For the past year or two my husband, who's 52, has been getting breathless. Doctors reckon he has asthma, but my sister and dad have asthma and it doesn't totally seem like asthma to me?
He can get breathless doing all of a sudden when he hasn't been doing much exercise, just walking around normally. There is no coughing or wheezing though.
He has been on a treadmill at a hospital twice and they were impressed by how long he could run for - the doctor said he would be happy if he could go for so long!! He didn't get overly breathless while doing it and his heart rate remained at a nice healthy rate - in fact they tried getting his heart rate higher but couldnt!! They also said his oxygen levels were fine.
I am pretty sure he had a chest x-ray, and everything looked OK.
He has also had numerous ECGs, and all the experts said they looked absolutely fine. There was one occasion that a nurse in his doctor surgery said that it didn't look right, but every doctor has said they look fine??
I reckon it all started a few years ago, when one day while outside he suddenly started having hayfever symptoms. I think it also might be made worse my damp conditions, as a while ago we had a bad damp problem in our house, and at the moment we are staying in a damp house (a family member's house).
He doesn't have any other health problems. He stopped smoking more than 6 years ago, and while he has a bit of a belly (!) he doesn't have any fat elsewhere, and we try and eat healthily. His cholesterol is fine and his blood pressure perfect apparently!
Does anyone have any idea? I would prefer it to be asthma rather than anything else, but am just worried that it might be more serious?
If it was a heart problem or a lung problem, then exercise would probably aggravate it. The treadmill thing was probably a cardiac stress test.
It sounds like his heart has been pretty thoroughly examined. Being as a heart problem is the most serious explanation for his symptoms, ruling it out is good!
If it tends to happen after meals, it can actually be caused by acid reflux disease, as Titchou mentioned. Or, it could be anxiety, or it could be something else entirely.
Has he tried antihistamines? There is a relationship between allergies and chest issues.
He often gets heartburn, and we know that his oesophagus is damaged due to excessive pain killer use years ago when he badly hurt his back, is so I guess it could be related to that. Thanks! I can see it also being affected by stress and anxiety and he is prone to getting a bit worked up, and when he does, he often gets the heartburn type pain and sometimes breathlessness too!