Discussions By Condition: Repiratory conditions

I can't breathe!

Posted In: Repiratory conditions 43 Replies
  • Posted By: meggiemeg86
  • March 7, 2008
  • 03:54 PM

I want to apologize for the length ahead of time. There's a lot to tell. Here goes... I'm a 21 year old female who has been having breathing problems for the past three months. It came on very fast and hasn't gone away, or gotten any worse or better. I can't get deep breaths and my normal breathing feels very shallow. It basically feels my air doesn't go down to my lungs. My throat also feels very tight and feels like my airway is closing up. Although these symptoms are constant, it gets much worse at night when I lye down and try to go to sleep. I have been having much more mucus that won't come up as well, that also gets worse when I lye down. I also get chest pain sometimes, (not constantly) but mostly when my breathing worsens. My breathing definitely causes me much anxiety, and I'm actually pretty scared I'm going to die sometimes. I've been to the hospital twice in the past 3 months. They didn't see anything on my lungs and my heart was fine. They diagnosed me with anxiety. DUH! I don't know of any human being who would not get scared if they couldn't breathe. They gave me 10, .25 mg tablets of Xanax which helped a little with the anxiety, but obviously not with the breathing. I've seen a cardiologist and my heart is in good condition. The only thing he told me was that I have a high resting heart rate and some irregular heart beats. He said that wasn't that uncommon. I've had a lung function test, and they said that looked normal too. My primary doctor gave me an inhaler, which didn't help at all. She also gave me Lorzepam to help me sleep at night. I eat very healthy, and I'm not just saying that, I actually do. I work out 4-6 times a week for about 45 minutes, and I go for brisk walks with my dog for about 1.5 miles 3-6 times a week. My breathing also worsens during my workouts and when I'm walking. Well, that's about it. I would truly appreciate ANY help!

Thank you,
Megan

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43 Replies:

  • hi i have similar issues. my neck and throat are so tight it feels like someone is grabbing me there. i also have chest pain. do you have swallowing issues?
    newmommy3 8 Replies Flag this Response
  • Anxiety or panic attacks can be severe enough to send you to the emergency room thinking you are having a heart attack. I have suffered from anxiety for years. I also have had the feeling of something stuck in my throat. Had an ENT doctor put the tube down my nose to look and his diagnosis was also anxiety.I also suffer from asthma. Attacks have also sent me to ER. Feels like someone sitting on your chest at times. Unable to take deep breaths. This will then cause anxiety.Perhaps you have a combination anxiety/asthma as I do.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I Also Suffer From This And Have Diagnosed With Anxiety In The Er Like 5 Times Now But Do U Also Get Like Palpitations Or Pounding In Ur Chest .i Have Visited Like 7 Cardiologist Thinking Its My Heart And They Say My Heartbeats Are Fast But Thats Normal Supposedly With My Anxitey
    elias01 36 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi! I am the worried mom of a 29 y.o. athletic , active son who suddenly began having difficulty breathing about 2 years ago. He also was producing excessive amounts of mucus, but able to cough it up. On X-ray, there were signs that the bases of his lungs had "crystalized". Nobody has been able to tell me why.Have you had a lung scan?:confused: I want to apologize for the length ahead of time. There's a lot to tell. Here goes... I'm a 21 year old female who has been having breathing problems for the past three months. It came on very fast and hasn't gone away, or gotten any worse or better. I can't get deep breaths and my normal breathing feels very shallow. It basically feels my air doesn't go down to my lungs. My throat also feels very tight and feels like my airway is closing up. Although these symptoms are constant, it gets much worse at night when I lye down and try to go to sleep. I have been having much more mucus that won't come up as well, that also gets worse when I lye down. I also get chest pain sometimes, (not constantly) but mostly when my breathing worsens. My breathing definitely causes me much anxiety, and I'm actually pretty scared I'm going to die sometimes. I've been to the hospital twice in the past 3 months. They didn't see anything on my lungs and my heart was fine. They diagnosed me with anxiety. DUH! I don't know of any human being who would not get scared if they couldn't breathe. They gave me 10, .25 mg tablets of Xanax which helped a little with the anxiety, but obviously not with the breathing. I've seen a cardiologist and my heart is in good condition. The only thing he told me was that I have a high resting heart rate and some irregular heart beats. He said that wasn't that uncommon. I've had a lung function test, and they said that looked normal too. My primary doctor gave me an inhaler, which didn't help at all. She also gave me Lorzepam to help me sleep at night. I eat very healthy, and I'm not just saying that, I actually do. I work out 4-6 times a week for about 45 minutes, and I go for brisk walks with my dog for about 1.5 miles 3-6 times a week. My breathing also worsens during my workouts and when I'm walking. Well, that's about it. I would truly appreciate ANY help! Thank you, Megan
    cdgrant 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello Megan, I just read your post and it reads like a chapter from my own life. I have all the same symptoms as you. The doctors have me on a symbicort puffer, singulair, a nasal spray and amoxicillin antibiotic none of which seems to be helping. They also talked about anxiety to which I had the same response. When you can't breathe, of course you're anxious. I was wondering if you have had any progress or additional information since you made this post. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Blake
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • i get the same thing
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have any of you been to an allergist? Don't know if it could be allergies, but I have a friend who is highly allergic to everything and she suffers from very similar symptoms to Megans. Nothing ever shows up on the scans..heart fine, gets anxious BEACAUSE she can't breathe, throat closes up, excessive mucus, etc. Allergist got to the bottom of it, inhaler by itself did NOTHING, but she had to go through some different meds before she found a combination that worked. Much better now. Don't know if this will help. Hope you all get some answers. Sure stinks to not be able to breathe!
    toybug2 11 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have seen my doc for this very same thing a few times just this past week. I just came home from a 10 hour day at the er. ER and doctor did blood work ekg's xray of chest had a ct scan with dye of my heart and lungs. Everything comes back normal!!! The ct scan showed a little inflamation(sp) of the lungs the other day but when ER did xray today there was nothing. I had a ct of head because of dizziness and that was normal too. It is driving me insane not knowing what is going on. Now doc wants me to see a pulmonary specialist. I just hope I get some answeres soon.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Worried Mom signing in again. After almost 2 years of worsening respiratory distress symptoms, my son started to complain of joint and bone pain when they took him off the prednisone he'd been on for about 6 months. None of the inhalers, antibiotics (lung scan showed that the bases of both lungs had "crystalized") or other drugs seemed to be of much help. His pain got to the point of his not being able to walk at times, and of course his breathing got worse. Finally, he was diagnosed with severe rheumatoid arthritis which had caused the inflamatory process that had scared his lungs. I'm glad to say that he is now on medication that is helping him, but very worried about this degenerative disease. I fear that he will always have difficulty breathing now because of the scarring.
    cdgrant 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same symptoms. It's hard to breathe (like through a straw), heart rate goes up and feel like I'll die at any moment. Can't sleep, eat, and can only think about how I can't breathe. Can't be in enclosed small rooms, in darkness or warm areas because I feel like I couldn't breathe. I went to the ER complaining of shortness of breath. After only getting a chest x-ray and doing a half hearted physical exam (not even put on a monitor) I was diagnosed with pneumonia and given a Z-pack. I still couldn't breathe. So I went back the same day. This time I complained of shortness of breath and chest pain. This time I was seen right away. The pulse ox was 100% and my heart rate was 90. Blood pressure was a little high 145/90 but it normally runs a little high (I can't breathe and am anxious). Well after another chest x-ray, I was told that I definitely didn't have a pneumonia. So that was ruled out. They did a chest CT and ruled out pulmonary embolus. My oxygen saturuation was reading as high as it can get but I was still having difficulty breathing (feel like can't get a full breath and breathing through a straw. I kept feeling pressure in my face like my ears and nose weren't allowing air to flow. Anyway. After waking up short of breath and feeling a sensation of burning in my chest I was diagnosed with gastric reflux. They put me on Nexium and sent me on my way. I reiterated to the doctor that my nose and sinuses felt clogged and I was still having difficulting breathing. The doctor dismissed that and said that I had reflux and to give the medicine time to work. So after 2 days of waiting to die because I couldn't breath I couldn't take it anymore. I told my wife to take me back to the ER. On the way to the ER, I heard a loud whistling in my left ear like when you equalize your ears and immediately I could breathe and that depressed feeling lifted and I was healed. I couldn't believe it. I kept telling the doctors that something was wrong with my sinuses and they kept giving me other diagnoses. Turns out it was my sinuses. I guess I had trapped pressure in my Ears or sinuses (I recently flew in a plane). It had to be the reason I couldn't breathe because soon as my ear whistled I was fine. Now a week later I feel the same symptoms but they aren't as intense. I am unable equalize my sinus pressure by pinching the nose and blowing. My fear is that this will be permanent and I will have to live with the impending doom of not being able to breathe for the rest of my life. This is torture and you're right. People don't understand. Because all the tests come back negative or good.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • This sounds like vocal cord dysfunction. IT's commonly misdiagnosed as anxiety or asthma. Lung tests will be normals. Sats normal, and meds don't help. Google VCD. Or go to the website for National Jewish Hospital in Denver for more info.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 19, 2008
    • 06:21 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
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  • Go look at the website of "HowThingsWork.com" and look at topic "Lungs". It talks about how that waterheaters, heaters/furnaces, etc.. that are not properly ventilated can cause breathing problems and how pollens in the air can block the gas exchange (CO2 & O2) in the lungs. It mentions carbon monoxide poisoning as well. So get a home monitor for carbon monoxide, vacuum often & wash and change all bedding, get a quality air filter for your furnace, circulate the air in your home with a fan or crack a window, and/or any combination of these things to see if it gets better. One thing I know is that I feel you and pray that we all get to breathing better. Pass on the message.God Bless!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 7, 2008
    • 10:46 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi, I had the same problem most of my life, I am 43 and still feel this way, I to use inhalers. Not sure what the disorder is called but it has something to do with your diaphragm, the next time you feel like that and your inhaler doesn't work, do this...lie down on your back, take the first two fingers on your right hand and place them on the left side of your diaphragm (feel for the bone and press under it ) and press as hard as you feel comfortable, rub this area a few times, do this until your breathing feels better, it may take a few presses maybe 4 or 5 times. This may make you burp to, lol... but hey it really works! Sounds crazy but please give it a try. Hope you feel better. :)Lisa
    Lisa12366 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi Megan,I have the exact same problems and eat healthy and exercise as much as you do. I have sever allergies to basically everything you can imagine. My breathing is much much better when I take my allergy meds. When I go off them, however, I have the breathing attacks that you're talking about much more frequently. I finally found out that my allergies (which I've had for ten years) have progressed to my chest and that is the cause for my breathing problems. Now, on top of having sever allergies, I have asthma caused by those allergies that is more apparent after a few minutes of working out and at night. Question: Do you have allergies? If so, what medications have you taken? Also, when you have an attack, does your breathing sound different than when you normally breathe? If so, you may have my problem.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am having a similar reaction. After a month long cold, which is gone now, Every now and then I cough up mucus, and for about 20-30 seconds, it is as if I cannot breath. It happens day and night. I could be sleeping, cough, all of a sudden I wake up as I cannot breath. If I take a sip of water or any liquid, then it seems to open up the airway.It is scarey. I was swimming with my son, and it happened. Luckily I was in the shallow end.If I keep calm, close my eyes, it seems to help. I am on vacation for the last two weeks, and if is still doing this. I am really not stressed. Most people would say I am cool under pressure and in emergencies. I do not think it is anxiety. It is happening less often.I just wonder if there could be something inflamed in the throat from all the coughing during the month long cold.Cheers...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I am a 55 yr old woman. I have dealt with anxiety and depression all my life or, at least, from the time I began to worry about things. Around the age of 16 I began to have problems and our family doctor (that my Mom happened to work for) put me on Valium (Xanax wasn't invented yet). I was a little overweight so he had me on diet pills, then sleeping pills and one for depression. It's no wonder that I became a drug addict later on.Anyway, I was off the drugs for about 7 yrs and I was in my 30's. I was laying in bed one evening, reading a medical symptom book. I was reading about something and I began to have trouble breathing, then chest pains. My hands began to get numb and I asked my live-in boyfriend to take me to the E.R. I told him that I was having a heart attack. It was 3:00 am.On the way there, I begged him to go faster. My chest was tight and I wasn't getting any air. I just felt like we weren't getting there fast enough. He was a ***k anyway and didn't even care that I was having a heart attack.We finally got there and I remember, as a nurse took me to the evaluation room, how my hands began to get a burning sensation. I had never experienced this before and surprising to me, they took me back right away.I didn't even have to sit in the waiting room. They took me back to a bed and a nurse began taking my vitals. My arm burned as my hand did before when she took my blood pressure. The nurse put one of my fingers in the little pulse Oximeter they have that's used to check for Oxygen levels. They did an EKG, then sent me down to have a chest x-ray. I didn't know what was going on. Why weren't they speeding things up? Then the nurse brought me a Valium and I felt much better. I had not taken any drugs in yrs. I was still waiting for news about some of the tests when it dawned on me that it wasn't a heart attack, but a panic attack that I'd had.When I was reading the symptom book, I had been reading about panic attacks and taking on the symptoms as I was reading them.It's amazing how the mind works and how the panic attack mimicked a heart attack that night and I thought that I was dying. But, I'm still here. I have COPD but that's another story.
    katwoman 29 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have the same symptoms. It's hard to breathe (like through a straw), heart rate goes up and feel like I'll die at any moment. Can't sleep, eat, and can only think about how I can't breathe. Can't be in enclosed small rooms, in darkness or warm areas because I feel like I couldn't breathe. I went to the ER complaining of shortness of breath. After only getting a chest x-ray and doing a half hearted physical exam (not even put on a monitor) I was diagnosed with pneumonia and given a Z-pack. I still couldn't breathe. So I went back the same day. This time I complained of shortness of breath and chest pain. This time I was seen right away. The pulse ox was 100% and my heart rate was 90. Blood pressure was a little high 145/90 but it normally runs a little high (I can't breathe and am anxious). Well after another chest x-ray, I was told that I definitely didn't have a pneumonia. So that was ruled out. They did a chest CT and ruled out pulmonary embolus. My oxygen saturuation was reading as high as it can get but I was still having difficulty breathing (feel like can't get a full breath and breathing through a straw. I kept feeling pressure in my face like my ears and nose weren't allowing air to flow. Anyway. After waking up short of breath and feeling a sensation of burning in my chest I was diagnosed with gastric reflux. They put me on Nexium and sent me on my way. I reiterated to the doctor that my nose and sinuses felt clogged and I was still having difficulting breathing. The doctor dismissed that and said that I had reflux and to give the medicine time to work. So after 2 days of waiting to die because I couldn't breath I couldn't take it anymore. I told my wife to take me back to the ER. On the way to the ER, I heard a loud whistling in my left ear like when you equalize your ears and immediately I could breathe and that depressed feeling lifted and I was healed. I couldn't believe it. I kept telling the doctors that something was wrong with my sinuses and they kept giving me other diagnoses. Turns out it was my sinuses. I guess I had trapped pressure in my Ears or sinuses (I recently flew in a plane). It had to be the reason I couldn't breathe because soon as my ear whistled I was fine. Now a week later I feel the same symptoms but they aren't as intense. I am unable equalize my sinus pressure by pinching the nose and blowing. My fear is that this will be permanent and I will have to live with the impending doom of not being able to breathe for the rest of my life. This is torture and you're right. People don't understand. Because all the tests come back negative or good.I just want to add that I would never take a Z-pack again. My son and I, both, on separate occasions, had to be taken to the ER. I don't recall all the effects but they were bad and I'm pretty sure that difficulty breathing and nausea were two of them. We are both allergic to any Myacin antibiotics. I know you said that you had trouble breathing before the Z-pack but it just reminded me of my experience and wonder if anyone else has been through the same thing.I hope you find out what is wrong.
    katwoman 29 Replies Flag this Response
  • I just want to add that I would never take a Z-pack again. My son and I, both, on separate occasions, had to be taken to the ER. I don't recall all the effects but they were bad and I'm pretty sure that difficulty breathing and nausea were two of them. We are both allergic to any Myacin antibiotics. I know you said that you had trouble breathing before the Z-pack but it just reminded me of my experience and wonder if anyone else has been through the same thing.I hope you find out what is wrong.Note: In reply to Moonknight
    katwoman 29 Replies Flag this Response
  • hello Megan,i have similar symtoms but i believe my feelings started two years ago when i experience an earthquake my breathing change so check any bad past experience
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am having a similar reaction. After a month long cold, which is gone now, Every now and then I cough up mucus, and for about 20-30 seconds, it is as if I cannot breath. It happens day and night. I could be sleeping, cough, all of a sudden I wake up as I cannot breath. If I take a sip of water or any liquid, then it seems to open up the airway.It is scarey. I was swimming with my son, and it happened. Luckily I was in the shallow end.If I keep calm, close my eyes, it seems to help. I am on vacation for the last two weeks, and if is still doing this. I am really not stressed. Most people would say I am cool under pressure and in emergencies. I do not think it is anxiety. It is happening less often.I just wonder if there could be something inflamed in the throat from all the coughing during the month long cold.Cheers...Did you ever find out what was going on?Someone where I work got Whooping cough. Weeks later I started coughing (more like a cold). It lasted for about 2 weeks then I went to a doctor and got a 5 day pack of Axithromycin Antibiotics just in case I have whooping cough or other infection. Last night I woke up at 3AM and I couldn't breathe. It happened twice that night. I went to ER and everything checked out OK and they said it was anxiety attack. It happened again this morning. It feels like something is blocking my airway when I inhale and when I try to inhale I end up gulping it and I start burping. Feels similar to when you get the wind knocked out of you. When I breath shallow it seems to keep this feeling it at bay. BTW..Trying to see an ENT on a Friday is not easy
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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