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Gasping for breath while awake
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Gasping for breath while awake

For several months I have been experiencing gasping for breath while I am awake.  I will be breathing normally and suddenly my chest heaves and I take a fast, almost alarming, gasp of air. This happens while sitting calmly, walking, or laying down. It is not related to active or stressful behaviors.  I am a male, age 59, weighing about 190lb, and about 5' 11''.  I know I have sleep apnea and it has been diagnosed as being central sleep apnea as opposed to obstructive sleep apnea.  I use a bipap machine, but I am asking about gasping for breath while awake.   I don't notice stopping breathing just prior to the gasp.  I don't know if this is lung related, heart related, or central nervous system related.  It feeling alot like a stroung hiccup, but involves a gasp.   It has happened twice while I typed this, but I can go hours and not experience one of these gasps.  Any ideas?
Tags: gasping
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144586_tn?1284669764
Yes. My idea is for you to head for an emergency room.

There about a zillion possibilities, including space aliens.

One possible cause is a great big clot that periodically interupts blood flow in the vessel that leads to the lungs. This causes sudden inexplicable air hunger. These clots can develop in healthy person due to dehydration, inactivity, or perhaps a co-factor involving low vitamin K levels. If this is the case (and I don't know it is) you will end up in a cemetary, so don't let the situation go.

There are lots of other cardiac related and lung related possibilities.

These symptoms are nothing to fool with.  The etiology must be identified.

There is no conceivable way to do this via an internet posting board.

I would suggest an evaluation at a teaching hospital, where a student takes your case under the supervision of a mentore.
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144586_tn?1284669764
You could also have a simple case of walking pneumonia, which could be resolved with zithromax. Your problems are a typical presentation.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same thing. I seem to forget to take in a breath and when my O2 levels get too low, or my CO2 gets too high (I don't know which), I gasp. Happens day or night and is annoying at night because I am woken up. I have had this for sixty years. I would like to stop doing this at night. It does not bother me in the daytime. Anyone have any ideas?
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Avatar_f_tn
The same thing happens to me. It's like I forget to breathe and then gasp for air. It's very embarrassing when other people are around, as it's very noticeable. I wish someone could provide a clue here. .
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Avatar_n_tn
I have done this all my life. Freaks everyone out but me :)
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