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British Lung Foundation
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Hello! I would love your help and guidance from similar experiences

Hello, I am Musicaddict and I am 16 years old

In the past 7 months I have been experiencing really bad coughing, difficulty breathing, chest tightness and I have been really tired. I went to the hospital but they couldn't quite figure out if it was asthma or not. I have been using asthma medications and I was prescribed a high dose but after it got a bit better it stopped responding, and the same after I changed medication. Lately I have been getting worse up to a point that I can't even climb the stairs without having a severe attack including very strong coughing and being totally unable catching my breath, and I am so tired I sometimes can't get through the day. As a result I have been really scared and sad and I don't think I can cope with everything... I feel cut out from my friends as they really can't understand how frightened I am every single time that I 'll and up in hospital or with a breathing tube. And as I am getting worse I am thinking more and more that it might be something more serious than asthma, as my doctor has suggested me getting a CT scan but they've been postponing it because of the amount of radiation it will put on my body... So in conclusion, I am afraid, i feel alone and I don't know what to do...

I am looking forward to your response!

19 Replies
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Hi the symptoms you describe sound very much like asthma. You can have it at a mild level like me or more severe. Have you ever had a spirometry test and/or a peak flow one, and what did it show? You should have a preventer inhaler which you use twice a day or as prescribed and this opens your airways up. Then you should also have a rescue inhaler which is usually ventolin. This is fast acting so should be used as and when you need it.

You might get better responses if you go on the asthma site as there are some very knowledgeable members on there. x

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Thank you very much for your response hypercat54

I had a spirometry test but according to the doctor nothing was off, it was fine...

I had a 6-minute-walk test thought and my oxygen levels were 92/93 but I had a really quick heart rate...

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Did you have the spirometry test before inhalers and again after inhalers? If it shows some reversibility it is likely to be asthma. The peak and flow test shows how far and fast you can blow out in 1 second, and how long for. If this is below the normal for your age, height, sex, and weight this could be asthma.

If you haven't had these tests how were you diagnosed with asthma? x

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I had these tests but the outcome wasn't clear and the doctor said it is possible to have asthma... It had some slight difference vefore and after but nothing significant...And because there is no to little response my doctor suggested a CT scan...

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Well I would push for the scan then. But like I said you would probably get more suggestions on the asthma site rather than on here. x

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Yeah and since I have been getting really worse I really should...

But until then, do you maybe have any suggestions that could releave me a bit because well coughing my lungs out day and night for the past 2 weeks has become exhausting 😅😥

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No sorry got no more ideas.

healthunlocked.com/asthmauk

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It's fine😊

Thank you very much

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Hi Musicaddict,

Your story sounds pretty similar to mine. I felt I was almost constantly coughing for a year. I was initially diagnosed with asthma by my GP and given a reliever inhaler (the blue 1). My coughing did not stop, although taking my inhaler would sometimes help. My GP referred me to a specialist who gave me some breathing tests and a chest x-ray, which he said confirmed it was asthma. He gave me a preventer inhaler (brown at that point). Basically I kept going back for appointments and saying I wasn't better, so he gave me another inhaler (spariva) and montelukast tablets. I still wasn't getting better, and I got to this point one day where I was scared I was going to stop breathing. I kept coughing and taking my inhaler wasn't helping. I essentially had to go to the doctor crying for him to listen and he gave me a CT scan which showed I was right- it wasn't just asthma. For me it was bronchiectasis. I am definitely a lot better day-to-day after being able to do the right things for that.

It might not be the same for you, but if you haven't been referred to a specialist ask your GP to do it (you didn't mention if you had been). And push for that CT scan, if you feel things aren't improving let them know and tell them how difficult it's being for you, hopefully your doctor will try and get it done quicker.

Good luck

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Thank you very much Lucybird😊

My doctor works at the best pulmonary clinic at the hospital and she herself is a specialist... I am happy to hear you're getting better! It sounds very similar to me and I will totally push for that CT scan... I wanted to ask though: Have you experienced any rapid heartbeat along with your symptoms ?? (Cause I myself have)

Thank you in advance 😊

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For me, uncontrolled asthma, or an exacerbation (flare up) always increases my heart beat to rapid.

I use a finger clip thing that measures the oxygen in your blood, and also your heartbeat. Useful to keep a check on things. Available on Amazon- oxymeter I think it’s called.

Good luck but get that CT scan! 💕

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Thank you very much Yatzy 😊

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Hi Musicaddict you sound like I did throughout my child hood .I eventually was diagnosed aged 36 of Bronchiectasis and asthma .I used to have panic attacks from thinking I couldn’t breathe this causes rapid heartbeat .This maybe causing yours.It can be very distressing .There are ways to deal with this if you look on line .It sounds to me like you may need to have a ct scan to get to the bottom of this and put your mind at rest .It is good you have a good consultant I’m sure they will soon get to the bottom of it.

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Thank you very much cat50 😊

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Great that you've got a good doctor. I did get rapid heartbeat too, but I have a heart condition, so always put it down to that. It makes sense though that if you're out of breath your heart will go faster to try and get that oxygen around your body

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Hello - I'm a Music Addict too and I am only 70.

Without sounding alarmist, the tightness in the chest and breathlessness could be indicative of a heart condition as they are some of the symptoms of angina. That is how I was diagnosed. Has your GP mentioned this? You should broach the subject with him/her. If it is heart related don't over worry as I have had several stents and the condition has been successfully treated over some 15 years or so and it is a condition easily managed. Having said that I totally agree with Hypercat54 and Lucybird. Do not be afraid to ask questions, ensure that you are properly diagnosed and try to ensure that you are getting the proper medication. If you can, take your parents with you to any consultation.

Please DO NOT feel alone as there are many people who have these conditions and you have many friends on this website. I really do wish you all the best for the future.

Kevin

ps: don't listen to that rubbish about radiation. It is the cost they are worried about.

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Thank you very much😊 I will look more into the angina decease and talk about it with my doctor 😊

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I'm sorry to hear how unwell u have been feeling. If I was u I would go to the Drs and insist that they do more tests. I went to the Drs 2 years ago with similar syptoms to u and I have just been diagnosed with copd. I'm not saying that is what u have but surely it is best to get this checked out and then at least u no what u are dealing with

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Thank you sarahdiane 😊

I am sorry to hear you got diagnosed with COPD... I will insist for the tests since it is interfering with every aspect of my life now...

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