Tightness in the chest, breathing difficulty and chest pain
It started around 6 months ago when I started feeling that I cannot take in deep breaths and felt like I dont get enough air all the time. Then it seemed to subside and come back again. Lately I started feeling heaviness in my chest and a feeling like I cannot swallow something and it gets stuck in my throat and gives me pain until I burp . Not only this I have noticed that after walking a little (in a normal pace) I start feeling out of breath very quickly (I am 22 years old doing sports). This feeling has been persisting for a long time and it became a big problem to me as I want to resolve it as soon as possible. Does anyone know what can it possibly be? I have read the forum and it seems that people had the same problem. Thanks for the help.
The respiratory symptoms you describe are quite common in persons of all ages and can be quite worrisome. Fortunately, in most instances, the cause can be identified and treated, with relief of symptoms.
The symptoms can originate in one’s lungs, the heart and with the swallowing problem, in the esophagus. The most likely cause of lung disease, in a person your age would be asthma and/or a condition that can cause the vocal cords to malfunction, called Vocal Cord Dysfunction (VCD). The feeling of something “stuck in my throat” is most commonly seen with spasm of the muscles of the esophagus (the tube-like structure that connects your mouth with your stomach) and this can be associated with acid reflux. The problem of shortness of breath, with minimal exertion can be the result of a (usually) rapid, abnormal heart rhythm.
Much of the preceding can be sorted out by your doctor’s examining your heart and lungs at rest and during exercise. This will probably require measurement of lung function and a heart monitor.
The swallowing can easily be evaluated with what is called a barium swallow; X-rays of your esophagus.
Finally, there is another possibility that must be considered and that is that you may be having anxiety attacks that, in the more severe form, are called panic attacks.
You will not be able to resolve this problem on your own. Arrange to see your doctor to discuss all of the above and, if he/she is at all uncertain about how to proceed, request consultation with a pulmonary (lung) specialist. I know such exams can be costly but you are a young person whose life is being seriously effected by these symptoms and there will be no better time than the present to get these issues resolved so that you can get on with a normal life and peace of mind.
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