Respiratory Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Shortness of breath

Hi.  For about 3-4 months, I've had a hard time breathing.  I feel like my chest won't expand, and I have to raise my shoulders up to get a deep breath.  I yawn all the time just trying to get that full breath, otherwise, I feel like when I breathe, it is cut off.  I've had a chest X-Ray, blood work, EKG, Echocardiogram, tried anxiety pills, and an inhaler that does not help.  All the tests came back fine.   Just yesterday, I had a Pulmonary Function test.  Of course, I now have to wait a week because the lung Dr. is on call at the hospital the rest of the week.  I am so TIRED of having to wait a week or 2 to see a doctor, another 1-2 weeks to get a test done, then ANOTHER 1-2 weeks to get results to have to start all over again.  Very aggravating!   I do not wheeze, I don't cough, and I don't have any pain.....although every now and then, my left should blade does seem to hurt.  I have the shortness of breath all the time, but it does get worse if I clean the house, talk for a long time, or even walking in the mall.   I just don't know what on earth is going on, and I'm constantly worrying about what this could be.  The lung specialist said he thinks it's asthma.  I really want a CT Scan to ease my mind of anything bad that could be going on, so I did mention that.  The Dr. said my chest X-Ray was clear, so I don't need that..........  Has anyone gone through this and what did it end up being?  Thank you!
7 Responses
Avatar universal
I forgot to mention that I am 48 years old, and my weight is fine.
Avatar universal
Pulmonary Function Test came back fine.  The lung doctor says the PFT shows I'm not asthmatic as it was fine.  I have a Stress Test in 3 days.  I'm still wanting a CAT Scan/CT Scan but the doctor still said "no", I don't need it.  I know chest x-rays miss a lot of things...........  :-(
Hi.  Me again on my own post.  I'll keep posting results and maybe one day someone will have something similar and can relate or help out.  My Stress Test came back normal.  I'm now taking a new anxiety medicine.  I guess I will give that a few weeks to see if that's all I needed all along.........
Please tell me did you ever find relief???? Im desperately searching for answers as im feeling quite similar and im terrified
Avatar universal
My ENT doctor said I have Chronic Pharyngitis........my throat looked extremely red.  He said it looks like it's from acid not drainage.  I never have heartburn, either.  I was put on an antibiotic, and told to double my Omeprazole.  I stopped eating any spicy food, no coffee/wine, etc.  That's been 1 month. My throat no longer hurts, but I still have breathing issues.  I was hoping the "silent acid reflux" might have been the problem........

It's the last day in February, and I'm still the same..............   Still having shortness of breath every day.  I had one good week where I thought it was going away, then it came back.  Clueless on what is going on with me.  

I have the exact same condition you describe. I've been dealing with it for almost a year now. Sometimes I will go three or four days with no problem but it always comes back!  I'm 46 with no health issues. I have done several things with my medicine trying to figure it out. I had a hysterectomy 2 yrs ago so I was on hormones. I stopped taking those and that didn't help. I took anxiety medicine for several weeks in case it was anxiety and I just was realizing it. I was on daily aspirin and I stopped it and that hasn't helped either. I am so tired of dealing with this. Seems like it's definitely worse at night when I lay down.
Hi Lwether.  It is so aggravating, and I'm sure for you after dealing with it for a year.  Here it is April, and I'm still dealing with this.  I keep wanting to go back to the doctor ONE LAST time, but I'm not even sure what to say.........  I think I may just ask for an 'every day' inhaler or a "heavy duty" anxiety pill.   I'd love to get a CT Scan, but of course now, I've ran out of insurance.  I'd love for us to get some kind of relief permanently!  :-(
Avatar universal
Hi.  It's now May 24, 2016 --  6 months since my first post and 9 months since my symptoms started.   Still the same.........sigh.    I see there are MANY MANY posts like mine, but no answers.   :-(
amy68111 did you ever get an answer? I never did. But ruled out every possible cause.
Avatar universal
I went through something similar, after months, was diagnosed with Vocal Cord Disfunction.  Post nasal drip combined with acid reflux had vocal cords working overtime to keep fluid out of my lungs.  Eventually, my vocal cords closed spasmatically.  I had to take allergy pills with omeprezole to stop the cause.  Then had to retrain my vocal cords.  Simple process.  Every hour I had to inhale quickly/deeply and slowly exhale...with a slow count to 5.  The more times I could do it in a day, the better.  The omeprezole worried me so I figured out the cause of the acid reflux.  My friend told me she is showing signs of kidney problems due to using omeprezole for too many years, so take some time to figure that out if you can. Google Vocal Cord Disfunction, if this is what you have it can cause real problems, but is pretty easy to cure. One sign is if you find yourself running out of air as you finish sentences when you speak.  This happens because your vocal cords closed, not allowing you to continue to exhale. It is easily confused with asthma symptoms.  
How did you treat VOCAL CORD DISFUNCTION? Please share as my wife is suffering from the similar condition. Thanks
Avatar universal
Amy, Thanks for sharing about your case. My wife is suffering from exactly same condition and no inhaler and no asthma medicine is working for her shortness of breath.  Can you please confirm if your diagnosis was "Vocal Cord Disfunction"  or something else. Thanks for your help in advance.
Avatar universal
You need far more than a chest xray.

You need pft ( with lung volumes, mips/meps, dlco).

Chest ct/cta

V/q scan



These are just to start... your ddx at this point is high!
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