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Have had asthma. Started to develop tinnitus. Had vomiting, sickness. Can I have hiatal hernia? Suggest tests

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
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Hey guys, I'm a 23 y/o male college athlete who is in great physical shape and just recently have had this terrible inability to take a XXXXXXX breath. I do not smoke, but I have had asthma for 15 years and have had in under control for 10 years. At first I thought maybe my asthma had just gotten worse all of a sudden and my albuterol didnt help, I needed to get back on advair or another medication, so after going to a doctor and being prescribed advair and being on it for 3 days and seeing no improvement I went back to the doctor and told him I still can't catch my breath and I can't take a full XXXXXXX breath. The Doctor then prescribed me Methylprednisolone (a short course of steroids for my lungs) I started taking the steroids Friday, by Saturday my breathing was still not improving and I went to the ER, after chest X-rays and blood tests, I have no blood clots, normal levels of red blood cells, anything wrong with me except the that my lungs looked *Hyperinflated* they fed me some steroids and put me on a nebulizer and even after that I still couldn't take a XXXXXXX breathe. The doctor prescribed me an acid reducer thinking that my asthma has been made worse by acid reflux. I have now been on the prilosec for 8 days and advair for 2 weeks and my symptom has not improved at all. I went back to the Doctor again exhausted because I haven't slept and I still can not take a XXXXXXX breathe. This doctor after listening to my lungs and hearing my story said I might have a rib in the wrong place so she told me to go to an osteopath and she prescribed me an antihistamine. The antihistamine made me feel relaxed because it has an anxiety property but my breathing was still the same. The next morning I went to an osteopath who gave me acupuncture and it didn't help. The next day I went to a chiropractor to see if maybe I hurt my neck or spinal nerve causing me to not be able to take a XXXXXXX breath. So far the chiropractor has not found anything. I go back to the chiropractor tomorrow for a follow up and I'm almost out of money and out of hope. I have started to develop some tinnitus, not sure if it's related or not. Today I had some pain in my chest, right where my heart is but it went away in 10 minutes. I do feel some pain in my back upper left

I'm 5' 11", 160lbs
Blowing into a peak flow meter I'm at about 85% of what a normal man my height and weight is.
My blood oxygen levels are 98-100%. I feel an tightness in my upper stomach but that might just be because I've been stressed out for 2 weeks. I literally have been losing my mind.

This inability to take a XXXXXXX breath starts from the moment I wake up, to the moment I go to sleep. It does not get better nor does it get worse, regardless of if i'm standing, sitting, or lying down it does not change. If I try and do an activity and I start to breath heavy I can not catch my breath.

Do you think I might have a hiatal hernia(3 days before my symptoms I was very sick and vomiting painfully, but I didnt notice anything for 3 days). I haven't noticed a difference when I eat really. Could I have some sort of generalized anxiety, i did believe I was dying last week. I found mold under my fridge before my symptoms started (could that be playing a role). My mother has a thyroid problem, could I be seeing symptoms of thyroid storm? Could I have an Asthma episode that does not get better or worse even with medication for 2 weeks?

Please help me out! What doctor should I see, what tests should I have done?

I also have no cough, and no fever, but I am having trouble sleeping.
Posted Sun, 10 Jun 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 1 hour later
Hi there.

Thanks for the query.

Do you have wheezing, feeling of heartburn especially between meal times ?

Is there any trouble in falling asleep ?

Are you awake for most periods of the time at night ?

Do you get frequent hand tremors and increased sweating ?

According to your history, Asthma is a significant risk factor which may be causing the symptoms you are experiencing. But since you are on effective medication and have not had an episode of severe wheezing and chest tightness it is less likely due to Asthma.

The issue here is that you find it difficult to take in a XXXXXXX breath beyond a certain point. This could be partly because of the hyper-inflated lung picture which could signify decreased elasticity of the lungs preventing them to expand and contract normally. This hyperinflation can be due to Asthma.

Anxiety also has a big role to play because more than symptoms of Asthma you have special subjective symptoms which appear life threatening which may be unrelated to Asthma. An anti-histamine did help you a bit, because Asthma is generally an allergic disease and anti-histamines are anti-allergic drugs.

If you feel anxious, scared during most times of the day, fine hand tremors present, decreased sleep or lack of fulfilling and refreshing sleep, the symptoms could be because of un-diagnosed Anxiety disorder. You will need to do a few tests to rule out Thyroid disorder as well because Thyroid disorders can also cause anxiety.

Kindly consult a leading Psychiatrist and get a thorough evaluation on possible anxiety disorder and help reach the right diagnosis, following which the best solution will be provided for your relief and comfort.

Avoid smoking, drinking alcohol. Use handkerchief while moving in air-polluted areas. Avoid going to gardens as pollen can trigger an Asthma attack.

Eat a balanced diet. Drink 1-2 litres of water daily. Do daily brisk walking exercise for 40 minutes a day. Get 6-8 hours of sleep daily. Do Yoga for stress relief.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.

Wishing good health.


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