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Question
Posted by: kea | 2003/02/24

chest x-rays and asthma

Dear Doctor
I have asthma. Originally I used to use my asthma pump, say about once in 2 weeks or so. Since August/September last year my asthma has suddenly become much worse. I am now at the stage where I pump before I go to bed, and during the night and first thing in the morning. I do not know what has caused the sudden worsening situation. I have tried by taking "allergex" tablets etc to improve the situation but nothing seems to be working. I do have a lot of stress and dont know wether this is perhaps the answer. However what I need to know is, should I have x-rays taken of my chest just to make sure that it is in fact only asthma. I can however only have black and white x-rays taken as I only have a hospital plan and would therefore have to pay for the x-rays myself. More and more, especially in the morning when I cough I taste blood. In the past I have been told that this was due to the tiny blood vessels that had burst during an asthma attack. Would these black and white x-rays be worth anything, are they more for cracked ribs etc. I have been a passive smoker for the past 28 years. Always seem to be breathing very shallow. please advise

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Our expert says:
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Kea, you should definitely have x-rays taken (all x-rays are black and white). Blood isn’t a common symptom of asthma – it’s usually a sign of infection or something even more serious.
You should also have a lung function test done and if it says you have asthma, your medication needs to be changed.
If you don’t have money, you can have all the tests done at a state hospital. Good luck.

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