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What causes shortness of breath post acute bronchitis attack?

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Posted on Mon, 7 Dec 2015
Question: Hi . I had a bout of acute bronchitis which lasted 2 weeks following a head cold. That was 2 months ago, however I am getting a faint wheeze when I inhale and exhale with some shortness of breath. I have 5 years ongoing sinus blockage due to deviated septum which I assume blocks my airways too. I do not have any productive cough and prior to this 2 week bronchitis infection I never had any wheezing or shortness of breath. I am also getting pins and needles in my leg since too. Could you please advise if this is result from bronchitis or do I suddenly have asthma? As a child I did have asthma and have also had allergic bronchospasm due to several irritants.
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Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
You could be having asthma post acute bronchitis.

Detailed Answer:

Hello XXXXXXX

Thanks for posting your query on HCM.

You have mentioned that you have had asthma in the childhood. It means that you have allergy.Your recent bout of bronchitis has made your airways susceptible, hence you have developed symptoms of asthma like dry cough and wheezing.

You may take a tablet of montair lc daily and an inhaler called aerocort 2 puffs twice or thrice a day. You may consult your local physician on correct technique of taking inhalers or follow the instructions given with the inhaler.

Avoid dust and smoke and extreme cold environment. Take adequate rest and a healthy diet with enough liquids.

Take care.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Shashi Dangwal (13 minutes later)
Thank you for replying. I was given Ventolin and Symbicort but haven't noticed any relief. The doctor said not to do lung function tests as would be lower results due to acute bronchitis. Is that correct, does acute bronchitis affect spirometry results?
Would asthma or acute bronchitis cause the pins and needles in my legs?
Can blocked sinus cause wheezing in upper airways and shortness of breath?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Any infection can affect the spirometry results, acute bronchitis included.

Detailed Answer:

Symbicort and ventolin should help but you have to use them regularly and correctly for some time to achieve the control even though your symptoms have abated.

Any infection can affect the spirometry results, acute bronchitis included.

Asthma or acute bronchitis do not cause pins and needles but you may be feeling this because of general illness and weakness.

Blocked sinus can definitely cause symptoms of cough and wheezing. You may consult a ENT specialist for the same.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Follow up: Dr. Shashi Dangwal (8 hours later)
Thank you. Ok so spirometry would not be accurate now following acute bronchitis? At the beginning of bronchitis my X-ray showed mild airway inflammation. My GP said to redo X-ray before spirometry. If still shows inflammation what else does that mean?
Does an X-ray show asthma or is inflammation on X-ray asthma or doesn't show. I did do a portable peak flow which was just under 400 of 700. Is that normal for 42y female weighing 62kg and 163cm/5ft4 or does that show asthma?
Is this possible asthma following bronchitis permanent or temporary?
Oh and one other question I forgot to include, if have spirometry test when given bronchodilator, should they wait say 20 mins before retesting as one person I know they retested straight after but from what I have read they should wait about 30 minutes to give time to work?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shashi Dangwal (26 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Spirometry should be deferred for some time after any inflammation/infectio

Detailed Answer:

Spirometry should be deferred for some time after any inflammation/infection.

In asthma, chest xray usually does not show any abnormality. It may show prominent bronchovascular markings which is a sign of inflammation.

Your spirometry values are slightly lower for the age/sex/race.

It`s not possible to say whether this asthma is permanent or temporary. We should wait and watch.

One should wait for some time say 10 to 15 minutes before repeating spirometry after taking inhalers.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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Dr. Shashi Dangwal

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :1979

Answered : 1156 Questions

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What causes shortness of breath post acute bronchitis attack?

Brief Answer: You could be having asthma post acute bronchitis. Detailed Answer: Hello XXXXXXX Thanks for posting your query on HCM. You have mentioned that you have had asthma in the childhood. It means that you have allergy.Your recent bout of bronchitis has made your airways susceptible, hence you have developed symptoms of asthma like dry cough and wheezing. You may take a tablet of montair lc daily and an inhaler called aerocort 2 puffs twice or thrice a day. You may consult your local physician on correct technique of taking inhalers or follow the instructions given with the inhaler. Avoid dust and smoke and extreme cold environment. Take adequate rest and a healthy diet with enough liquids. Take care.