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Old 02-23-2012, 10:09 PM   #1
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Unhappy Chest Tightness and Breathing Problems - Anxiety or Asthma?

For the past week or so, I've been having some tightness in my chest. It's right where my breastbone is, and it doesn't hurt at all. The tightness usually lasts for around 15 minutes before it goes away.
As for the breathing problems, I feel like I'll suffocate if I don't take deep breaths constantly. The chest tightness doesn't seem to make this any worse.
I've been diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, and I know that this could be causing my symptoms, but I can't help but think that I have asthma.
I'm allergic to dust, pet dander, grass, tree pollens, and mold. Would it be possible for me to just suddenly get asthma, even though I've been exposed to those allergens since I was little? (I'm 17 now, by the way).
I haven't been wheezing or coughing at all. Does it sound like I have asthma, or am I just letting my anxiety get the best of me?

 
Old 02-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #2
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Re: Chest Tightness and Breathing Problems - Anxiety or Asthma?

It is possible to develop asthma at any age. Are your allergies acting up now? Is it pollen season where you live? (Pollen season is coming early in the US this year!)

However, anxiety could also be causing it. One way to possibly distinguish the two is whether exertion makes it worse. (For asthma, it does, for anxiety, it usually doesn't)

If it is asthma, brief episodes of chest tightness aren't a terribly dangerous sign. Make an appointment with your doctor and discuss the problem. See what happens. You might have to see an allergist or pulmonologist for testing.

 
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:15 AM   #3
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Re: Chest Tightness and Breathing Problems - Anxiety or Asthma?

Usually, my allergy symptoms stay pretty mild. They only get bad when the pollen count is high, and I try to stay indoors on those days. Nope, pollen season hasn't come to northern Indiana yet. It's still snowy and cold here.
Right now, I'm not having any trouble with my allergies at all. My parents just bought a HEPA filter yesterday, and it's helped so much.
Exertion doesn't make my symptoms any worse. I've noticed that I only have trouble when I'm not doing anything. I kept busy yesterday and didn't have a bit of trouble. So I'm guessing that it's just health anxiety again.
I'm going to try and put this whole asthma worry out of my mind for now and see if my symptoms go away. I have an appointment with my allergist next month, and if I'm still having trouble, I'll ask about it then.

Thank you!

 
Old 02-25-2012, 07:24 AM   #4
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Re: Chest Tightness and Breathing Problems - Anxiety or Asthma?

Obviously, a random person on the Internet can't promise that you don't have asthma, but it sounds to me like anxiety is the more likely explanation. Do mention the episodes of chest tightness to the person who treats your anxiety.

 
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allergies, anxiety, asthma, breathing problems, chest tightness



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