Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Breathing trouble
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Breathing trouble

Hi. I have been having horrible breathing problems. I feel like I keep having to force myself to yawn all day to get enough air. It feels like my throat isn't open all the way or like there's bubble that won't pop in my esophagus at the bottom of my neck near my sternum (that's what it feels like to me.) This has been going on for 3 WEEKS now and started randomly at work one day (and it's not anxiety.)  I have been to see several doctors about this, and no one can figure it out. They've done a scope through my nose down to my vocal cords, tested me for asthma, taken chest and throat x-rays, tested my blood and my oxygen, and all they've been able to tell me is that MAYBE the combination of drainage from my nose and reflux from my stomach have been irritating my throat, causing the muscles to spasm. I've been taking Claritin D for the last few days and that seemed to be taking care of it, UNTIL today. I have pretty severe non-allergic rhinitis, for which I've taken Nasacort spray for for years. Even when my nose isn't stuffy, and even WITH the nasal spray, I'm often not able to breathe through my nose bc. my nasal passages swell (esp when the temperature and humidity change), so I can't get enough air in. This FEELS like the exact same thing is happening in my throat, if that's helpful. And I've noticed that days when I can't breathe through my throat seem to be the same days that I can't breathe through my nose (which hasn't happened while taking the Claritin D until today.) So my question is, what can I do RIGHT NOW TODAY to make this better?? (Like I said, I'm waiting for the gastroentorologist to schedule me, and I'm going to try to get in to see an allergist as well), but what can I do NOW to take care of it for the time being?? Thank you so much!!
242587_tn?1355427710
To me your statement suggests that you may have a problem with abnormal contracture of the esophagus (spasm perhaps with air trapping).  Consultation with the GI specialist is appropriate.  That all the studies you’ve had have been normal/negative, that is good news but functional disorders, in particularly abnormal function of the vocal cords, could appear normal on direct observation, yet functioning abnormally.

The other possibility is that your perception of breathing discomfort might be acutely sensitive to the degree of nasal obstruction, so that even a modest increase in nasal obstruction could result in the equivalent of “air hunger.”  In that same vein is the possibility that you might have newly developed swelling of the post-nasal tissues, thus accentuating the pre-existent obstruction to nasal airflow.

My only suggestion for the time being is that you try to breathe slowly (a reduced rate of airflow) through your nose and inhale preponderantly through the mouth

Good luck
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Thank you. All of those possibilities make sense, esp. post-nasal tissue swelling (which is exactly what it FEELS like.) And I'm sure I AM sensitive to any degree of nasal obstruction, since I'm never able to breathe out of my nose well in the first place, even when I'm not sick. And I will ask the GI specialist about spasms, and what what might be wrong with my voice. (And unfortunately I'm not usually ABLE to inhale through my nose, or else I would try that also...I can usually get air in through my nose, but not much.)
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