I have seasonal allergies that have gotten worse in the last few years (new allergies-dust mites). After this last bad allergy season, I get out of breath easily (more so walking up stairs), and first had this heaviness in my chest for a few weeks, followed by a heartburn feeling the next few days. Now it feels like a soreness inside my chest-sometimes almost a burning. Worse in the mornings with a lot of congestion and coughing. I wake up not breathing well and have a hard time getting to sleep because of it.
My Dad had asthma, and I have been tested for lung function several times (in the last few years) because I've had breathing problems on and off for the last few years now. The tests came back with better than average lung function. I've also had heart x-rays, lung x-rays-the whole gamut of standard tests-everything above average (the latest tests were done a year ago).
I just don't have the stamina I used to-exercise is very difficult, and I plan out my days so I don't have too many things going on in one day.
I am 47 and have been going through pre-menopausal symptoms for the past 4 years-maybe that has something to do with it.
I am always worse in the spring/summer, although I am constantly congested-my nose seems constantly plugged on one side or the other.
What could cause this soreness/burning in my chest? I was wondering if it could be asthma even though I don't test positive for it. Any treatment ideas?
There are several possibilities for the symptoms you are describing. Some involve the upper airways, such as allergy or sinus. Allergy can cause postnasal drainage, burning, and coughing. Sinus involvement can cause all the same symptoms, as well as some chest problems. It is also possible that these symptoms could be asthma that is now manifested. The best test for asthma is a breathing test followed by a bronchodilator and another breathing test. This measures how much the bronchodilator helps your lungs by reversing the problem. There are lots of people with asthma who have normal pulmonary function tests but show reversibility and the symptoms you describe. You might consider seeing a local Board Certified Allergist for help in making the diagnosis and getting on appropriate therapy.
Have you ever been tested for gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD)? It MAY cause the burning, heartburn feeling you describe. You can find out more about it by checking www.NationalJewish.org/MedFacts/reflux.html
Your internist should be able to help you with this, or you may ask to be referred to a gastroenterologist.
You may also benefit from working with a board-certified allergist to help get your allergies under better control. www.NationalJewish.org, particularly their MedFacts and Understanding series have LOTS of good info about allergies.
Best of luck!
Thank you for your responses. I will check into the heartburn and asthma possibilities. I have actually had the complete asthma testing several times with these same symptoms, but I will get it checked again.
If it is sinus problems, how can I solve this problem? I use zyrtec and flonase with minimal helpful results.
For info on rhinitis [hay fever] see the NJC website link.
http://www.NationalJewish.org/medfacts/allergic_rhinitis.html Allergic & Non-Allergic Rhinitis
Other things you could try for rhinitis include saline washes,
Nasalcrom nasal spray now OTC, antihistamine nasal spray [prescription], Singulair pill, allergy shots, minimizing environmental exposure to your allergens.
You may benefit from a referral to a board certified allergist and/or ENT [especially the ENT if sinusitis]. If you have a sinus infection you might need antibiotics.
http://www.entnet.org/healthinfo/sinus/index.cfm Sinus Info
http://www.merck.com/pubs/mmanual_home/sec19/213.htm Disorders of the Nose & Sinuses
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