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Difficulty breathing/tightness in throat
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Difficulty breathing/tightness in throat

I'm a 32 yr.old female who has been having intermittent feelings of tightness in throat and not being able to get a full breath.  This began two days before Easter and has been waxing and waning ever since.  I sometimes get a heaviness sensation in my chest or in my back between the shoulder blades as well.  When breathing, it sometimes feels like I'm breathing through a straw with holes in it.  I have no history of asthma, no recent respiratory infections.  I've been having neurological symptoms, and am being referred to another neurologist next week for a second opinion.  Any ideas on what could cause this awful sensation and also, can you still be short of breath or have breathing difficulties when the O2 saturation is between 98-100 as detected by a pulse oximeter?  Thank you very much.
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The sensation of shortness of breath is usually, but not always, a response to oxygenation in the lungs.  Having an oxygen saturation (O2 sat) of 98% means you are getting enough air and oxygen in every breath.

However, some people who have other problems can have a sensation of "shortness of breath".  One of these is from anxiety in people with panic disorders.  Others may have neurologic problems where the brain does not perceive that you have enough oxygen even though this is not the case.  I would suggest speaking with your neurologist about both of these.
16 Comments
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Difficulty breathing can be caused by a lot of things. usually somthing constricting your airways. You say you have tightness in your throat, if your thyroid is swollen it could be constricting your treachea and causing you to feel like you can't breath.

Do you have any tenderness or swelling in your neck area, or have you had your thyroid examined lately?

I had tightness and fullness in my throat and had difficulty breathing due to thyroidits.
It has since subsided.

What are you other symptoms?
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I do have Graves disease, but I just had an appointment with my endocrinologist a few weeks ago and my levels were fine.  I'm on anti-thyroid meds.  I forgot to mention that I also have tightness/pain/pressure in between my shoulder blades, along the upper thoracic spine region. I'm sure hoping my neurologist will be able to figure out what is going on.  It happens off and on throughout the day and I have good/bad days.  But it's been pretty consistent for the past 3 weeks. However, I do not seem to have any difficulty with breathing during the night.  Thank you for your replies.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi ,

I had similar symptoms plus discomfort in my upper back and tingling in my left palm as well as difficulty swallowing a especially after working my rear delts which consist of constricting upper back muscles
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Avatar_n_tn
This is in response to another entry made on 05/02/06.
I am feeling exactly the way you described, the tightness in the throat, and the shallow breathing.
I just looked up the word "thyroidits", and sounds intersting. The thing is, My Doctor sends me off to a psychiatrist, and then she doesn't even prescribe any medication to help my nerves? I feel bad, almost like I'm being casted off into the world of the unknown.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
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I have read several comments related to back pain in the upper back/thoracic area; behind the shoulder blades. I have seen many specialists over the past 10 years for debilitating back pain in this area/ I no longer work due to the pain; take pain meds and muscle relaxers daily. I also use a home muscle stem unit. I've had many tests and scans run on my back, muscles, spine, and ribs, blood work regularly, and all looks normal...until my chiropractor or massage therapist get a hold of me. I am so incredibly tight in these areas and up through the neck from 10 years of suffering pain. My rib cage doesn't even budge in this area anymore during a manipulation. And the muscles are like ropey bands.
**2 weeks ago, when I went in for allergy testing, my allergist did a pft on me due to throat clearing and coughing. I am always dealing with this issue, and deal with hoarseness regularly. There was a 20% improvement in my oxygen intake after an albuterol treatment with my pft's. For 10 yrs of "studying my back and pain!", Dr's (having never checked for asthma before -- never thought to, as my air intake appears average for someone my size - ) hadn't realized ... that my lungs are not average size and need more oxygen flowing into them. Thus, the reason it hurts when I breathe in.
**It is taking significant nebulizer and inhaler treatments, as well as a strong cough suppressant at this point to get things under control, but the amazing thing is....FOR THE FIRST TIME IN TEN YEARS, I AM GETTING RELIEF IN MY MID/UPPER BACK - BEHIND THE SHOULDER BLADES; I CAN ACTUALLY BREATHE (FOR A LITTLE WHILE AFTER A TREATMENT) WITH LITTLE TO NO PAIN IN MY BACK! DR. SCHMITT HAS BEEN A MAJOR BLESSING...
***Those of you who suffer with this knife stabbing pain behind the shoulder blades know exactly what I am talking about. Talk to an asthma specialist!!! See if he/she can help you. I am 41 yrs. old, and I was beginning to think I'd have to live with this back pain until heaven. I now have hope we will get it under control!
Good luck
<>< jceng
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Avatar_n_tn
How many of you have taken Accutane in your past?  Side effects appear years later as one ages.
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I remember seeing a post from you on a question about neurological symptoms I had and it sounded like you had similar symptoms.  I am also now having trouble breathing.  Not to the point of feeling dizzy, just feeling like I don't have enough breath and also sometimes breathing through a filter.  Please post on this topic if you find out what is going on.  I am desperate to find answers.  This is taking over my life and I want it back.   Jmom
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Avatar_n_tn
My daughter had the same symptoms as you and was originally diagnosed with anxiety then asthma.  After the anxiety and asthma meds didn't work we went to an allergy and asthma specialist who finally diagnosed her with Vocal Cord Dysfunction.  She has since been treated for acid reflux, as it added to the problem, and speech therapy for the vocal cord dysfunction.  Her breathing and overall health has greatly improved.  I hope this may be helpful to you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have that feeling now. It isnt always but is bad when it happens. I took Accutane but it has been a very long time ago. I really hate the way It feels. Had thyroid test done before and was elevated just barely
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Avatar_n_tn
i have read this and understood what some people are saying i do believe that md's can make the wrong diag on people but if you have a kid think about that child and who you take them to before you ever do this ....
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HELP.........................I Have fullness in throat and abdomen pain upper left under rib when i press on it and abdomen bloats sometimes it's hard to breath and I feel real sick. This has been going on for years I have had test and still no one knows what is going on. I feel like I am sufficating sometimes. I have a hernitated disc in neck could this cause these problems.

Does anyone have these symptoms
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I experience this simptoms from about 23 years old and I am more or less healthy female. I am 31 now. Through the years they are come and go. They are worsen in the Spring and Fall, they are better during the winter and summer. Number one what helps is Tahitian Noni Juice. You can read about it on line it helps against a lot of things, but most of all why am I drinking it, is because it helps me to digest the food and go to the bathroom regularly, milk of magnezuim does help too. I believe this type of symptoms are dirrectly realted to the acid in your stomach and allergies. Alos weather has an effect. Low atmosfer preasure will effect you negatively, just like humdity will. Number two you do have most likely anxiaty attacks, so there for go on line type in anxiaty attack and you will get the whole list of Dietery Supplements that you are luck off. Most of them is B-50 Complex with C, High In B-12 and Pantothenic Acid. If you think about most of the time it occurs in the Spring that when you system is a weackest and exosted after the winter.
Third and very important is to excise and swim. Movement is life. The less you will move the more severe your condition will become.
There is not cure against it, at list I have not find it yet. I go to see massage therapist and acupuncturist to maintained the level that is in. Once I had a child it did go away for couple of years and than reoccuer, after a while. It could be tregard by some drastic events, but nothing in my case.
The good news you are not alone and you will not dye from it, so don't be afraid of these symptoms, fight it off.
I believe it is also can cause by negative energy and news, maybe because you are more sensitive to the events or weather. There is a chakra between your shoulder blades, maybe something or someone has effected your inside energy from outside, something like a curse or vampire of energy, I am still looking into it and don't have the answer yet. The lungs and the place between your shoulder blades are the most weak and effected area of your system. At any case it should be something like a wake up call, because through suffering we really understand a true meaning of our soul and actions, just think about it.

My advise don't listen to the doctors or listen with a caution or don't waist your time and coo pay. They don't know what is going on they can not diagnose other than a blood test and other tests, but they will be "O.K.", they will tell you that it is a depression, neurological problem, anxiety attacks and psychiatry problem and so on. Well you do need to release your energy and know how to relax, part of the problem we don't know how to relax, some of us smoke and run constantly on adrenaline. Breathing techniques would help too, yoga, meditation, just don't take a pills and quite smoking if you are smoker, for one simple reason it is triggering acid and acid what cause the attack.
Eat well, sleep well, do have physical activities, fall in love also helps, this is your choice:)

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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same tightness in my throat- a full feeling.  I also have tightness in the chest.  I also get a flutter ffeeling in my heart when the tightness gets bad..had all heart test done on several occasions and all hearts tests were normal.  I get shortness of breadth daily..it's like that same comment about breathing through a straw with a hole..!  I have had thryoid level checked and that was normal.  Chest xrays were normal..not sure what they look for when they read chest xrays.
I have also had dizzziness, headachhe and ear ringing constnatly..usually beginnning in the mornings...lately being treated for reflux and taiking nexium, but had to stop after 3rd day due to adverse reactions..muscle pains and glands in the neck hurting...didn't have that before taking the nexium..
My concern is all of my breadthing and chest knotting up, started 5 months after Sept, 11th..and I worked nearby and had to go to worki everyday after..smelling the burning embers.  I am wondering if this medical chase has something to do with breadthing something in down there..No doctor yet has ever suggested "asthma" to me before.  I was more worried about reaction my heart was getting into when I had the shortness of breadth, so most tests were done on that organ.  I also have extreme fatigue and muscle soreness.  Could I have asthma?
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Help!!! I saw a chiropractor a few months ago for a sore neck.  He worked on my neck and cracked my ribs, and did all of the typical chiropractic adjustments.  The next day, I began having trouble breathing.  I had trouble taking a deep breath.  Moreover, whenever I would eat a small amount of food, I felt totally full, as if I had just eaten Thanksgiving dinner. I went back to the chiropractor and he told me that this happens sometimes when you move the ribs.
    The problem is that this has not gotten better in 3 months.  I have been to 2 chiropractors and 2 Osteopathic Physicians, with no luck.  I have also been to a pulmonologist who took an x-ray and said that he couldn't find anything wrong.  The diagnosis has ranged from a rib out of place to the nerves from my thoracic region being traumatized.  None of the efforts to repair me have worked.  I don't feel any pain, other than being unable to breath.
    For the last three months, I have been unable to take a deep breath.   If I try to run, I am instantly out of breath. My diaphram gasps for air, but cannot get any.   It is so bizarre.  It is like having severe ashthma.  When I lay down to sleep, my breathing is more restricted.   Prior to this, I never had any problems breathing.
    Does anybody have any advice?   I'm a healthy 42-year old who suddenly breathes like he is 75.  
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A related discussion, Re: Breathing tighness in the Throat was started.
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A related discussion, burning sensation was started.
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A related discussion, Brathing difficulty and chiropractic was started.
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