Hi there. I am having a very worriesome problem, and was wondering if anyone had any ideas on what might be the problem. I was a long time smoker, but about a month ago I quit, because I started feeling real crappy in my lungs. Since then, I have been so sick...I have shortness of breath, a sore chest; and a sore upper back area. That is getting a bit better. I went to my doctor: he took some blood; tested it; had me get a chest x-ray. I was told a week later that the tests show I do not have a chronic lung disease. That is all well and good, but I still have the same problem: tightness/soreness in my chest; shortness of breath. I have had sinus problems lately; and people in my household have been sick. I also notice my nose starts to tingle; then I'll start sneezing...then I feel my head start to clog up; my ears have been ringing a over a week now. The tests showed I don't have pnenomia (sp?). This has been going on over 3 weeks now. How worried should I be? Coughing hasn't been bad at all; just started coughing a little now and then, the past couple of days. Could this be treated with anti-biotics? I've never had such long time lung problems...my head cold is nothing compared to my chest soreness and shortness of breath. I haven't smoked since I quit, and don't ever want to smoke again: not after what I've been through lately...debbie
Debbie, these are the classic signs of allergies. Is your sputum green? This would be a sign of sinusitis, which is a sign of allergies, and could account for your sneezing and ringing in the ears. Are you better at some times of the year than others? Do you have long-term exposure to pets with dander and/or mold? Do you sneeze after eating the same thing? You may want to be tested. The chest tightness could be asthma. Do allergies run in your family? Does asthma or other lung/bronchial problems?
Hi, Mary. Thanks for responding. I know I have allergies, just not sure to what! I do have 3 dogs and one cat; all "stay in the house" pets. I've never been tested, as to what my specific allergies are. But my lung problem is getting better, thank God. My lungs/chest still feel sensitive; but I'm kind of babying myself now...till I get better. I have never had asthma before...can it come on late in life?
The shortness of breath sure was scary for me...it made me realise how valuable lungs are: how bad it can be when my lungs are in bad shape. Anyway, thanks for responding...Deb
Debbie, asthma can occur at any time. And I agree with the previous poster: go see someone. Most doctors can do a peak flow test--very simple. It measures the volume of your lung function. Baselines are based upon age, weight. If you have asthma, the sooner it is diagnosed the better. It can be controlled but sometimes it takes a long time before an asthmatic can figure out how to control it. I don't need to go on and on about it until it's been diagnosed. The doc may also want a more comprehensive test than the peak flow meter. There's one I call "blow hard." This measures small and large airway function in the lungs.
If this continues, you should get the allergy tests.
Hey Deb, my name is Eric Brown... and I'm just 25. Within the last week I have been experiencing the EXACT same problem. It started nearly suddenly... and I called 911. They did an O2 saturation (which was a normal 100%), peak flow test (which was normal), took my vitals (all normal), took bloodwork (all normal), EKG (also normal), chest x-ray (didn't reveal anything worrisome), and they listened to my heart and lungs (clear, and no congestivity). It was a relief learning all of these... but it also scared me! Here I am, gasping for air... feeling like my lungs are deprived. I can't get a good deep fullfilling breath, and every now and then I feel lightheaded and dizzy. Here's what they told me:
First off, do you have acid reflux or heartburn (especially at night)? If so, the cause could very will be a hiatal hernia. The hernia is causing the backflow of acids from your stomach to enter to broncials to your lungs. This WILL cause the shortness of breath, and you'll need to get on some prescription anti-acid medication to help. Plus, elevate your bed at night and DO NOT eat within 3 hours of bed time.
Secondly, it could possibly be ANXIETY. Personally, I don't feel anxious, and the only time I WAS REALLY anxious is when the shortness of breath started! But, your body can experience anxiety without you really FEELING the symptoms of anxiety! Go talk to your doctor again, and see if he can't get you on a seditive like Klonopin or Xanax for a week or two to see if that releaves your shortness of breath.
On other possible cause... yes, ALLERGIES! Since my shortness of breath started... I went to [url="http://www.weather.com"]www.weather.com[/url] and checked my local POLLEN report. The pollen in my area this last week HAS BEEN the highest in over 20 years! I also have stuffy and runny nose (I live on nasal spray), and am not experiencing any MAJOR coughing. Just some here and there to "clear" my throat.
Anyhow, I don't know which is my problem... since I DO have acid reflux (especially at night), and allergies. But, the doctors prescribed me a week supply of Xanax (for anxiety), and a month supply of Prevacid (for acid reflux).
This tightness and pain in your chest could be from you OVEREXTENDING your lungs trying to gasp for deep breathes. I know that mine is. Also, I'll every now and then get a tickling/itching sensation between my shoulder-blades on my back that will turn to a dull pain for a few minutes and then disappear.
So, since I kind of bare your symptoms... I wanted to relate what I know. As far as me feeling any better... well, not really. Sometimes I wake from a dead sleep STILL gasping for air and it scares the H.S. out of me. But, sometimes I'll just go relax and keep my mind on the television and it'll get better (leading me to believe anxiety has part to do with it). Whether anxiety is the primary cause or NOT... it WILL make the shortness of breath worse! So, try not to worry to much about the shortness of breath when it comes on (a vicious cycle). Relax, and let's see if it isn't a hernia or allergie problem! Hope this helped...