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What causes breathing and swallowing difficulty?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 784 Questions
About 5 weeks ago had a sore throat, went to Dr and was diagnosed with Strep and took medication for it. After 2 weeks still tightness in throat. Started getting tingling in my fingers and toes. About a week later stiffness in jaw, difficulty opening jaw wide, tingling in face. This week my legs mainly my thighs have been sore and my legs feel really heavy when i walk. Also my back has gotten sore as if I have difficulty standing up straight. Also I feel shortness of breath with minimal physical activity.I'm at my desk now feeling like I'm breathing hard. just sitting at my desk. I walked up the street today and could barely breath. I've been to Dr and had EKG, Chest X-Ray, Blood tests to rule out vitamin deficiencies and other common illnesses. Gone to ENT and they put a camera in my throat and didn't find anything. Suggested it could be related to heartburn but I've never had it before and I am not convinced of this being the answer. The past two days extremely weak and feels difficult to take a full breath. If I run even a block I feel extremely winded. I'm feeling worse today feeling like I can barely take a breath, swallowing difficulty has been going on for about 4 weeks. Food feeling like its getting stuck in my throat. Extremely weak at night, I haven't been able to sleep much and after sleeping an hour am waking up out of breath. I went to see a neurologist and he did a neurological exam and all seemed okay. I've been checking my pulse with a pulse oxometer and it appears to be around 90-100 average is this high?my blood oxygen levels have been around 96%
Posted Mon, 10 Mar 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 18 days later
Brief Answer: Relax and discus with your psychiatrist Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for the query. Your examination findings by different specialists are not revealing anything and your history suggests that the examination will be normal. As your parameters are normal, your symptoms seem more related to your medication which you are using. Please go to your psychiatrist or physician who has prescribed you these medicines (Cymbalta, Xanax, Seraquil) and discus with him/her whether any dose adjustment is required or any new drug is required. Also as your vitals are normal (except your heart rate which is a bit more, but does not seem to be a significant finding), there seems to be no reason to worry. Please remove the thing from your mind that your are suffering from some serious problem. Otherwise please go for some relaxation exercises and keep yourself busy. Feel free to ask another query. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes breathing and swallowing difficulty? 20 minutes later
so in your opinion is this all anxiety? Breathijg seems to be much worse in the past week
Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 28 minutes later
Brief Answer: Descriptive Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. Usually there can be two reasons for increased respiratory rate/breathing difficulty: 1. An obstruction in the air passage and you endoscopic examination has ruled that out. 2. A problem which can lead to reduced exchange of gases at the level of lungs; this can be because of cardiac or pulmonary causes. Your EKG and chest xray are normal (as per your description). Your doctor must have auscultated your chest and it must have been normal, otherwise he/she must have told you of any problem. So, most likely your symptoms are related anxiety. To be doubly sure, please go for a complete pulmonary and cardiac examination and if normal, please relax and follow the advice of your doctor. Feel free to ask another query. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes breathing and swallowing difficulty? 1 hour later
Since post I had Pulmonary testing and it came back normal, but it feels as if my breathing has gotten much worse since then. I'm having a constant tingling in my face all day and it feels all day as if I can't take a deep breath. Haven't slept in 3 weeks because of breathing difficulties.
Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 1 hour later
Brief Answer: A revision testing can help decreasing your worry Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. As you are yourself stating that the pulmonary tests are normal and even if you state that the problem has increased but at the time of testing, there was some similar problem with lesser intensity. So something positive should have been there with in the test. So, it seems more like an anxiety problem. But to be doubly sure, you can again go for pulmonary and cardiac testing. Feel free to ask another query. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes breathing and swallowing difficulty? 20 minutes later
What kind of cardiac testing?
Answered by Dr. Prahlad Duggal 3 minutes later
Brief Answer: EKG and Echocardiography Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. A cardiologist will be a better person to decide but an EKG and echocardiography will be the two basic tests needed for evaluation. Feel free to ask another query. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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