that your GP is being thorough 👍

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