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Tightness in chest - feels difficult to breathe


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#1 Hummingbird82

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:07 PM

I went to the doctor three weeks ago about a persistent cough that I have had for the last two months or so. He told me it wasn't a concern and could be an allergy and sent me on my way.

The last few days I have been coughing more and been feeling that my chest is very tight and that it's difficult to breathe. I feel a bit silly going back as he was so dismissive and will try and see another GP tomorrow.

I just wondered if anyone has had anything similar? It's pretty much constant and not worse with walking. But lying down now it still feels hard to breathe. I'm fine in that I can breathe though :-)

Any insight/thoughts would be appreciated.

Thank you

#2 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:14 PM

Does it feel tender when you press on your sternum? You can inflame your rib joints with lots of coughing, and anti inflammatories helped. Hopefully it’s something simple like that, and that the GP is helpful tomorrow.

#3 Hummingbird82

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:17 PM

View Post22Fruitmincepies, on 27 October 2019 - 10:14 PM, said:

Does it feel tender when you press on your sternum? You can inflame your rib joints with lots of coughing, and anti inflammatories helped. Hopefully it’s something simple like that, and that the GP is helpful tomorrow.

Thanks 22FMP - I don't have any pain in my sternum - I just checked. Hopefully the GP tomorrow will be a bit more helpful than the previous one.

#4 Puzzles

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:18 PM

If I’d been coughing for months and wasn’t otherwise sick with a virus and/or getting over one, I’d ask for a test (X-ray?) to put my mind at ease.

#5 Hummingbird82

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:20 PM

View PostPuzzles, on 27 October 2019 - 10:18 PM, said:

If I’d been coughing for months and wasn’t otherwise sick with a virus and/or getting over one, I’d ask for a test (X-ray?) to put my mind at ease.

Thanks Puzzles - I'll ask for an x-ray tomorrow

#6 *melrose*

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:23 PM

I would be going back to doctors  and getting a second opinion Op! It’s not normal to be coughing for 2 months for no reason at all.
Chest X-ray and bloods ask for.

#7 Hummingbird82

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:27 PM

Thanks Melrose. He honestly made my feel so stupid I just went even though I felt further tests were warranted at the time. Now it's getting a lot worse I will feel more confident asking for them.

#8 yellowtulips74

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:28 PM

Hi OP, that sounds horrible.

I took my DD to the GP a few weeks ago - she had sinusitis.

The GP said she should carry a ventolin at all times, even though she doesn't usually suffer from asthma (but she did get thunderstorm asthma that November night 3 years ago).  She prescribed a cortisone nasal spray for her to use daily until Christmas.  Apparently 'tis the season.

Hope you have more luck with a different GP.  It makes me so angry when doctors are dismissive.

#9 lucky 2

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:30 PM

It sounds like your symptoms are worse so yes you need medical review especially if your last visit was 3 weeks ago.
If you need to talk to a health professional overnight you can call healthdirect or nurse on call if you are in Victoria.
I hope you feel better soon, protecting your health is more important in the big picture than worrying you are overreacting.
Recently I went to the gp 3 days in a row because I needed help.
Even if I didn't have relevant concerns I'd expect a gp to treat me with respect and listen to me.

#10 *melrose*

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:31 PM

View PostHummingbird82, on 27 October 2019 - 10:27 PM, said:

Thanks Melrose. He honestly made my feel so stupid I just went even though I felt further tests were warranted at the time. Now it's getting a lot worse I will feel more confident asking for them.
Op don’t ever feel stupid! At the end of the day it’s your hearth that matters and it’s his job to investigate. I wish you a fast recovery.

#11 Hummingbird82

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:36 PM

View Postlucky 2, on 27 October 2019 - 10:30 PM, said:

It sounds like your symptoms are worse so yes you need medical review especially if your last visit was 3 weeks ago.
If you need to talk to a health professional overnight you can call healthdirect or nurse on call if you are in Victoria.
I hope you feel better soon, protecting your health is more important in the big picture than worrying you are overreacting.
Recently I went to the gp 3 days in a row because I needed help.
Even if I didn't have relevant concerns I'd expect a gp to treat me with respect and listen to me.

Thank you. I'm currently in northern Queensland for the year and we're on Magnetic island, which is beautiful, but I've left my amazing Melbourne GP behind and I really miss her! That's the other thing that has been a bit worrying because the ferries stop around now until 6am so if I did need to get to the mainland it's a bit tricky but not Impossible!

Yes I'll go back to the GP. Thank you. I've been able to live rush the cough but the chest feeling tighter isn't a nice feeling. I hope that you got the help you needed in the end from your GP.

#12 Hummingbird82

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:38 PM

Thanks Melrose. I know this is true but when I was sitting there and he was so dismissive I didn't have the fight in me. I will have renewed tenacity tomorrow.

#13 darcswan

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:45 PM

My mum felt similar when she had pneumonia. So yes, get yourself checked again and I hope you feel better soon!

#14 Indefinable

Posted 27 October 2019 - 10:53 PM

Even if it's allergic asthma you can get something to manage your symptoms. He shouldn't have just dismissed it. I used to get it and it's horrible feeling like you can't breathe. It might help to prop yourself up a bit overnight to help keep the airways open.

Hope you're able to see a better doctor tomorrow who will look into it further so that you can be properly diagnosed and treated.

#15 born.a.girl

Posted 28 October 2019 - 06:08 AM

With me it was asthma.  I'd just got used to the fact that I used to cough for weeks and weeks after I'd had a cold.

It came to a head when I was five months pregnant, and coughing so hard after a cold that I thought I would give birth via my mouth.


When my husband got home we went to an out of hours bulk billing place and they were fantastic.  Had to say my name in two breaths (so seeing if you can say a whole sentence without having to stop for breath could be a worthwhile thing to report), and they had the mask on me within a few minutes of arriving, with a chockers waiting room, me still protesting I don't get asthma and the doctor saying 'you do now'.

ETA: After a cold is the only time I need ventolin.

Good luck for today.

Edited by born.a.girl, 28 October 2019 - 06:09 AM.


#16 Norma-Bean Baker

Posted 28 October 2019 - 06:59 AM

NEVER feel silly for going to the doctor. It's what they are paid for.  My DH didn't want to go to the doctor over some pain in his neck & shoulder. I played google doctor and said it's either muscle pain, or a heart attack (we laughed). Lucky he went and saw a good doctor...he was having a heart attack.  He was 32.

#17 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 28 October 2019 - 08:01 AM

Its worth considering reflux (although that feels more like a pain than tightness) or allergies.

I have a severe grass allergy and for months I was waking up feeling short of breath for the first hour or two until I got onto taking anti allergy meds every single day.

#18 mayahlb

Posted 28 October 2019 - 08:16 AM

Doesn’t matter if it is allergy induced asthma he should have written up a plan on how to manage it. Mine is periodic as it’s set off by different types of pollen triggers (mango blossom in particular is the worst one). Yet my GP has me on a preventer and a plan of action when things start going downhill.

It’s very much like a tight chest and cough and felt rather like I had a chest infection. Last time I thought I had a nasty cough and turned up at the GP and turned out it was basically a mild ongoing asthma attack.

I hope you can find a GP who will listen to you. The other one sounds like he should be reported.

#19 WannabeMasterchef

Posted 28 October 2019 - 08:30 AM

Sorry Im very sleep deprived. I meant to say investigating different allergy medications.

What worked for me is a prescription strength rhinocort and taking Zyrtec every single day.  Theres a 3rd type of medication that commonly works but name escapes me at the moment.

I agree the GP was too dismissive. Some of them are, it took me months and months to get any help.

#20 Hummingbird82

Posted 28 October 2019 - 08:32 AM

Thank you so much everyone. I really appreciate the different input and thoughts. I have booked in with (who is supposed to be) the best GP on Wednesday, so I'm hoping she will be more thorough and be able to help me.

It's been so long I don't think it's something that will resolve by itself at this stage.


#21 Hummingbird82

Posted 28 October 2019 - 01:07 PM

A quick update

I went to the doctor today because my chest was feeling very tight and she thinks it's asthma. She's prescribed Seretide and Ventolin and told me to come back in a week if there's no improvement and she can give me oral steroids.

A much better experience than the last GP. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and I'll update in a few weeks.

#22 seayork2002

Posted 28 October 2019 - 01:13 PM

My husband had this, and it seemed every time he coughed he was sick, he went to one doctor just given tablets, the other doctor (my actual doctor) did a breathing test, he was sent for a chest scan and blood test was done

the blood test came up for whooping cough

#23 mayahlb

Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:19 PM

Hopefully the seretide And ventolin sort it out.

#24 born.a.girl

Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:32 PM

View PostHummingbird82, on 28 October 2019 - 01:07 PM, said:

A quick update

I went to the doctor today because my chest was feeling very tight and she thinks it's asthma. She's prescribed Seretide and Ventolin and told me to come back in a week if there's no improvement and she can give me oral steroids.

A much better experience than the last GP. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and I'll update in a few weeks.

Good to hear it was investigated.

You might find like I did, that what I considered normal breathing, had actually been a bit restricted for years.  I didn't know myself once I was treated.

#25 PrincessPeach

Posted 28 October 2019 - 04:37 PM

Glad to hear that.

The seretide will take a good 6 weeks before it will reach its full effectiveness, so the ventolin should help in the short term.

I think we scored melbourne weather or something here in Qld, im in the SE, but something has set my asthma off & im back on Seretide myself (i havent needed a preventative for the last 5 years!)




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