• Posted by Cindy Sears on October 9, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    I have PFTs soon.  Does anyone have any tips on how to not cough during the test?  When I take a deep breath and they want you to hold it before you exhale, I start coughing and can’t hold it.  Makes me wonder how accurate are my results. Any tips would be appreciated.


    Doug Jones replied 3 years, 7 months ago 6 Members · 7 Replies
  • 7 Replies
  • Mark Koziol

    October 9, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    Hello Cindy, I wish I could help you. I still cough and I have had a lung transplant. I do think one of the reasons we cough is because of the deep inhalation we must do in order to get the best and most accurate results. I was told if I am going to cough, try and not do it at the beginning of the test. Good luck with the test, I hope you have improved or remain stable. Take care, mark.

  • Angela Hyde-Courtney

    October 9, 2020 at 4:06 pm

    Ive been put on a low dose of morphine by mouth  morning and night  and  it has helped my coughing greatly, i would say its  50% better  as it was exhausting to cough when you laugh and when you get active,

  • Doug Jones

    October 13, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Hi Cindy–I struggle with the same problem. A couple of small tips that help me are the following:

    1)  I spray my throat with Chloraseptic sore throat spray beforehand.  It has 1.4% phenol which is a mild anesthetic.  I’m sure there are other brands including generics.

    2) I bring a water bottle with me and take regular sips to keep my throat moist.  Sometimes just the act of swallowing changes the muscle tone and relaxes me between efforts.

    3) I try to remember my relaxation techniques and think I can only do the best I can.


  • Jackie Kalina

    October 13, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    I know everyone is different BUT a question.  I was diagnosed with IPF in April this year.  Beginning stages and I have no cough as yet.  Is there a timeline when this begins?  Doctor put me on OFEV and I am now taking 150mg x2.  So many side effects, I don’t know if I can do this.  Trying to eat right, not too much or GERD kicks in.  Does it get better with prolonged use?  This is “not” living as I don’t go anywhere because of Covid and also I don’t know how I will feel hour to hour.  Thanks for any input.  I am an 80 year old female.

  • Mark Koziol

    October 13, 2020 at 7:55 pm


    Hello Jackie, glad to hear you are not coughing. Some pf patients don’t have a chronic coughing problem. Which I think is a very good thing. I’m assuming you are having gastric problems with the Ofev. I always took the pills while eating a small meal. For breakfast I might have had a banana and some toast. For dinner I would usually have a protein and a low carb vegetable. It seemed to work for me. There are times I had problems but it was usually due to be eating greasy or fried foods. I hope you overcome the gastric problems you are encountering. The Ofev manufacturer has a great customer service department. Look for the number on the bottle and give them a call. You should be able to talk to a nurse and a pharmacist if you wish. Take care, mark.

  • Paul Folan

    October 15, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    Hi Cindy, I had the same problem as when I took my 1st PFT test there was very little coughing. The 2nd test I was like you and coughed with every breath.On the 3rd test after getting info from this forum I asked my Dr for a prescription for Prednisone. He sent in a prescription for 40 mg to be taken 5 days before my test and it went well. They were able to compare with the first test.And funny you should bring this up, I am going for another PFT next Monday and today was the first dose of prednisone, so hopefully it will go good again. Good luck with your next test

  • Doug Jones

    October 15, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Jackie–Sorry to hear about your IPF diagnosis but welcome to the club!  I have had episodes of coughing over my 5 years with this disease.  For me, coughing comes and goes–but you may never have this symptom.  Is your doctor prescribing anything for the GERD?  GERD is apparently common in as many as 80% of pulmonary fibrosis patients.

    There are two FDA drugs approved to help manage IPF–Ofev and Esbriet–which apparently have similar outcomes.  If Ofev becomes too challenging to manage, you might want to ask about switching to Esbriet (pirfenidone).  I have been taking it since 2014 without significant adverse effects–but everyone’s reaction may be different.

    As a new IPF patient you might find it helpful to find a pulmonary fibrosis support group.  Most groups are meeting via Zoom with COVID-19.  There are both local and national groups.  See https://www.pulmonaryfibrosis.org/life-with-pf/support-groups for more information.

    Good Luck and best wishes–Doug

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