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Anyone ever experienced asthma symptoms mainly in their throat ?

This might sound odd but since about a year and a half my asthma symptoms have changed. While it used to be the normal in your chest asthma cough now I’m finding I get a more tickly irritated feeling in my throat that makes me feel like I want to cough! It’s frustrating because I can’t really describe the feeling and so can’t work out if it’s normal or not but it seems to be more at night and in the morning although it can be in the day too. I had an asthma review today and tried to explain it to the asthma nurse and she simply asked me if I had anxiety! I get how it sounds to her but even if I had admitted to having anxiety I know myself and I know this feels different. I lost my voice a few times on my placement last year and it’s sort of been since then and I tried to explain this but it wasn’t really helping.
I guess my point is is it common to have asthma symptoms that effect your throat (/larynx?) more than your chest? I thought it might be allergies or something but I can’t work out what it could be.

  1. Hey there, Skye. That sounds really annoying, and I hear how frustrating it is to not be validated at your asthma review. Sorry that happened.

    So, I'm not an expert, but I have some general thoughts from my time as a moderator here that may be useful to you while we see what others have to say.

    How long have you had asthma? Also, how long have you been on your current medication? I ask because throat irritation and hoarseness can be a common part of the asthma experience. Sometimes, this can be caused by using inhalers or other medications for a long time. For others, if they also have allergies, the irritation can be caused by post-nasal drip or from encountering something they are allergic to.

    While I can't give medical advice for your own safety, I would encourage you to follow up with your asthma doctor. Clearly, you didn't get the results you wanted and needed with this nurse, but it's okay to be persistent until you get someone to look into this properly. Can you write to your doctor's office using the online health portal, if they have one? Can you schedule a phone call or a telehealth visit?

    One last thing: The sensation of needing to clear your throat often, especially at night and in the morning, is very common for people with asthma. Throat clearing comes up often around here. You are not alone! Try not to worry.

    I hope that gives you some things to consider. Please keep us posted and let us know what you plan to do next. We're here for you! All the best. -Melissa, team

    1. The symptoms you describe here are not so uncommon in the asthma community. And it would seem any good asthma doctor would be aware of this. Then again, it's also possible your doctor lacks experience with asthmatics in your situation. In which case, you may benefit from a referral. I say this, as I had a similar situation with my asthma as you describe. A few years ago I noted to my primary care physician that I was clearing my throat often during the course of the day. And he did not understand why this might be happening. So he referred me to an ENT ( These are the doctors who specialize in the nose and throat, and they also specialize in asthma and allergies. And I was impressed by the kindness and wisdom of my ENT, who determined that my throat clearing was not due to asthma at all but was a side effect of a blood pressure medicine I was taking. And, as noted in her great response above, sometimes these symptoms are due to asthma, although they may also be due to things like post-nasal drip (which is what I thought I had but apparently not). I was so impressed with this new doctor that I have retained his service to manage my allergic asthma, allergies, nasal, and sinus issues. He has been very helpful to me. So, if your doctor is unable to help you with your symptoms, it may be a good idea to talk to your doctor about a referral to a specialist (if you have not done so already). What do you think? John. community moderator

      1. Hi John, and thanks for your comment. Over the years I have come to recognize that some blood pressure medications (ACE inhibitors), can precipitate coughing for some patients. It also is somewhat surprising that it does not seem to be a well recognized side-effect by some doctors.
        I think you did very well by finding this special ENT physician to help manage the disease and medication regimen. He sounds like a keeper!
        We appreciate you sharing this here with the community.
        Leon (site moderator

    2. Hi everyone!
      Thank you so much for you responses it’s nice to know that I’m not alone in this.
      In answer to you question ive had asthma as long as I can honestly remember! If I had to guess I would maybe say since late ish primary school I’ve had a blue inhaler and since then I was put on clenil. I was on the for a while before I started having nighttime symptoms (probably quite similar to the ones I’m experiencing now) and I was put on montelukast tablets for about a year and a half. Then I got to university and got a new asthma nurse who immediately took me off montelukast saying I didn’t need it! Thing we’re going ok until I got switched to a soprobec inhaler (saying it was discontinued on the NHS- it wasn’t) at which point I stated getting symptoms again and asked to change back to clenil. At this point they face me a fostair inhaler, not telling me much about it, and didn’t even review it to see if it was working for me! It actually turns out I was meant to be on two doses twice a day to help with my nighttime symptoms but no one told me this and the label on the medication says different.
      So yeah that’s my long confusing asthma journey!
      Since changing to the correct dosage my symptoms have improved though uk still having some irritation at night but I am considering calling again and asking about getting an allergy test because I think maybe that would benefit me as I have a lot of skin allergies anyway and some mild allergies to some fruits abs stuff like that. As for trying to get referred I almost don’t see the point the waiting lists are so long ! I’m in a different location for uni and honestly the idea of trying to sort it on my own is a bit scary 😂 I’m loathe to tell my parents or siblings about the situation as well because my mum has always been so worried about my asthma and my sister is the opposite end of the scale not even thinking I need the inhalers and that it’s all in my head!
      But yeah I’ll keep you guys posted if I get anywhere with this!
      Thanks again for the support!

      1. Hi again, Skye, and thanks for YOUR response and further explanation. I think you'll find that one is rarely, if ever, alone here in our online community! You've had quite the asthma journey of late - I am sorry to hear of the many challenges you're facing to arrive at the proper medication regimen. If you keep at it, I'm hopeful that between you and your health care team (which seems to vary), you'll reach the correct combinations of medicine to exert more control over this disease.
        My thought is that no one knows your own specific disease, and how it affects you, as well as you do. It's only right that the health care providers (nurse, doctor, etc.) collaborate WITH you. When medications are changed, when new medications are started while others are discontinued (for you), you may want to insist on more of a proper explanation with both directions on how to use them, and specific instructions as to doses and frequency.
        What are your thoughts?
        Please know you are always welcome here in our online community. If there is anything we can do to assist you, please let me or any other moderator / team member know.
        Warm regards,
        Leon (site moderator

    3. It can be really tough to start making health-related decisions on your own! And especially trying to juggle that while still in school. I hear you! An allergy test could give you some valuable information about potential asthma triggers. Knowing what to avoid might help you prevent attacks, you never know! Do they have nurses or other workers in the NHS that help answer questions about contacting doctors, etc? Here in the US, they are sometimes called patient advocates, nurse navigators or similar. Social workers can do that kind of thing as well. Maybe having someone help you will make the process a bit less overwhelming. 😀 -Melissa, team

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