Difficulty breathing and unable to complete a yawn
by momsblessings, May 29, 2007
I have been having a hard time getting a full breath and am unable to complete a full yawn at times, however, I yawn excessively even if not complete.  This inability to get a Breath results in chest pain, throat/jaw tightness, and headache, where my head feels woozy.  I was diagnosed with a mild case of vocal cord dysfunction and went through speech therapy.  I am continuing to have problems and I am unsure if the VCD is what is causing it or something else.  I also have a lump area between my 2nd-3rd ribs (or so) on the right side that is unknown, and I have had a history of neuroma's in the rib area on my posterior side in the past.  My past medical history is that I have complicated migraines, mitral valve prolapse, and was anemic but now I am not.  I had been on Topamax which put me into metabolic acidosis so I am still recuperating from that.  Most recent labs said I was WNL on my metabolic panel, but I still feel horrible and cannot breath well, nor do I have any energy/stamina to do things like I normally do. I just turned 42 yrs. old and have 3 kids, so I have a busy lifestyle typically, but I am having a very hard time doing anything with the difficulty breathing and chest pain issues.  No one can figure out why I cannot YAWN normally and the pulmonologist just feels it is only VCD, but it is not improved since going through therapy.  Any suggestions?
Thank you.
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Member Comments (18)
by momcoop, Apr 03, 2002
Finally, someone else with this "compressed mucus".  I've been trying to find out what these little things are in my throat and how to get rid of them.  Sometimes I'll only get one or two, other times I come out with a lot-  I get them out by gagging myself.  It's really disgusting and they smell horrible and I would really appreciate if someone could tell us something about them and if it's something serious enough to see a doctor?
by VlsK, May 30, 2007
I can relate. I had a similar problem that i am praying can be rectified. I had heart palpitations every now and then and this yawning constantly from sun up to sun down. I get relief when at rest but Heaven forbid I get up. Became bothersom so I went to the Dr. First he said "o u r breathing fine and heart looks good" Then I insisted a chest xray. Well the chest xray he said was pneumonia but I only have this yawning deal. Well I took the antibiotics and it helped but I still yawn just not as much. I have no cough, fever, congestion, just incomplete yawnig untill after the maybe...3rd try I get relief. PLEASE help me understand?
by dina188, Dec 04, 2007
hey guys just wanted to say that i have been doing quite a bit of research and while i do think some of us may have some undiagnosed medical condtition, i think that many of us have what's called "chronic hyperventilation syndrome"...the symtoms really do match what a lot of us have complained about and one of the 1st symptoms listed (if you were to look up this condition) is shortness of breath for no apparent reason and frequent yawning...which would mean we are overbreathing without being aware of's subconscious...while i do think most of us should get as many tests are necessary to be absolutely certain that it isn't some sort of other serious medical condition....i think that for those of us who find out that all test results keep coming back completely only makes sense to discuss chronic hyperventilation syndrome with our doctors...i really hope that's what it is bc for one it's not like it's some sort of life threatenning ilness and two we would finally know what's been bothering us this whole time..hope this helped
by ddp19, Jun 11, 2009
I'm so glad I've found this site. After dealing with the EXACT same symptoms for over 7 years now, I've had enough...I have to do something more. Tightness in chest and can't complete a yawn....cause I feel like I have to yawn to get relief. It is RIDICULOUS. I am currently on a drug similar to Celexa (sp?). for a few years now, it helped at the beginning but never fully. Dr says anxiety disorder. I accepted thats what it was. I might feel anxious often but I don't know that I am stressed when sometimes it acts up badly. I am MISERABLE! It affects the way I am with my wife..not so much my newborn but sometimes I feel embarrassed in the car thinking is something looking at me trying to yawn, making stupid facial expressions to get it out. Sometimes I scream in frustration cause I can't get it out. A lot of sighs.....its either a big sigh or an attempt to yawn to get some relief. I notice it is worse sometimes while eating. I think its related to the diaphram for sure cause thats where the tension is. I take deep deep breath and let it out for excercise (not enough) and it really helps relax. OK, I've got some of it for someone that may help us please?!  TO the poster before, if chronic hyperventilation syndrome is something it could be, how can we fix it?
by peppermint73, Jul 07, 2009
I had this frequent yawning thing going on for about 10 months.  I felt like I could never get a satisfying breath or complete a yawn.  Sleep was my only relief.  I also had a lot of tension in my neck, chest & upper back.  I finally figured out what it was.  It is called Chronic Hyperventilation Syndrome.  I found a book called "Self Help for Hyperventilation Syndrome".  It is written by Dinah Bradley.  I found it on Amazon.  This was the best $12 I have ever spent.  It has breathing retraining excercises in it that teach you how to re-train yourself to breath from your diaphram.  After one week of doing the breathing retraining, the yawning thing was gone!  I could not believe that's all it took to get rid of this.  I am still dealing with achy muscles due to 10 months of hyperventilating.  It says in the book that you must also do relaxation techniques.  That is what I am working on now.  I hope this helps someone.
by EroToo, Jul 09, 2009
I suffer from this since I am 18 and am now 58.  It was horrible until antidepressants were discovered and it went away for several years.  A couple of weeks ago it came back in full force and I am going crazy.  Called 911 already, went to the ER (haven't done that in 30 years) and all tests were fine.  I constantly need to get that deep breath or yawn.  I am now constantly afraid again.  My psych switched my meds to see if I can get some releif and it better come soon.
by mcresh, Aug 02, 2011
I had this problem on and off for years.  I went to the Dr. many times where they put me through various tests only to find out "nothing" was wrong or that I was just hyperventilating (but breathing into a brown paper bag would NOT help).  
Needless to say the problem continued.  I started to try to figure this out myself.  
I believe this is an allergy to caffeine.  I have since stopped drinking or taking anything with caffeine in it and I have been free of this problem for a few years now.
I was an every day coffee drinker, so I understand how difficult this can be, but trust me, I feel SO much better now.  I can BREATHE again!!
by metoo_, Feb 23, 2012
THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH! I am just relieved to know that I am not alone and I am not crazy. I have also had tests that came back normal though an xray did show an upper respiratory constriction. I have been dealing with this off and on since I was 20, I am now 40. At times it is worse than others but when I relax I feel better. I believe that this is due to fretting which a friend of mine called me out on. I thought I knew the definition of fretting until I looked it up in Webster's and was shocked to discover all the nuances that described my mental state to a T. I believe that this problem is two-fold. There is the obvious physical aspects but I believe it is also rooted spiritually. I have discovered that it is also related to unforgiveness (at least for me) and that unforgiveness is directed toward myself. I am learning to love myself and forgive myself for things past and mistakes made. It is a process and confession is also a part of it (which I am starting on that process too). BTW Psalm 37 is a wonderful antidote to stress and fretting. Hope this helps someone. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions.
by tommy00778, Dec 10, 2013
I too suffer from incomplete yawning..I think also that it might be stress related and that your body reacts to feeling anxious etc and the muscles in your chest are not allowing the yawn to complete...its the only answer I can come up with..?