Asthma or Chlorine inhalation?

Patient

Q: I have recently been diagnosed with asthma after taking tests with a flow tube. I have also been using a hot tub for the past 7 months using chlorine to keep it clean. Some people have said to me could this be causing my shortness of breath, cough and wheezing. After looking up chlorine on the internet, the symptoms from inhaling chlorine are the same symptoms as I am experiencing. Also after using the hot tub I sometimes get the shivers and can't get warm even after a hot shower, this has led to me being physically sick in the night. I have spoken to my doctor who says he doesn't need to see me. Please could I have a second opinion. Many thanks

Doctor

A:   Symptoms of chlorine inhalation may include; cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, burning sensation in the throat, nausea or vomiting, eye or nasal irritation, choking, muscle weakness, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, and headache. Symptoms of asthma may include; cough, shortness of breath, and wheezing. It is difficult to determine the exact cause of your symptoms chlorine inhalation, asthma, or whether the chlorine inhalation is triggering reversible airway obstruction in the form of asthma symptoms. I would recommend avoiding the hot tub and chlorine for a substantial period of time (for example one month) and monitoring symptom response during this time, to determine the effect on your symptoms and evaluate the underlying cause.

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