Hi, I am a 29 year old female, healthy weight, never smoked and beside this issue no other medical history.
I have had a chronic cough and throat clearing for three years that brings up small amounts of clear sputum. In April the cough changed and I begin to feel a rattle in the left side of my chest, the doctor did an xray and it showed mild pnuemonic consolodation in the mid and lower left lung. I was given a course of oral antibiotics and returned for a repeat xray in June, that xray showed that while the majority of the consolidation had cleared there maybe a subtle amount of residual opacification in the lower left zone. The doctor was unconcerned but after I returned complaining of the original symptoms I was given another course of antibiotics. In August I had another xray and the conclusion was clear lungs. I still have the original cough, which produces small amounts of clear mucous and more disconcerting to me is that I still feel a rattle in my left lung when I breathe deeply especially when lying down. Three doctor when listening to my chest have said it sounds clear. Can/should a doctor listen to your chest while lying down as well? What is the significance of a rattle felt by me but not hear by the doctor? Can this ever be normal 5 months after pneumonia, could it be residual fluid? I should add that I had normal (better than average) spirometry last week that ruled out athsma as a cause of my symptoms. What could be going on? I am panicking about the possibility of lung cancer
Further imaging of the lungs can help, with a CT scan providing more resolution.
There will be a period of scarring where the lungs have to heal from the infection.
If the CT scan and other imaging studies are normal, a referral to a lung specialist and undergoing a bronchoscopy can be considered.
The combination of the CT scan and bronchoscopy would exclude lung cancer.
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