So. This is the first time I have posted here. I just found this board tonight. This site is huge!!
Here is my question.
I have trouble breathing in humidity and I am absolutely , positively fed up with it and desperate for answers/solutions.
I live in Maine; we don't get too much heat or humidity here as a general rule. Four years ago I went to college in Baltimore, which does have very high humidity. I found I had a lot of trouble breathing in the humidity there. This was especially true the last two years more than the first two .
The last year I was there, it was humid for the first six weeks of the semester. I had never been in humidity for more
than a few days at a time before that. It was awful - I couldn't walk into town to get anything at the store, I couldn't enjoy
being outside. After walking from my dorm to the library, about 7-8 minutes, I felt like I would faint before I got there.
Long story short, I'm finally home in Maine and was looking forward to an escape from humidity. But, for the first time I
can ever remember, we have had quite humid conditions nearly every day for the past month - and we don't even have
air conditioning, this being Maine (also our windows will not fit ACs otherwise we would get them). I am at about the
end of my rope in dealing with this. I feel so awful every day, the air is so thick, I can't breathe it, I am so sick of this.
Let me try to describe some of my symptoms to see if anyone has an idea of what is going on.
Some people have suggested asthma but I don't think it's asthma, because I don't gasp for breath, wheeze or
cough. But I feel an incredible pressure on my chest. It is exactly like if someone were sittng on my chest. I have trouble taking in
a full breath. It hurts a little bit in my back in the same place it did when my lung collapsed eight years ago. I feel out of it
and my thinking becomes foggy. I can't focus on anything, or can but with great difficulty. Things start hurting much more easily.
I just feel really sick.
Some people have suggested it is in my head or symptoms of anxiety, but I disagree, because I feel it the SECOND
I get outside in humid conditions, or even if the window is opened and the humid air comes in. It goes away almost
completely once I am in air conditioning.
I was premature as an infant and spent three months on a respirator; I had a spontaneous lung collapse about eight
years ago. I have not had any other asthma or breathing related problems besides this and am in general good health.
Any ideas, does anyone else experience anything similar in humid conditions?
I also have sensory issues, sensory integration problems, not sure if that makes a difference or not.
I actually do understand this, but don't get it very often...at its most obvious for me is in a steam room where as soon as I walk in, I have to cough like when I breathe in, it "sticks" and it's like a film of fluid is trying to get into my lungs, which I guess it sort of is if the humidity is enough.
I've never really lived in very high humidity places, though originally I'm from a cold climate in Melbourne, Australia and I now live in a sub-tropical climate but it's not very humid, ALTHOUGH when I used to come up here for holidays each year, when I'd step off the plane (into an outside walkway, it's a small airport LOL) I'd basically be hit with this wall of heat and humidity and moist air which I did find made me VERY lethargic and hard of breathing for a while until I got used to it.
Not sure why this is...not everyone gets it I think...I do have very mild asthma apart from this, so...I don't know if that's related though...
I just got back from a cruise in the carribean and had the same problem. The moment i got off the the nice air-conditioned ship, i felt an cloud of anxiety fall over me due to the humidity.I felt like i would not be able to breathe soon
and rushed right back onto the ship. I could not walk onto the various islands because of this. I would walk and hope for a breeze of some sort to alleviate this anxiety, but it never came. I never experienced this problem before, even in the prior weeks in Birmingham Al. or Orlando Fl. where it was not quite as humid as the carribean. i think it is all in my head, but dont know what it is or how to fix it.
It just feels like a blanket of very dense humidity is covering and suffocating you. Kinda the same feeling as being in a tight mri tube or in a dense crowd of people in a small room with no air circulation.
It is not unsual. I cannot breath in Florida well at all and used to have to go there for family and lived there as well. some people with lung problems have a problem even taking a shower. I don't know what exactly sensory problems but if they are anxiety related and you have no lung problems otherwise maybe there is a cause and effect. Doesn't mean it is in your head. It is real but maybe not something being caused by a physical problem like lung disease.
OMG! I am having the exact same symptoms you are. I live in a very humid state, GA. Everytime I'm outside or in the car, or taking a shower, the humid air makes it hard for me to breathe. The first time it happened, I panicked and hyperventillated. Since my family didn't know what was happening, they called 911. The EMTs and doctors acted as if it was all in my head, that I just had a panic attack, even though I have insisted that I was not upset or stressed or unhappy at all. The only time I panicked was when I couldn't breathe good and it scared me. I went to my general practitioner and he also acted as thought I was just mental or something. If anyone knows what this is, please let me know. Its so difficult to deal with.
Hi, there is no way to know exactly what it is but it doesn't sound like anxiety to me though once you find that your breathing is not right you can get more anxious and make it worse. You need to see a pulmonologist and get a simple test to see what is going on. In the meantime ask you GP if you can have an Albuteral inhaler to use when it happens again and try to relax. You could be getting bronchospasms related to asthma and allergies but you need to find out what it is. Learn to do pursed lip breathing where you breathe in for the count of 2 thru nose and breathe out for count of 4 thru puckered lips like you are whistling. Blow out slowly and that creates back pressure to get out the bad air. The main thing is to try and relax and don't tense up. Since you mention no other symptoms on activity it is hard to know what is going on. Ask for a referral to pulmonologist and get some help. It is not in your head at least in the beginning. It is downright scary.
I doubt very much that this is in your head! The foggy feeling you describe sounds like what would happen when you're not getting enough oxygen. The humidity is a very common trigger for asthma. Even though you aren't actively wheezing or coughing, that doesn't mean that you don't have it. You may be having a mild asthma attack, mild enough that it hasn't been recognized as such, but not so mild that it isn't causing some definite symptoms. Canyondweller had some really good suggestions. It's amazing how much pursed lip breathing can help! A pulmonologist or even your family doctor can order some pulmonary function testing for you. Make sure you describe as best you can the circumstances under which your symptoms kick in. If your doctor will give you an Albuterol inhaler, you can try it and see if it makes a difference. If it does make a difference, you should most definitely be followed up. Asthma can be a serious condition, but it can usually be easily controlled with proper education and medication as needed. If this is what's going on, it sounds like it's not severe, but it still needs some attention. If nothing else, your symptoms do warrant ruling it out.
I wish you the best,
Last edited by BlueAtlas; 08-04-2007 at 05:19 PM.
The Following User Says Thank You to BlueAtlas For This Useful Post: Cld55 (08-29-2012)