I've been coughing quite a bit for about three months; the cough is what one would call 'productive' about half the time. The other half, it's just a dry cough. I have also been feeling a sort of heaviness in my chest, making it feel like I need to put forth more effort to take a breath. I can still breathe, but it just requires more to take in that breath - as in, sometimes I need to yawn very deeply to feel like I've taken a full breath. There's no air conditioning in here, and between the heat and my increased difficulty inhaling, getting to sleep is harder than normal.
I've asked other people about this and I've gotten suggestions ranging from allergies to asthma to sarcidosis (spelling?). I used to have bronchitis as a child that would get exacerbated by the odor of freshly-cut grass, but I overcame that allergy years ago. I don't know if this is sinus-related because I have had constant headaches for almost a year and since any sinus infections I get tend to only be characterized by headaches, I would never know if I had one.
Any advice? I'm not even sure what kind of doctor to see or speak to about this. I don't trust my regular doctor because she gave me very potent antibiotics on two occasions to cure an infection I never had.
Number one it sounds like you need a new doctor!!! If you have a stethoscope you should listen to your lungs. Just in case you are new at listening hear is some tips.....you listen to your lungs thru your back, start up around your shoulder blade and move down to just past your rib cage on both sides, take a deep breath each time. You should be able to hear air rushing in and out, that is normal. If you hear a wheeze it could be asthma or bronchitis, if it sounds like blowing bubbles in milk it could be pneumonia, it could also be very bad pnuemonia if you hear nothing at all. There is many other possibilities and you really should see a doctor most cases that involve difficulty breathing requires a prescription medication, take yourself to an emergency care center or hospital if you really don't want to risk going to your own doctor. Good luck.
Thanks for the information, deedestiny756. Unfortunately, I do not have a stethoscope.
My regular doctor I haven't seen in about four years, but the doctor who I do see on a more regular basis is my ENT, and I really didn't expect her to be able to aid me a whole lot with what I figure is a respiratory problem. She, however, advised me to get some Claritin and Mucinex and take both for the next 3-5 days (she wants to rule out the possibility of allergies first). She said if I'm still feeling short of breath, coughing, have chest pain, and all these other bizarre things by the time I finish the meds (or if anything worsens at anytime), that I should make an appointment with a family practice doctor to find out what's going on. That being said, I took the first doses of both meds and I still feel like garbage right now - I wonder if Claritin takes a couple days to start working properly.
My doctor said it could be related to asthma (which, as far as I know, I do not have), could be a bronchal/allergic reactions to things outside (pollen, etc.) or it could be 'walking pneumonia'...whatever that is. So, I just need to stick it out until Sunday and if I'm still feeling ill, I'll be making an appointment to go get poked and prodded...but it'll be worth it if I can breathe normally again.
Also, I notice my symptoms get exacerbated at nighttime. During the day - even when it's sweltering - my breathing is fine. But at night, I have a harder time breathing, my chest feels more noticeably achey, I cough more, and my headaches get worse. I don't understand why this happens...wouldn't my breathing be harder in the heat, as opposed to the night when it's cooler?
Last edited by Dark Stranger; 06-26-2007 at 08:17 PM.
Well I finally went to a doctor (not my idiot regular doctor). He told me, shockingly, my lungs sounded normal. The night before I went, my heart was beating very hard (not fast, but I felt it beating against my chest when I was merely sitting down and not moving) and it freaked me out...he said my heart sounded fine also. He determined that the inside of my right nostril was inflamed and that I'm most likely suffering from something allergy-related as well as bronchitis and put me on an antibiotic. I asked him if my lungs sounded wheezy since deedestiny756 mentioned that, but Doc told me that it's entirely possible for someone to be suffering from bronchitis, asthma, or even pneumonia and have their lungs sound perfectly fine.
It's been two days on the meds and, while I'm still needing to take big, deep breaths to feel satiated, I do feel a bit better, and my chest doesn't ache as much (but still a little). I'm hoping this will cure whatever is ailing me because I don't want to go and be poked and prodded again and put on most likely another antibiotic. The downsides to this one is it makes me nauseous (not really bad, but enough to make me want to just lay in bed forever).
I don't know if this will help, but I spent half my life with chronic bronchitis and many years on antibiotics. One thing that helped a bit was they got rid of my tonsils and adenoids(which cut down on the throat infections which would start some of the bronchitis bouts) but yet I still got a bad case of bronchitis year after year.
So one year I decided to get into green tea for my immune system. Not in a big way, just maybe a cup a few times a week. Now ever since then, I hardly get sick and when I do, the cough and other symptoms seem to go away after some days instead of getting worse like they used to.
Is it the tea? I don't know, that seems to be the only major habit change the last few years. Perhaps there is something to this strengthening the immune system idea? Even vitamin pills for years didn't really help.