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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What could be causing severe tightness in the throat and shortness of breath?

Answered by
Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 1513 Questions

Posted on Fri, 21 Dec 2018 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: I have had a tightness in my throat for approximately two weeks. I have no other symptoms. Last year, I had multiple pulmonary embolisms, and the only symptom I had was severe shortness of breath that took me to the ER and then admission to the hospital. At that time, I also experienced this throat tightening...almost an anxious feeling, not a lump, no difficulty swallowing, no pain. What could be causing the throat sensation?
Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Advice to undergo chest Xray and ECG

Detailed Answer:


Thank you for your query.

Given your age and previous history of pulmonary embolism, coronary artery disease and pulmonary embolism are major concerns. These issues can present with atypical symltoms like chest tightness. I recommend getting EKG and chest Xray done as initial screening.

If your cardiologist have already done these evaluations, then other cause for your symptom can be GERD (Gastro esophageal reflux disease). GERD occurs due to reflux of stomach acid into esophagus.

Here are few things to try to help relieve GERD

Avoid spicy, fatty, and fried foods as well as chocolates and carbonated drinks.

Avoid citrus-containing foods like tomatoes, oranges, and fruit juices.

Eat multiple small portions of food rather than three large meals.

Limit caffeine intake.

Have your dinner at least two hours before bedtime, so that your stomach is light before you go to bed.

Elevate the head end of the bed by placing wooden blocks under the bed post. Using extra pillows will not provide relief.

Avoid cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption.

Maintain a healthy weight.

If the above life style changes do not help then medications can be tried. You can take Nexium 20 mg in the morning before food.

Hope this answers your question.

Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal, General & Family Physician

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T

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