Is this asthma? Only one lung.
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AV05BY posted:
Ok, a little background. I'm a 21 year old male who is in relatively good shape. I try to excercise a couple times a week atleast and play sports, mainly hockey. I don't smoke. My mother has smoked for my entire life and my father used to. Most of my friends smoke. When I was a little kid I had asthma but it seemed to go away.

My problem is, that whenever I do heavy phsyical activity, my left lung starts to wheeze and sometimes fills with mucas to the point that I'll actually have a cough and be able to cough up mucas. But only in the left lung. I thought maybe this was excercise induced asthma, but it just seems weird that its only in the one lung.

Aslo, whenever I get sick, whether it is just the sniffles or the full on flu, my left lung will always fill with mucus. I develop a cough that seems to last long after i am no longer sick, even if i'm coughing the mucus up the lung keeps producing more. It's like my lung is overactively producing mucas long after I am done being sick.

It's frustrating to get the sniffles and automatically get a cough that lasts weeks in one lung. It's also frustrating to be wheezing and out of breath during and after I play hockey.

Is it normal to have this in only one lung? And is it asthma?

Thanks in advance!
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Aqua14 responded:
I'm wondering how you know it's only one lung? It would seem to me that a person would not be able to tell that unless they only had one lung.

Regardless, once you have asthma, you have it for life, although it may be "quiet" for a period of time as it may have been for you. However, your symptoms during and after hockey do sound like exercise-induced asthma, which many people have. (If you look in Dr. Enright's FAQs at the top of this board there is a good FAQ on exercise induced asthma, which you should read.) And it's extremely common, if not guaranteed, that a person with asthma who gets a cold or the flu will experience a worsening of asthma during and after they get over the cold.

At this point it would be an excellent idea for you to visit your physician to discuss this and get appropriate medications. An albuterol inhaler may be simply all you need to clear up symptoms of the exercise-induced asthma. But you will need stronger medications to clear up your asthma symptoms after a cold, and your doctor will know which ones are right for you.

Asthma IS frustrating, no doubt about that! We all feel that way from time to time. Ultimately though we have to accept that this is how it is for us and deal with it constructively rather than ignore it and hope it will go away on its own. At this point you need to take good care of your lungs, because they have to last you a lifetime. If you don't take care of them now you will have more and more symptoms more frequently and have worse lung function as you get older. So don't wait to schedule your doctor's appointment.

Just think, by controlling your asthma with your doctor's help it may become a rare instance where you have symptoms during hockey, and your symptoms after a cold would be minimal. . . . that would be great, wouldn't it? It IS possible, but only with appropriate medical advice and treatment.

Hope these thoughts help you figure out what you want to do. Take care & good luck. Judy

P.S. I have read some research that suggests that kids who grow up in a house with smokers tend to develop asthma more commonly than kids who grow up in a smoke-free house.
 
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An_241137 replied to Aqua14's response:
A person can definitely tell if it's in one lung. I have the same problem. I feel the wheezing only on the left side. When I lay on my right side it causes the left lung to rise more so I hear more wheezing, but when I lay on the left lung, the wheezing is not so bad or goes away completely because it is pressed against the bed more and is not used as much and there is no sound of wheezing on the right lung at all when I lay on my left side. I also cough mucus only from the left side and feel the pressure of the coughing on my left side so I know it's coming from the left side.
 
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ulfelismeoi responded:
I've was diagnosed with asthma when I was a year and a half, had a quiet period in my teens. Flared back up heavily after I quit smoking 3 years ago. Have had the same issue, my right lung is the regular offender. Even with good meds it still produces more mucus then the other side. Thought I was crazy lol Glad I found this post. Have to be so careful now when I get sick, had pneumonia in november. Definitely talk to a doc about your symptoms and get on a good controller medication and a fast acting inhaler. Good luck!
 
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saracee responded:
Hi AV05BY, I don't really understand how only one lung would be affected this much. I would definitely get a chest xray. Keep us posted!
 
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saracee responded:
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