Hi guys! Just found your forum (Im in Australia 🇦🇺) and feeling like I need some advice/support. I’m 42 with lifelong asthma, I was hospitalised at the end of last year with a partial collapsed lung from the flu. I’ve had a few lung infections this year and feeling depressed and overwhelmed as I’ve noticed (since Sep) I’ve had a crackle deep in the lungs not associated with asthma/wheezing. I clear my throat/lungs but does nothing to lift the crackle. It’s particularly noticeable at night and is causing much anxiety. I’m going to docs tomorrow and wondering if I request a referral to my lung specialist. My gp isn’t too worried about the crackles but I am as they haven’t gone away. Any advice, chat or ideas welcome as my anxiety is through the roof x
Crackles in bottom of lungs - British Lung Foun...
Yes ask for referral..your doctor may not be worried and it will put your mind at ease. Welcome, I am sure more folk will come along to support you .
Lifelong asthma can result in bronchiectasis due to repeated infections. Tell your doctor that you want this clarified and that to do that you need to see a bronchiectasis specialist. Bronchiectasis can only be diagnosed bt ct scan. The specialist should do this and also spirometry tests to establish what is happening with your asthma now. Then you can have a plan for ongoing treatment and self management.
You can stop panicking right now. I was diagnosed at three years old with extensive bronch and I am 70 next year. went to grammar school, lived all over the world , had and raised 2 children, went back to uni aged 45 ans am still leading a very active life. So that's the prognosis!
The most important thing with bronch is to manage it properly which takes a lot of organisation on your part. Any good bronch expert should have a physio to teach you to empty your lungs and will know the medications that you need to keep both your asthma and bronch in check.
First though you need a proper diagnosis.
Littlepom, you have lifted my spirits!! I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis over a year ago and recently I’ve been having bad moments of anxiety worrying that I may not see my kids grow up, that I won’t get to live out the life I always wanted. You have done amazingly and your message to Pingpong_1 is motivational!!
Pingpong_1, you definitely need to get a diagnosis. Get a referral and good luck!
I’m so glad that you have taken some reassurance from the posts and answers on this site. Sadly, even in the 21st century doctors still throw a very long name at patients and mostly neglect to speak to them about what it means. This stems mostly from the fact that apart from very few bronchiectasis specialists, doctors still know very little about it because it has been ignored to date by all governments and they have no effective training in it.
Knowledge is power. I have been learning about my condition since 1956 when my mother was lucky enough to find a doctor in Leicester who, having wiped out TB in England ( how he would laugh now) had turned his attention to a completely ignored condition., bronch. He put me on virtually the same treatment which became standard for bronch 30 years later, taught me to manage my lung emptying and gave me the equivalent of 8 years pulmonary rehab - learning to breathe. Because I was diagnosed so young, at 3, I never had the inclination to worry as you do. I just had to get on with it. The management has just been part of my daily routine, like brushing my teeth. The exacerbations, exhaustion and fed up ness, something to be worked through.
I have had such a full life that they tell me I should write the book.
Along the way I have had to educate every GP that I have had and sadly have listened to many a registrar telling me rubbish and treating me as if I know nothing.
Luckily in 1982 I met Robert Stockley, the formost researcher into bronch who changed the approach of the training of bronch specialists in the UK and in 1986 at a conferance in Las Vegas taught the US that bronch existed as a condition in it’s own right. He also believed in educating his patients. The specialist who I am with now was his student.
Managing bronch on a daily basis and defeating the opportunist bug boggarts who want to party in the fluid in your lungs is your job. If you are struggling we are here with lots of ideas to help you cope with the down days.
You WILL see your children grow up and if I don’t see my five grandchildren at uni it won’t be the bronch that got me.
Stay on top of it and get your medics in hand.
Big big hugs.x
Thank you for your kind words
Littlepom, I can honestly say I have never felt more hopeful and it’s thanks to your messages. I can’t imagine what it must be like having had to live with this disease since the age of 3...you have done an amazing job. Get writing!! 😀 I’m being referred back to pulmonary rehab and then hopefully physio again. I only had 2 or 3 physio sessions earlier this year and the ‘rehab’ was a presentation which, although informative to a point, didn’t arm me with the confidence to deal with Bronchiectasis. I struggle - I don’t know if I’m doing enough to clear my lungs daily. I’ve had 3 exacerbations this year, quite close together. To me that’s a lot...maybe it isn’t...but I can’t get a sputum sample up. Any tips would be much appreciated!
Thank you again...Xx
Thanks Dream_1, I understand your anxiety as I, too, fear what you do. I think reading Littlepom’s responses and those on this site have certainly made me feel not so alone on this journey into the unknown (or known in some instances) Hopefully we can benefit from a pragmatic approach to do the absolute best within our power to manage ourselves. I like what Littlepom said about being knowledgeable about our own condition, every second doctor has a different response and we have to find the middle ground between knowing our bodies and working with experts. I need to remember my gp is not an expert so wont have the breadth and depth of a specialist. I’m sending massive hugs your way and hope you feel some positivity to lift your spirits!! 🙏🏼😘
Dream_1, just thought I’d let you know I called the specialists room and they won’t take me on until my gp writes the referral and the specialist will read it before allocating an appointment!! 🤬 The earliest GP appointment I could book is next Thursday. The receptionist at the specialists rooms mentioned late February, meanwhile I’m battling with severe anxiety around this. I’m very sorry to be moaning when there are people on here who are much more ill than I am. The anxiety is just getting the better of me at the moment - vent(olin) over 🤪 x
Definitely sounds similar to the way I was before diagnosis with bronchiectasis, constantly having crackles chest infection and asthma for 8yrs prior. eventually getting referred to consultant at respiratory for a ct scan.good luck and don't take no for an answer being fobbed off stick to your gums for referral.
The crackles are usually caused by the mucus which is lurking in your lungs. It can also happen when you have an exacerbation which is the bacteria mutiplying and causes more and darker coloured mucus. This mucus really dies have to be expelled every day. I don’t know much about asthma but I think that wheeze and sometimes crackles are associated with that. You need it all properly looked at then you will stop taking yourself around in circles of anxiety.
Well a referral to a specialist will be a step in the right direction. You’re right in that I need to get to the bottom of the issue. It’s challenging keeping my anxiety in check at the moment so apologies if my posts appear more emotional rather than rational! I do, however, appreciate interacting with a community here that experience lung disease as it’s wonderful to meet others in the same (or similar) boat 😊
No need to apologise. It is scary but you can take comfort from the fact that there are quite a few with bronchiectasis on here who do very well. When we are having problems with medics who don’t know much about it and don’t give us the right treatment or we are just fed up with the daily grind there is someone there to hold our hand. Learn from us and the reputable sites including BLF. Stay away from the google sites. The more you know, the more in control you will be and your anxiety should lessen. We are here for you.
Thanks Blackbird 🙏🏼😘 Tbh I am feeling terribly anxious at the moment so thought I’d reach out to you guys.
Just knowing I’m not alone in how I’m feeling is giving me some comfort. I’ll definitely ask for a referral tomorrow to ‘get to the bottom’ of the crackles. It’s just so annoying at nighttime/first thing in the morning, that I’ve been waking up in a panic. Big hugs 🤗
Thank-you! I made it to the doctors however after listening to my lungs he seems to think the pops/crackles are from chronic inflammation and nothing to worry about. I asked him about the Bronchiectasis and he said I didn’t have the symptoms, he seems to think it’s more asthma associated symptoms. If the crackle doesn’t improve in a month he’s happy to send me but thinks it might be good to wait out the hay fever season here (it’s been a shocker here this year 🙈) and see what happens. I’m ok with it as long as I don’t deteriorate, if I do I’ll definitely go back to the doctors.
That sounds positive. At least you know that the crackles could be asthma related and you have a doc who is open minded enough to agree to further investigation if they continue. I hope that has put your mind at rest enough to continue with your daily life, albeit with the annoyance of the crackles. Well done for doing that for yourself.x
Thanks Littlepom 😘 I will go to sleep tonight (albeit with the crackles) and not feel so alone and anxious knowing others are experiencing similar symptoms. I also have a reasonable answer but am mindful to pursue it further if need be. I just want to fly to the UK and give you a big ol’ hug for your love and support X
Welcome Ping pong little Prom is right.
I am your age and at 8yrs was diagnosed with asthma. I was often wheezy and had infections. I now know i have bronch after years of the crackles.
It's not always the case but a lot of asthmatics get it so I would try and and get a ct scan if your still feeling great.
That’s so good to know, thank-you. I’m certainly not ‘out of the woods’ as I feel the crackles are ‘suspicious’ however I don’t have lots of sputum which is why my doc didn’t seem to think I needed to get tested. I just wonder if I have it in the early stages with the crackles?! What were the early signs for you when getting diagnosed? I really appreciate you taking the time to respond - particularly with your asthma background 🙏🏼🙏🏼
I was having more infections and the crackles were stubborn. I also became very breathless and did not seem to respond to anti biotics so well. So ct was done.
But for years I did not realise understand what i had until i went to a specialist who explained it more and then it started to make sense why i was conjested and needed longer periods of antibiotics.
Like little Prom said you need a specialist not just a respiratory Dr . 😊 i am sure you will sort things out.
Welcome Pingpong, yes, get your doc to refer you to a respiratory consultant to get these crackles sorted. I have brittle and allergic asthma as well as emphysema and whenever I get a flare up due to an infection it's always portrayed as crackles in the bottom of my lungs, more so the right side. You need to keep on top of this because as you probably know, any infection tends to weaken the the lungs and make you more susceptible to more flare ups. I'm assuming you're a non smoker - it may well be that you need to have your asthma medication assessed so that it's managed better. All the very best. By the way, there's no need to panic! x
Thanks Sparky! I also have highly allergic asthma (dogs, cats, dust, mould, rye grass etc) so I feel your pain!! The constant infections I’ve had over the last 12 months have certainly put me in a higher risk category. I was hospitalised at the end of 2019 with the flu and a partial collapsed lung, ever since then I’ve had a lot more trouble with my lungs and it has now progressed to the crackles. Strangely the crackles are still there when breathing is relatively ok but worsens with an exacerbation. Thanks again for the reassurance, the communal love really helps!! 🙏🏼
Same allergies as you plus more grasses! And dare I say, a partially collapsed lung at one stage. Sometimes use an ordinary saline solution in my nebuliser (not a drug) and this helps to free up the mucus so that I can cough it up (never swallow it!) If it's of any interest, Indoors, I use an aromatherapy diffuser which provides some humification in the air. I use a few drops of eucalyptus in it and it really helps to keep my chest clear. If you want to know more about these, just say so. x
My lungs crackle too. I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis two and a half years ago. You can have this for many years before diagnosis. It takes a CT scan to detect it. It would be rare in anyone under 50 but it's worth enquiring and ruling it out. I dont cough much up,its more throat clearing etc. My GP says my lungs sound like a 12piece orchestra!! 😂
Have you been taught to clear your lungs of mucus. The active breathing cycle?. I get clogged up and crackle. I do the breathing exercises and if I get mucus up, my chest gets less tight, my breathing better and crackles go. They are often back the next day but I. repeat the exercises. I notice the crackles going to bed. They stop me sleeping but the exercises work. It needs a bit of planning to find the time but it’s worth it
From google - Active cycle of breathing technique (ACBT) combines different breathing techniques that help clear mucus from the lungs in three phases. The first phase helps you relax your airways. The second phase helps you to get air behind mucus and clears mucus. The third phase helps force the mucus out of your lungs..
There are lots of you tube videos some are slightly different but all helpful. Just google active breathing cycle.
Yes!! It’s probably the anxiety I’m struggling with moreso than the symptoms. I am beyond floored at the amount of support I’ve received from this one post!! It’s so, so nice to feel like people genuinely care. I’ve spoken to people about my lung issues and, despite their good intentions, it’s hard for them to truly understand what you’re going through. At least here everyone experiences lung issues in some shape or form which makes them understand the reality of it x
Hi Ginty - Jomo just filled me in on the active breathing as I’d not heard of it before. I’m going to give it a go tomorrow and see how it goes. I have a lot to learn about my lungs (despite having lifelong asthma) and am only now really understanding the importance of hydration with lungs. Didn’t realise the crackles were infection 🙈🙈 Gah!
Hi ping pong , I’ve had the crackle in my lungs as I’ve got severe copd which sometimes c.o.p.d. is wrongly diagnosed as asthma. And I ended up getting pneumonia that was the cracklings in my lungs I would ask for a C.T. Scan to rule out anything toward, I have family in Melbourne an Sydney so good luck I hope you get sorted soon. Richy
Hi, Crackles at base of lungs is normally found by a Dr If you have COPD or pneumonia - You need a medical diagnosis being it can be be heard without a stethoscope. Dr Google can't help you with this, you need an X Ray to find the cause. Your Doctor will probably order a CT scan if X Rays can't find the cause. Years ago I had crackles and turned out to be an infection. For peace of mind see your doctor. Best wishes and keep away from that smoke in Australia - jeez you don;t have get some acres of fire
helo pingpong, nice to meet you, iv been backwards and forwards last 3 years with bullies empherseyma, mmy advice to you is makesure you understand what docs are saying and if referals are not forthcomeing, keap phoneing he who shouts loudest, gets heard lol,
good luck, sometimes you have to make sure their listening to you
I am also a lifelong asthma sufferer. The crackles tend to be there because there is some inflammation and so some of the fluid gets trapped and is a little bit crackly as you breathe in and out. I tend to have them as well and my GP and also a pulmonary consultant was not particularly concerned about them. One thing that may help to move mucus around in your lungs so that you can disperse it is to try something called the active cycle of breathing. You can look it up on the Internet and it gives you clear instructions About how to use this method. There is of course no harm in asking for a referral to a pulmonary specialist to put your mind at rest. Good luck and keep us posted
Thanks Nina! I appreciate your advice. What you’re saying is exactly what my doc has said but I’m not sure if it’s something more or I’m just hellishly paranoid!! 🤪 I think I will get a referral to simply put my anxious mind at ease 🤯 I’m at work today but am going to try the active breathing when I get home x
Hi Emily, you definitely need to be under the care of a Respiratory Consultant. My GP is excellent but as things get worse or complicated, you need expert help. I hope you get it soon. Nursed for many years, and crackling in your lungs needs to be treated, or at least investigated, maybe there’s still some infection and you need a sputum specimen sent to the lab to check that, so the correct antibiotics are given to you. It’s all very well your GP not being concerned, but he’s not the one with the condition, you are, so don’t accept a no, you need to have peace of mind, because anxiety will only cause your breathlessness to increase. Let us know how things go?
I have also had asthma my whole life, and battled bronchitis & respiratory infections. Something that has helped me is removing all Dairy products & gluten from my diet. I eat a lot of organic vegetables and cook 100% of my meals at home. This is the first year I have not ended up at the emergency room due to respirator issues.
Hello Pingpong_1 , 😀
It's very nice that you found our friendly forum. I see many of our members have given you some great responses. I just wanted to say I have a lung disease that is not under the COPD umbrella. One of the first things that set me thinking that something was amiss was the crackles. Yet, I have never had any phlegm. The only time I do is when I have an infection. The crackles are caused by severe inflammation or the obliteration of my bronchioles (hence the disease is known not mysteriously, as Bronchiolitis Obliterans) . These are so miniscule that no scan can actually pick it up. It wasn't until I had a lung transplant and the surgeon cut open my transplanted lung and they had a good look under a microscope that they could see the major damage that was in essence so tiny. In the mean time my left lung continues to crackle away while her adopted sister does most of the breathing for her. 😂😅
A word of caution. Consulting Dr. Google when you feel anxious, panicked or unwell is the most efficient way of convincing yourself you're at the end of the road. Although it can be a great source of knowledge, don't confuse it for sound medical advice.
I hope you have a good week.
Cas xx 🙋⛄
Wow! That’s an incredible story Cas. I admire your resilience and pragmatism. I’m certainly getting the overwhelming message to explore the crackles further. I’m just feeling quite anxious and panicky today (well...yesterday, the day before and the day before that 🙈🤪) about these crackles as I don’t know what they are.
I can totally relate to not googling when anxious! 😥🙈 Im trying not to do it as it harms only myself and doesn’t contain the information I need. I’m wavering between listening my rational brain which is to explore things further via a specialist and my anxious brain which is giving me worst case scenario. Gah!!! 🙈
I appreciate your support Cas and thanks so much for sharing your story with me 😘
Don't worry Ping I have had the same crackle for years but it has got worse in the last few years.It is very embarrassing sometimes as it is very loud and people think I am having a joke. My advice is to cough as much phglem up as you can because if it is reproducing in your lower lobes of your lungs it could become much harder to cough up as the condition changes as it will if you don't do something now.Keep an eye on the colour of your phlegm and if it becomes a darker colour inform your doctor.At the moment I am coughing a lot of phglem up and keep a spittoon by my side. Also be aware of the humidity and temperature as they can really make you ill.Anyhow I wish you all the best and keep your chin up and try to keep cheerful; as managing illness is mostly in the mind. Do affirmations meditations and creative visualisations Merry Christmas