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Shortness of Breath, Allergies
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Shortness of Breath, Allergies

Developed severe allergy to dust mites approx 10 years ago at age 30.  Nose ran profusely all day long; watery eyes and sneezing.  Took claritin and nasonex, and most symptoms disappeared.  Eventually stopped medication, and former symptoms recurred only slightly.  

However, 5 years ago, I began experiencing shortness of breath.  My nasal passages are constricted nearly all the time (difficult to breath through).  Primary Care Physician treated me for Asthma for two years before Asthma testing proved negative.  

Lung capcity is strong.  Claratin and flonase prove ineffective.  Shortness of breath wakes me occasionally at night and is bothersome during the day, causing frequent yawning.  Can go weeks with no symptoms, and then suffer intense bouts days at a time.  I experience post-nasal drip and seepage, and in the morning when inhaling, I can often feel a vibration in the chest (mucus)?  

After first diagnosing Asthma, Primary doctor diagonosed Hyper Ventilation Syndrome (which I discount... due to my good health and low stress).  Primary care physician has referred me to allergist... but I've been perscribed only nasal inhalent... and I'm still sufferig shortness of breath and post-nasal drip (hard to swallow at times)... and my nasal passages are still often constricted.  Could the allergy and seepage be affecting my breathing?  Would allergy shots for dust mites potentially alleviate the symptoms more than nasal sprays?  I am very active and a non-smoker... but the shortness of breath and yawning become fatiguing and irritating.  Any recommendations?   Thanks.
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It is not clear if the difficulty breathing is due to a lower airway problem (asthma) or to an upper airway problem (the nasal congestion).  The first step in creating a plan to control these symptoms is to clarify if you have or do not have asthma.  Allergy could play a role in either case, but non allergic conditions could do the same.  If you have only a positive test to dust mite, it is questionable whether allergy injections would provide the relief you are seeking.  I would also suggest a CT scan of the sinuses to see if chronic inflammation (from allergic, nonallergic or infectious causes) could be playing a significant role in these symptoms.
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Many thanks.

The Primary Care Physician (PCP) treated me for asthma for approximately 2 years with little relief.  I was fortunate enough to recently undergo an exhaustive clinical-trial, where asthma was discounted.

Prior to the PCP treating me for asthma, I was tested for acid-reflex and received ECG and other pulminary testing, all negative.  The PCP believed allergies would not cause the shortness of breath... and since Asthma was discounted, the PCP suggested HVS (hyperventillation syndrome) was responsible.

Since my stress is minimal, and because no anxiety precedes or accompanies the shortness of breath, I largely discount HVS.  I'm also a cyclist, capable of moderating my breathing, and even measured breathing from the diaphragm has not alleviated the symptoms.

As such,  I visited an allergist outside of my HMO.
When tested for allergies, I had very minor reactions to ragweed and a couple other items... but dust-mite reaction was extremely high and immediate (following the test, the allergist commented on the narrowing of my nasal passages).

The allergist has treated me with Flonase and Astelin (Astelin appears to work much better... it opens the nasal passages somewhat, but it has not elimnated the shortness of breath or post-nasal drip and seepage).

While I will pursue a CT Scan (per your suggestion), I'm wondering if the dust-mite reaction and unabated post-nasal drip could cause the type of shortness of breath I'm experiencing.  Is it likely or even possible that the nasal issues would affect the lungs or shortness-of-breath?  The allergist I've seen indicates it "might" be possible... and has perscribed the Flonase and Astelin as a preliminary treatment.  

Since this has been ocurring off-and-on for several years, sometimes for days or weeks at a time... I'm just wondering if I'm barking up the wrong tree thinking that it may be the severe dust-mite reaction and continuous post-nasal drip that is causing this?  So far, my medical practioners have been divided and non-commital.  Many thanks!


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