Chest infection help : I am 21 and have... - British Lung Foun...

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Chest infection help

Beabea11
Beabea11
10 Replies

I am 21 and have been coughing for the past month, both with phlegm and without but when it started I was coughing very rusty/yellow and blood streaked phlegm.

I went to the doctor a week ago and he said I probably had had a chest infection and said to take things easy as it cleared. I went back 3 days later feeling worse and got put on a course of antibiotics for another chest infection. After 4 days of feeling no better I went back to the doctors as normally antibiotics help in the following 48 hours. I saw a different doctor and she started me on a course of steroids for 3 days. I took a dose this morning and saw no difference but will continue for the next two days.

I wondered if anyone has any similar experiences as I’m getting worried about what it could be if these steroids don’t help and didn’t know where to turn. My legs feel a bit odd (numb and tingly) which I’ve put down to the steroids. But as well as coughing and chest pain and lung aching my shoulders are aching too and headaches from coughing.

Thanks for any advice

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Armadillo57

Hi sorry you are so unwell. I have repeat chest infections and sometimes it feels like they go on forever. Don’t be scared about going back to your GP tell them you are no different. Take a sample of sputum To ensure you are on the right antibiotic. Don’t leave it go back.

An increase of steroid or a change of antibiotics might make a difference unless it’s viral.

Hope you feel better soon. X

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Charlie_G

If you’ve had an untreated chest infection, it may take a while to feel better. As a general rule of thumb, antibiotics usually take up to 4 days to fully kick in, and steroids will often make a noticeable difference within a dose or two, but that difference may be that you’re coughing up more rather than less. You don’t say if you have any underlying lung condition, but I’m assuming you don’t; it’s worth noting that coughing from a chest infection (and viral coughs, because you could have caught a virus on top of the infection) can occasionally continue post active infection. Chest pain and headache are unpleasant but not uncommon side effects of frequent/intense coughing.

If you’re not starting to improve after 4 days of treatment, you should go back to the gp. If you’re still coughing up sputum then, it would be worth asking them about running a sputum culture to make sure they’ve got you on the right antibiotics to treat the underlying bacteria.

Hope that helps a little bit and you feel better soon.

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Beabea11
Beabea11
in reply to Charlie_G

Thank you for your help. I’ve taken my second out of 3 doses of steroids and if I don’t feel better by tomorrow I think ill try and go back to the doctor. Thanks again

2 likes
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hypercat54
hypercat54
in reply to Beabea11

Give it a few days first. x

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Beabea11
Beabea11
in reply to Charlie_G

I went back to the doctor and he put me on an inhaler which didn’t help me so back today and got blood taken and x Ray done. Suspected whooping cough but not sure. Thanks for your help and hopefully I’ll get answers soon.

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Charlie_G
Charlie_G
in reply to Beabea11

Whooping cough would explain why you’re taking a long time to get better, and it’s one of those illnesses that you can still contract in spite of routine vaccination as a baby. We never confirmed the diagnosis, but my littleun’s notes state she had a ‘pertussis type illness’ after a protracted and unexplained period of poor chest health (she has a respiratory condition); in researching it at the time, I learnt that in most cases there’s little point in giving antibiotics in someone presenting more than 3 weeks post symptom onset, but it can leave patients with a non-infectious cough for up to 12 weeks post active infection. She certainly coughed for that long afterwards!

Whatever the root cause, I hope they get to the bottom of it soon and you start turning the corner. Feel free to keep us posted.

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hypercat54

Hi sometimes ab's alone won't cure a chest infection which is why they have given you steroids as well. You should notice a difference very soon. Be aware though that steroids can make you feel very lethargic for a few days as well. x

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Beabea11
Beabea11
in reply to hypercat54

Thanks for your help. I’ve been very tired anyway and hasn’t gotten worse yet with the steroids so hopefully they won’t. Getting a bit worried about what’s going on but I’m sure it’ll clear up soon.

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nansyl

Hello Beabea11 I know how you feel, I too have a permanent cough bringing up brown/green/yellow phlegm. I had a chest infection in December last year, had three courses of antibiotics, but no joy I am afraid. We obviously get used to them hence they don't work ! I too take steroids, and have done so for some years now, and when I get a flare up the dose goes up ! I am now on 5mg a day, but yes still coughing ! My GP has now put me on a low dose antibiotic permanently, just one a day to see if this helps. I also take carbocisteine capsules 375mg three times a day, which does loosen the phlegm, and makes it easier to "shift" ! Try not to worry, I know how you feel, but hang on in there, rest as much as possible. Thinking of you.

Nansyl

1 like
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St3v3y

Hi,

Did you get this sorted, I have a very similar issue , except without the phlegm.

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