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    Are breathing difficulty, chest tightness and panic attack signs of sleep apnea?

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Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: I'll start with my history. For approximately 10 years I have had anxiety. The medication I have taken has controlled it and I have not had a panic attack since taking the medication. Approximately 4 months ago I was driving and began having severe chest pains and shortness of breath. I felt as if I was going to pass out or I was having a heart attack. I called 911 and they admitted me in the hospital. Several tests were performed and their preliminary diagnosis was I had pulmonary hypertension. During that stay a nurse woke we up several times asking if I was ok. She advised me that my oxygen level had dropped very low a few times and I had either stopped breathing on occasions and had shallow breathing too. She recommended I get tested for sleep apnea. Since then, I have had heart catheterization which came back clear and showed no blockages or pulmonary hypertension. I had a pulmonary function test which came back good. I then had a sleep study and it revealed I have mild sleep apnea. I am currently awaiting a cpap device. My current symptoms are as follows: wake up throughout the nightime (sometimes trying to catch my breath), tired during the day and no energy, trouble concentrating and sometimes forget things, increased anxiety which I have to try to control, difficulty breathing throughout the day which increases with exertion, chest tightness, I find myself coughing or yawning throughout the day to try to take in more oxygen as it feels like my chest is restricted, clear thick phlegm constantly in my throat which I try to expell several times a day by coughing it up or gargling to loosen it so I can expell it. My question is this: are these all symptoms of sleep apnea and will they go away once I begin using a cpap device?
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Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes, all these are symptoms of sleep apnea.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Yes, all these symptoms are commonly seen in sleep apnea patients.
Best treatment of sleep apnea is weight reduction and CPAP machine.
So try to loose weight.
Start CPAP machine whenever it is available.
Don't worry, you will be alright with CPAP machine.
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14644 Questions

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