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geepondy 07-19-2020 03:16 PM

My inability to take a deep breath issue ...
Hi I will throw out this very frustrating problem as all breathing issues are frustrating. I'm a 57 year old male, good health, exercises regularly and do have an anxiety disorder but no ever diagnosed asthma or other COPD issue.

About a year and a half ago, had difficulty where it felt like I couldn't complete a deep breath and found myself gulping for air but if could take my mind off it it, would be better a period of time after. Was thought to be "stress" breathing by doctor. I sometimes would get this sitting down but then again would not getting when running furiously on the treadmill.

Fast forward to March this yea where I started to have "allergy" symptoms (in case this is related to breathing issue). Mostly nasal in nature, post nasal drip, irritated throat and chest congestion, generally mild in nature but sometimes worse enough so would feel like coughing. Still hasn't gone away and no allergy medicine has made a dent in it.

Beginning in April, started to have the breathing issue but much more intense. Had acute episodes where it felt like I constantly have to gulp for air so that I was ready to head to the emergency room but again, would relent at least to some degree after a period of time. During these periods of gulping air, oxygen meter was pegged at 99 percent. At this time I had a Covid test which was negative. Inhaler and a round of prednisone did not help (prednisone had major negative effect on my anxiety disorder). Gradually over a month, the acute episodes subsided and although it seemed like when thinking about it, could never take as deep as a breath as before, problem largely became a background issue.

Until a week or so when the problem has become more acute again although not as bad as April. Not sure if related but started about the same time I came off a 10-14 day stretch where my stomach and intestines were very gassy and I started on the Prilosec. The breathing issue became more prominent about the time the stomach became better although it's possible the stomach issues masked the breathing issues. I was in quite a bit of distress. At the advice of my allergist, I have started taking steroid inhaler for four days now but that has had no effect. There is a bit of chest congestion so that may be aiding as well but it seems like at all times, my breathing is compromised. It hasn't been enough to stop me from exercising. Exercising doesn't make the problem worse or better, meaning, I'm not getting out of breath any quicker than before. I assume the breathing problem is similar enough to what I have been having for over three months which has never went away, that it can't be Covid but Saturday, I did the quick results test (Antigen, can have more false negatives than traditional molecular ones (with results are now taking 10 days)).

I have a phone conversation coming up with my PCP this week. Any thoughts on what this could be and in which direction I should nudge him? Any "breathing" issue makes me nervous to go back to work. I wonder how much is anxiety related but the symptoms are certainly real.

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