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Jonathan asked...

Several years ago I was diagnosed with TB

Several years ago I was diagnosed with TB, I recovered fully but am concerned about my breathing. I have mild Asama but I think my ability to breath during exercise is decreasing over time. I am fit, not over weight and use the Gym three times a week. It just worries me that my ability to breath and take in oxygen seems to be decreasing rather than improving. What could I do to get a check to make sure there is nothing wrong with my lungs.

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The answer

Dear Jonathan,

Thank you for contacting us. The sensation you are describing of feeling that your ability to take in enough oxygen and breathe easily while exercising could possibly be being caused either by the asthma you suffer from which may have become complicated by your episode of TB or, there is the possibility although slight that your lung tissue has some scarring in places due to the Tb you have suffered from.

Either way it would seem sensible to arrange to see your GP to discuss this with them, they will be able to perform basic lung function tests and check your oxygen saturation level and may organise an X-ray of your chest if clinically necessary. Following on from seeing your GP if you remain unhappy or the tests performed indicate there might be an issue then a referral to a respiratory specialist would be very useful. They can perform further testing such as a lung scan and deeper testing of your lung capacity neither of which tests are invasive but can give further information to aid any treatment you may require. Do bear in mind also that your lungs will take time to heal from the episode of TB you suffered and that with underlying asthma however mild this combination is likely to be contributing to your current concerns. We wish you the best of luck in getting this resolved,

Nikki

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses