I need help. I am currently on monthly allergy shots for many allergies (mold, ragweed, etc). I have been tested by the allergist for asthma and it came back negative. Here's my problem. I have a chronic problem that seems to be brought on by allergies. It is a tightening of my chest and severe congestion that makes it hard to breath. I can at times cough up phelgm (spelling?) which helps temporarily but not completely. I have currently been battling this for the last 4 weeks. I feel out of breath and it hurts in the center of my chest when I try to take a deep breath. I have just been through two weeks of antibiotics from my primary care physician, which did not help. He also gave me a shot of cortizone but the problem is still with me. It does seem to be more severe when my allgeries are more severe. I don't know what to do at this point as it seems no one can help me. I feel tired and too out of breath to do anything and it is becoming hard to sleep. I have had this problem for years but seems to be worse this year than previous years.
Since your symptoms are persisting, you should be seen to find out the nature of the problem and the best treatment. A pulmonologist would be the type of specialist to identify if this is due to a problem in your lower airways or lungs. An allergist would be the type of specialist to identify if this is due to your allergies and upper airways or sinuses.
Postnasal drip is drainage from the nose and sinuses drippings down the back of the throat and irritate the lungs. This may or may not be related to allergies. This can cause chest tightness and chest congestion to the point of coughing up phlegm. A nasal wash helps remove mucus and bacteria from the nose and sinuses. This can temporarily reduce the postnasal drip and make it easier to breath. A prescription nasal steroid spray decreases nasal swelling and mucus production. This may prevent the postnasal drip and chest problems. To get the most out of a nasal steroid spray use it after doing a nasal wash. A nasal steroid spray does not provide immediate relief of symptoms. It may require several weeks of routine use to become effective. Please read our Nasal Wash MedFact at http://www.nationaljewish.org/medfacts/nasal.html for more information about this technique. Share this information with you doctor to see if you would benefit from this daily treatment.
Is the mucous you cough up clear or white? If it is any other color, please mention it to your doctor as it is possible that an underlying antibiotic-resistant infection remains that needs attention and treatment. What does your doctor believe is causing your congestion & what are his treatment recommendations? Have they helped? Is there any improvement in symptoms while you are on the antibiotics? These are all issues you should discuss with your doctor--if necessary your doctor could refer you to a lung specialist called a pulmonologist for further consultation.
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