British Lung Foundation

When its right to contact the doctor

Hi there everyone,

Not feeling too good at the moment, started Friday feeling more breathless than normal, gradually got worse as the day went on, decided to take emergency steroids, 6 a day. No better over the weekend but tried to battle on (you know like we do) this morning still no better having taken 4 days of the steroids, decided to call surgery to ask for advice, was told to go down to be checked over, practice nurse said she would have nebuliser ready for when doctor had seen me.Examined straight away then escorted for nebilser 10 mins. feel better than I did but not brilliant. Doctor suggested 4 more days on steroids 6 a day then weaned off them 1 less a day. He has also given me antibiotics and the nebulues for my own nebuliser and have been told to use it 4 times a day. Never sure if I am reacting too quickly to the problem but I`m glad I did so on this occasion otherwise I think I might have ended up in hospital. Anyway hope your all feeling well and enjoying the drier weather

Regards to you all


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8 Replies

Sooner you get treatment the better, hope you start to pick up soon Val

Thanks Val, I hope so too


Good for you to catch it so quickly. It is always so difficult to know when to call the Doc or even when to start the antibiotics. You sound as if you have a good practise! When my husband starts to feel more breathless - we always have the same dilemma when to call the doc. The respiratory nurse told us that there are if two of the following are worsening always call the doc - more breathless than usual, more coughing that usual and/or mucous turning coloured. Hope you are feeling much better very soon. TAD xx

It's so hard to gauge, isn't it. Looks like you got it right this time. My practice nurse told me that I should be bothering the doctor more rather than cope myself with a week of steroids if I still felt worse. He said 'that's what we are here for' and 'it's better for everyone if we catch things early' So that's some reassurance I hope for us all to bother the docs early rather struggle on stoically :) Having emergency meds is a great thing - and we still need the docs too asap when taking them, even if just to check us out.

Hi there everyone

Thanks for all your comments, still don`t feel much better but its early days, hope to pick up soon, having a few days in wales at the end of next week with all the family fingers crossed.

Regards Linda.

Hi Linda

Don't delay seeing your doc, if the surgery is making you wait for an appointment phone NHS Direct, or if you have a walk in clinic go there. We need to act quickly when our symptoms worsen, its one of the things we can do to help preserve our lungs.

Hope you can get to see someone soon, so that you will be feeling better for your trip to Wales. Take good care and let us know how you are getting on. Auntymary

Hope you get better soon and enjoy your trip to Wales

My husband has severe copd and I have been told to call 999 and ask for ambulance if his breathing suddenly gets worse.

When I asked the doctor at the hospital if my husband should have oxygen at home he said no we prefer you to just call the ambulance!

When your breathing worsens it is often caused by mucus clogging your bronchial tubes. You have to clear your airways. Take Mucinex (the highest dose) use saline solution to clear the nasal area and take NAC, put some saline solution in your nebulizer (the moisture will loosen the mucus) . Taking these measures often eliminates having to get on antibiotics and a very uncomforable trip to the doctor. I just went through this for the past two days and am feeling fine today.

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