Getting shortness of breath can be caused by asthma, allergies, panic attacks, infections as well as low iron levels.
When you are gasping for air, just stop yourself from doing this. Taking in too much air can make you feel dizzy and light headed. I find when I feel that that, I breathe out. Breathe into a paper bag and see if this helps.
Only on breathing out and out, am I then able to fill my lungs.
If the above does not help, then get back to your doctor and ask for a lung function test to be done and also to check your blood for low iron levels.
Let me know how you get on.
It really does sound like anxiety still to me. Over breathing can may you dizzy and light headed and body tingling (and if you are susceptible) bring on an seizure. Anxiety can make muscles tighten (even chest muscles).
Something that may help reassure you that things are OK is buying a cheap pulse-oximeter on ebay. This way you can see you heart rate and the oxygen level in your blood. Anxiety can elevate your heart rate, but as long as you O2 level is OK and that your breathing is in fact OK as you are getting enough oxygen, even though you feel like you cant.
You can then start to work on relaxing and use some breathing techniques to slow down your breathing calm down and reduce your heart rate too.
Thank you! I really feel like a lung test would also bring me piece of mind. The shortness of breath comes on for no reason when im laying down. Sometimes I'll even be asleep and I'll wake up because I can't breathe and I'm gasping for air. It's very upsetting. I don't think I've been tested for low iron either, so I'll mention that when I go to the doctor next week. Thanks for both your comments. It's appreciated!
As you have mentioned that you also wake up because you are not able to breathe and you are gasping for air, don't forget to mention this to your doctor.
It may be a good idea to have a sleep test done to see if you have a condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Do you have a partner that you sleep with? You don't need to answer that. They may hear you snore and then stop breathing. This is another sign of sleep apnea.
Make a note of your symptoms and ask the doctor if he could refer you for those tests mentioned as well as a blood test to check your iron levels and Vitamin D and D3 levels, if you have not had those done.
Let me know how you get on.
Peace and well wishes for you.
I mentioned obstructive sleep apnea and my doctor said no way. They also checked my blood for my iron levels, but I'm not sure about vitamin D. I'm going to the doctor next week again, for the third time. I'm just going to be more stern about all my symptoms and see what they can do. I honestly don't want to go on any anxiety meds, but I'm starting to realize I have compulsive thoughts about worries and it causes me stress. A lot of people tell me Xanax helps, but I get a weird feeling thinking those drugs are addictive. I feel trapped in general with this anxiety. But we'll see. I'll mention sleep apnea again, becauzd my boyfriend and family do say I snore crazy loud. Thank you.
With sleep apnea as well as the loud snoring, there are other symptoms and people with sleep apnea also stop breathing and then start gasping for air. They do not know they are doing this. There is a sleep study that is done to find out if it is sleep apnea.
Ask for a referral for a sleep study, or you can pay to have one done.
For anxiety issues, you should learn relaxation techniques. Breathing exercises, meditation, visualisation, get involved in a hobby, go for a walk, listen to music, swimming. Anything that helps you not to feel anxious.
If there is an area of your life that is causing you anxiety that is causing this sensation of lack of oxygen, then you need to tackle that. If the stressor or stressors are not dealt with, the anxiety will continue.
Medications for anxiety are fine for short term use, but they do not deal with the route cause of the anxiety.
Shortness of breath while lying down may sometimes be caused by a "lazy" lower esophageal sphincter. Lying down causes a small amount of gastric fluid to ooze upwartds into the trachea. This causes an alergic reaction in the lungs and contraction of the airways. A sort of spasm. Not eating within an hour of lying will sometimes help, if this is the etiology.