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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for breathing difficulty

Answered by
Dr. Grzegorz Stanko

General Surgeon

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 5768 Questions

Posted on Fri, 24 Jun 2016 in General Health
Question: For a month now I can't take a deep breath only occasionally. It's like when I go to take a deep breath it just stops in my chest. Every few mins I can get a deep breath but that's it. I have acid reflux and also twice woke up choking on acid. Could I have aspirated acid in my lungs and they are trying to heal from it. I'm not in any pain though and otherwise feel fine. I'm afraid to even jog because I might not be able to breathe. I have worked out moderately but I don't know what to do. It's not asthma and inhalers don't help at all. I think maybe it's silent reflux causing this and a combo of my spine being out of alignment which I did go to the chiro today. I also have an irritated throat from post nasal drip and the acid. I have allergies sometimes. I never have smoked and have always been an athlete.
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 50 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Acid reflux and asthma can be the reason.

Detailed Answer:

Thank you for the query.

Here is the fact. Asthma and acid reflux appear together in 80%. Acid reflux can be the reason of throat inflammation and breathing problems. And so is allergy. The thing is that this three issues (allergy, acid reflux and asthma) are strongly associated. Still we do not know why exactly it happens (there is no clear explanation for that).
So your breathing problems are for sure due to acid reflux or asthma, or both. Even if the inhalers do not help. You can not rule the asthma out in that way.
Spine issue is not the case for sure (it does not affect breathing).

There is also a possibility that you can have some kind of anxiety issue. You keep thinking about breathing and trying to control it with your mind. This can give breathing problems as well.

In my opinion, you need proper acid reflux treatment (with Omeprazole for example), asthma diagnostic (with spirometry) and allergy tests and treatment.
Without treatment all 3 issues, it will be hard to deal with it.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 15 minutes later
Thank you for your help. I will try the Omeprazole. One more question. How come I can sometimes still get a deep breath?
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 10 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Its a normal thing.

Detailed Answer:
I think its something with muscles controlling. In your lungs there are special receptors. When you think about breathing, you kind of get more sensation from this receptors. And this receptors send proper signal when you take a deep breath. I am pretty sure you feel great relief when finally you get a deep breath. That is because you send a signal through this receptors that the alveoli have just been stretched.
When you do not think about breathing, the role of this receptors is to inflate whole lungs from time to time (your brain knows when to do that). To open all alveoli (and to "feed" this receptors), many muscles in proper direction cause the pressure inside the lungs. It is very complicated. But to make it simple, it is impossible to do it with every breath you take. That is why you can not take a deep breath and sometimes you do.

You should try to forget about breathing.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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