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grasp for air in middle of sleep
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grasp for air in middle of sleep

I have been waking in the middle of my sleep breathless (like being choked) and awake grasping for air and coughing and always sleeping facing upright.

These had happened a few times in a year. Normally, I just brushed it off. Just 3 weeks ago ( 1st time in 2007), it happens again but this time it was much longer and lingers in my thoughts. I was awake grasping for air and felt my chest in pain.

I am under Respiratory care and my consultant is also specialized in Sleep Disorder. We had also done a sleep test but was negative. She suggested I see a cardiologist.

Can you please advice me what is the problem and what should I do?
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This sounds like congestive heart failure; although the chest pain isn't usually a symptom - sufficient oxygen deprivation could cause chest pains.  Sleeping on one's back can bring such symptoms on, as the heart is surrounded by lungs, and possible adipose  tissue that is saturated with fluids.  (Edema)  Getting vertical usually brings the beginning of relief from the feeling of asphyxiation, commensurate with how long the heart was in failure.  In my case - a course of diuretics (Lasix) brought relief.  A Cardiologist will want to determine why the  heart is failing.  Blockage,  valve regurgitation, enlargement, and arrythmias are a few possibilities.  Tests such as Echocardiogram will reveal valve issues, and enlargement, etc.  It will also lead to further tests, such as an Angiogram if blockages are a possibility. All these conditions will have pharmaceutical remedies;  up to a point.  Then surgery may be necessary.  
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for the reply.
Curiously it doesnt happens now and then only once in a blue moon.
Am i still considered living in time bomb?  Will it be like i may just die int he sleep?
Btw, does this not like to sleep apnea?
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Avatar_n_tn
I know you had a sleep study that was negative, but it sure does sound like sleep apnea!  Did they have you sleep on your back for part of the study?  If  you normally sleep on your side, some sleep techs would not think to have you turn to your back to simulate all possible sleep positions.  See if you can get a copy of the study and see what sleep positions  you were in.  Also it could be from reflux too.  One can have severe enough reflux to interfere with sleep and not actually have ANY heartburn at all.  Ask your doctor or you could try some OTC Prilosec or something similar.  You would have to take it for a couple of weeks to possibly notice any difference.  Good luck.
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