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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Suggest treatment for shortness of breath and anxiety

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Dr. Albana Sejdini

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 5913 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 20 Mar 2017 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: Hello
50 year okd woman in general good health (breast cancer history 2000 and 2008, no mets, hormone neg. )
Developed bronchial infectiion Feb 2. Acute for a week, lots of congestion, discolored phlegm, coughing, post nasal drip, low fwver.
The acute has passed, but 3 weeks later i feel very off. Lots of PND- feel mucus at back of throat, have to clear throat constantly to talk. Mucus clear now. Worst is an odd persistant "tight" feeling in my chest. Im constantly taking deep breaths to test things- im honestly not sure if its real shortness of breath or anxiety about it.
My question- is this normal post bronchitis 3 weeks later? And what can i do about it? There is such an array of products on the shelves- I am at a bit of a loss.
The other part im ashamed to admit is that i carry a fair amount of anxiety about lung cancer. Ive never smoked. But my mother, a lifelong smoker did, at age 63. As did two uncles, both smokers. I do have the breast cancer connection. Had chest xray less than a year ago, clear, as well as CT a year prior, also clear and am followed every 6 mo. But still the nagging fear. Im hoping as i had none of these symptoms prior to jnfection that it's just that- anxiety- but would help to understand this queer tight chest feeling.
Thank you for your time.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Sounds like pneumonia;following treatment strategy...

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX

I am sorry for the health problems you are going through.

Now, let me recapitalize your case:
- 50 years old woman
- acute bronchial infection February 2
- 3 weeks later developed PND (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea)
- current symptoms: persistent tight feeling in the chest

Taking into account all your medical history, my suspects go for possible pneumonia. You need to get a good physical examination by your physician or pneumologist (pulmonary specialist). An X-ray of the chest is also recommended to evaluate the changes in the lungs together with respiratory function test.

You are not mentioning the drugs you are currently taking, however, while you wait to see your physician, I recommend to take following OTC meds:
- mucolytics like carbocystein or N-acetylcysteine to dissolve the mucus
- antihistaminines (e.g. Loratadine) to ease the bronchial spasms
- apply vapu rub on your chest and back (between shoulders) at bedtime as it will ease breathing
- aerosol-therapy with saline can also help
- increase fluids intake especially tea
- raise the level of your head when sleeping (take 2 pillows) from shoulders to ease breathing and coughing

Wish fast recovery.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini 33 minutes later
Hi - thank you- actually , by PND I meant post nasal drip- not sure if that changes anything!
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini 21 hours later
Brief Answer:
Thank you for clarification;however, nothing changes; see following..

Detailed Answer:
Hi back dear XXXXXXX

Thank you for your further clarifications. Hope you are feeling better today.

Ok, sorry for my misunderstanding. However, that does not change anything. I'd still advise the same as earlier.

Wish fast recovery.
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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