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Breathlessness, blue lips, lightheaded. Any ideas?

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Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 598 Questions
i have noticed lately that my breating is not normal, i dont feel like im getting enough air and i feel like i cant catch my breath sometimes. i have noticed twice that my lips turned blue for no particular reason, the second time being yesterday, i wasnt doing anything but riding in a car, i was putting vaseline on my lips and looked in the mirror and my lips were blue, my boyfriend looked at me at the same time and asked if i was ok, noticing i had blue lips, i felt ok just a bit lightheaded.? any ideas? thank you
Posted Sat, 5 May 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 25 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.
After going through your query, I would like to comment the following:

1. You seem to be having breathlessness with associated ? cyanotic episodes.

2. I would like to ask a few questions so that I can advise you accordingly:
a. Do you have any other complaint other than breathlessness like cough, fever, cold, etc?
b. When you experienced these bluish discolouration of your lips, was it in cold environment?
c. Do you smoke? If yes how much per day and since when?
d. Are you staying at high altitude ?
e. Did you visit a doctor for your current breathlessness? If yes then were you investigated for chest xray? Was your oxygen saturation measured?
f. What is your weight and height?
g. Did you have this breathlessness previously? have you ever heard whistling during breathing?

Please do let me know the details so that I can advice accordingly.

Take care.

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Breathlessness, blue lips, lightheaded. Any ideas? 6 hours later
a. No other complaints, I have not been sick, and only see a doctor very rarely, about 2 years ago was last seen for sinus infection., The high blood pressure was about 3 yrs ago, and I dont have that now.
b. the blue lips occured indoors both times, once in a heated vehicle, and once inside the house, so not cold environments.
c. I am not a smoker, and never have smoked
d. I have not been in high altitude
e. I have not seen a doctor for this breathlessness or blue lips
f. I weigh 140 lbs, and I am 5'8 inches tall
g. I have had this feeling of breathlessness for a few months now, I'm just noticing it more lately as it occurs more often than it did.
Also, I work in a chemical environment, because I clean homes and businesses daily as my profession,and I have been doing ths for over 10 years. I use cleaning products such as bleach, bathroom/kitchen cleaners, vinegar, etc. daily.
I do notice that after I have done a cleaning job and inhaled chemicals while workng that my breathing is much worse, although I try to be conscious about it and only use the chemicals in ventilated areas.
Thank you for your responses
Answered by Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra 12 hours later

Thanks for the follow up.

After going through your follow up history, I would like to make the following comments:
1. There is a possibility that your episode of breathlessness isg related to your occupation given your history of exposure to chemical fumes. (Occupational asthma, Chronic hypersensitivity pneumonitis, COPD , are a few possibilities.)

2. You need to get yourself evaluated in detail for the same.

3. A visit to a pulmonologist is required who will clinically examine you and investigate you as required. Blood investigations, oxygen saturation, chest Xray, pulmonary function tests are the minimum investigations required. A computerised tomography scan (CT scan) of the thorax and bronchoscopy may or may not be required depending on your evaluation.

4. Your treatment would depend on the results of these investigations. In case of occupational asthma inhalers and oral bronchodilators and steroids are required. In case there is an associated secondary infection, antibiotics may be started.

5. Also. you need to avoid the occupational exposure to fumes as far as possible. If the exposure is not avoidable, do use a proper mask at work. You can also measure your peak flow meter reading before and after the shift of your work (A peak flow meter is available at the pharmacy). You can inform your pulmonologist about the peak flow measurements.

Thus, please get yourself evaluated as soon as possible.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be glad to answer any follow up queries.
Please accept my answer if you have no follow up queries.

Take care.

Dr. Gyanshankar Mishra
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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