For about 2 years now I have been experiencing pain in the upper part of my right lung. It feels like it's centered at the area where the bronchus splits off. It is exacerbated by exercise but it's always there. It feels like a painful constriction when I am taking a very deep breath. I have had asthma since childhood but this is something new and very difficult to deal with. When I ski, at the bottom of the hill I am completely exhausted and in a lot of pain. Same thing when I try to jog. This pain is limiting my physical activities, thereby making it worse. After exercise, the pain is a good deal worse and feels almost tingly, and hot and cold at the same time. Other symptoms that I have been having concurrently are repeated yawning, feelings of breathlessness while resting, and feeling like I can't open my lungs up enough because of pressure in my abdomen, pain in my back directly posterior to where the pain is centered in my bronchus, and a clicking sensation in my back when I breathe deeply. It's all very strange and frustrating. I'm only 29 years old and I don't want my asthma to be limiting me so much...it's supposed to get better with age!! The pain is getting worse and worse every month...2 years ago when it started it wasn't as intense as it is now. I've gone to the doctor but they don't seem to think it's any big deal or have any idea what it is.
Have you had pulmonary function tests done recently?
How about a methacholine challenge test?
Also, which inhalers are you on, and how do you use them from day to day?
i'm on advair 500 which i use once a day, and albuterol which i use about once a day, or as needed...like before i work out. i don't know if i had a pulmonary function test, but i did have a test done where i blew into this thing several times, and they said i was doing ok for having asthma. that was about a year and a half ago. now the pain is a lot worse, maybe i should have it done again. i have not had a methacholine challenge test. my CO2 tends to be normal and my % oxygenation is around 98 usually. *shrug* i fear it's lung scarring or something, except that why would it start happening now when my asthma is relatively under control...and why would it be getting worse? could it simply be bronchitis? btw what is a methacholine challenge test? oh and one more thing...i take singulair once a day (10mg) which seems to really help with the allergies and related asthma symptoms.
when i was a kid i was on 350mg theophylline twice a day, and i am terribly allergic to cats, but we had 5 cats, so if i didn't take my medications i would wake up in the middle of the night completely unable to breathe. at the time we didn't even know it was the cats that were causing the problems. it wasn't until i moved out and my symptoms decreased, and then when i came to visit they went crazy, that it became obvious that a major trigger for my asthma was the damn kitties. anyway...so i was living with these cats and ended up at age 14 with a collapsed right lung (can't remember which lobe) with pneumonia and was hospitalized. so i figured that the pain in my right lung might be somehow related to the damage that was caused by that illness. it just seems strange that something that happened 15 years ago would be causing problems now. i would feel reassured if i knew whether or not it's something really serious or just a symptom that i'm going to have to learn to live with.
anyway, sorry to ramble on.
...and happy thanksgiving =)
Advair 500/50??? Once a day? It seems as though your asthma has been in good control, why don't they try to step you down to a lower dose of the Advair? A methacholine challenge is the gold star for asthma testing. They take a measure of your lung functions then give you some chemical that would irritate asthmatic lungs (usually methacholine) and then watch you and measure you until your functions drop, if they do at all, it is a positive diagnosis for asthma. The PFT would involve a full body box and a tube. A spirometry would involve blowing into a tube as well, but no box. You can run simple searches on all of this and figure it out that way.
Something tells me that this pain may not be associated with your asthma. Have you been evaluated for GERD? Also have you had an EKG and a stress test recently? You may want to ask for these tests and start immersing yourself in information. A good site to start at is National Jewish's at asthma.nationaljewish.org Talk to your doctor and keep asking lots of questions. Also, there is a good book by Dr. Tom Plaut that you may want to check out...
Hotchick...a PFT doesn't involve a full body box....it includes things like spirometry and also FVC and FEV1 volume. You can do that in a respiratory lab with just a little bit of special equipment, but not much.
GERD is a good call! This pain might be classified somewhat as atypical chest pain. It's being attributed to the lung, but it may not be the lung at all! You say the upper part of your right lung where the bronchus splits off (i.e. the carina). You know the upper part of your lung is actually just above your clavicle right? Hotchic has a point...this may actually be something other than lung pain.
When was your last chest x-ray.....did it show anything?
oh my, no i did not know that the where the lung splits off is above my clavicle. it thought i was a few ribs down from that. anyway that's where the pain is, a few ribs down from my right clavicle. and it increases every time i take a deep breath, that's why i associated it with my lung. it's like my lung can't expand enough to get enough oxygen, so my diaphragm pulls harder and tries to suck more air into it than it can handle which causes this stretching, painful sensation. AND there's this nerve or pressure point or whatever above my right clavicle that if i press on it the painful sensation is relieved temporarily. might be a sensory diversion but it seems like it's connected. never had a chest X-ray. i told the doctors my symptoms but they didn't order one for me. My fiance who is an ER nurse suggested that i get a chest X-ray also. are you guys medical professionals or students? because you really seem to know what you're talking about. thanks for all the suggestions and advice. i'm going to go back to the doctor and ask more questions and ask if they will order an X ray for me. i asked my fiance to describe a pulmonary function test to me, and i have never had one. i had a peak flow test about a year and a half ago and it was relatively normal, not bad for an asthmatic. also i've had plenty of bloodwork done and everything is normal, except that my iron is a little low (19), ferritin is 25, and my H&H is also a little low, 12 and 34. not terribly low or anything...but not great either in my opinion. also i have trouble swallowing sometimes, it feels like there's something stuck in my throat...so maybe GERD is causing that too. i'll bring up the subject when i go to the doc. thanks so much!!!
Not med school students or professionals...at least I'm not. I've just dealt with a long history of asthma. Also, a PFT is usually standard call for anything that is pulmonary testing related. Stands for Pulmonary Functions Test. In most places they will do a spirometry to get FEV1 and FVC readings and call them a spiro. They are technically PFTs, but I think when most docs refer to a PFT they are referring to the whole box thing...
GERD can cause chest pain. Do you suffer from frequent burping/hiccupping? Bad enamel on the backs of your teeth? Acid taste? Bad breath? Frequent heartburn? These are all symptoms of GERD.
I would not know what the heart area of the chest pain would be, but I would look into it as well because I know cardiac problems can present itself as breathing trouble and there is even a disease that is called cardiac asthma which is asthma-like troubles that are secondary to cardiac disorders.
i'm only 29, so heart problems would be rather early wouldn't they? besides...since i work in a hospital lab i get to run all kinds of tests of myself. i have run isos and they are normal. but i don't really know for sure if that completely rules out heart problems. in fact every test i've run has been normal except for my iron being low and my H&H being slightly low. i used to run a slightly high CO2 until i started the new asthma meds advair and singulair. i'm totally healthy except for this terrific pain when i breathe too deep..! hopefully a chest X-ray will show some fixable reason for this problem.
i don't have any of the symptoms that you described for GERD.