Difficulty breathing/tightness in throat
by abcsoup, May 01, 2006
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.
by National JewishBlank, May 02, 2006
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.
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Member Comments (16)
by Christine25, May 04, 2006
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?
by abcsoup, May 04, 2006
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.
by Krystof, May 04, 2006
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
by goldierosario, May 04, 2006
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?
by jceng, May 06, 2006
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
by Patti Lodes, May 08, 2006
How many of you have taken Accutane in your past?  Side effects appear years later as one ages.
by jmomtotc, May 22, 2006
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
by Maral, May 24, 2006
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.