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Involuntary gasping of air after a head injury. MRI normal. Advice?

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Practicing since : 2001
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I fell off my office chair in XXXXXXX of 2010. Hit the back of my head leaving a 1/2" laceration. Blood on desk, blood on my jacket. Saw bright lights. VERY painful. A VERY hard fall. Declined ambulance. Was taken to my family doctor. He said it looked as if the open wound was closing by itself and did not recommend stitches. No X-ray or anything. I don't think I've ever hit my head so hard in my life.

About a week later, I began to have small involuntary gasps for air. Like hiccups without the sound. Persisted for several weeks. Went to my MD. He said it should subside. It did. NOW, I have deeper, longer gasps for air every few minutes. I also fell off the home porch steps, on ice I didn't see, and landed square on my back. Did not hit my head. Saw the same bright lights as it hit the wooden steps VERY hard. EXTREMELY sore. Air gasps continue. An MRI showed nothing. Any ideas? I've never had these air gasps prior to the XXXXXXX 2010 fall. It is not painful, just VERY persistant and bothersome. My MD seems to believe it's all in my head. Yet, I KNOW something has changed since my first fall. The second fall didn't help. The MRI showed disc building on my lower spine, and the neurologist said it was die to "wear & tear". Any suggestions. It's NOT going away.
Posted Wed, 25 Apr 2012 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shiva Kumar R 5 hours later
Hello and Thanks for the query

The symptoms you describe looks like to be more of a movement disorder problem something similar to a condition called as tics. It is sometimes referred to as nervous tic. Most of these are psychogenic and usually starts after trivial injuries or trauma to nervous structure.

Tics are usually psychogenic and may be aggravated by stress or anxiety. So I personally feel these are not a serios concern and most subside with time without any treatment.

For now, I recommend you to avoid stress and find some positive ways to deal with your anxiety with the help of your Clinical Psychologist. In the mean time as above please schedule visit with your doctor for a good physical exam and consultation. This will help give you the reassurance.

Thanks again for the query. I hope you found my response to be helpful and informative. If you have any additional concerns I would be happy to address them.


Dr Shiva Kumar R
Consultant Neurologist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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