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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes breathing difficulty and dizziness upon coughing?

So when I cough It feels like I can’t breathe it makes me gag as if I am going to vomit. It takes me about 3 to 4 beep breaths to start breathing. I feel light headed right after and in my arms chest/ribs it feels like needles sticking me from the inside.
Fri, 12 Jan 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response

Thank you for reaching out to Health Care Magic.

Coughing with force may cause the Co2 levels to rise in the body. This is when there is hypoxia or low oxygen levels developing. This may cause one to feel dizzy.

Along with this, the coughing reflex can also irritate the uvula which can cause one to feel nauseous. This nausea along with the dizziness may contribute to the light headedness.

The increased pressure in the chest may also be felt as pin and needle sensation. Many people find the following useful -
Gargling with warm salt water
Keeping the throat moist
Taking cough lozenges
Drinking lots of water
Getting lots of rest
Sleeping well

I hope this helps. Please reach out to me if you have any other questions.

Dr Vignan
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