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Chest Tightness, Cough, Congestion!! What to do??
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Chest Tightness, Cough, Congestion!! What to do??

Hello All,
Thank you for reading my post.  I have had horrible chest congestion, chest tightness, and a cough (both dry and productive, yellow and clear).  I don't normally suffer from allergies, and was also tested for asthma (which was negative).  I already did a course of antibiotics, z-pack, and have been on decongestants too.  Nothing seems to help.  This problem has persisted for 14 weeks now, and originally I though it would go away, but it just doesn't.  My symptoms do NOT get worse with exercise, but I do tend to feel more tightness when I awake, am sitting, and at night.  One doctor believes I have post-nasal drip, and I've begun to take Flonase, which has helped a little with my stuffiness, but not the chest tightness.  I do not suffer from GERD, or asthma.  Also, I was given an inhaler, ProAir HFA albuterol, and that temporarily relieves the breathing issues, but the tightness remains.  

I guess I'm wondering what else could be causing this?  I am in very good health overall, am 23 years old, and can't think of any other reason why this would persist for such a long time.  I'm planning to see a pulmonology doctor this week...any thoughts?

Thanks,
Josh
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Despite your denial of asthma, the breathing problems you have experienced are strongly suggestive of that diagnosis.  Asthma is not the only disease that can cause the sensation of chest tightness, with increased work of breathing.  The same symptoms can occur with bronchiectasis, recurrent acute bronchitis or with a number of less common diseases of the lungs.  You should definitely have a chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests (PFTs) before and after the administration of a bronchodilator.  This may provide clues as to the nature of your condition, but a CT scan of the lung may be required to more completely assess your lungs.

Good luck.
-12 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the comment.  I am 23 years old, NON-smoker, had an x-ray but only at 5 weeks into the congestion period.  I am going to try seeing the doctor this week!
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