hi! I had atypical pneumonia in January this year. I was treated with an antibiotic for 10 days. At the end of February I had another x-ray which showed a normal lung. The problem is that I still have a cough and I am getting increasing breathing problems. When I walk along the street for example, I stand there, totally out of breath, exhausted and wheezing.
I admit, I am worried now.
*is it possible my lung is damaged by pneumonia?
*what could this be and what should I do?
Thank you so much!
First thing, you should have another chest x-ray. It is possible that the infectious agent that caused your pneumonia may have set up an inflammatory process in your lungs that was not yet evident in February. Or it could be that the pneumonia was not infectious but a sign of what is called hypersensitivity pneumonitis. This is an allergic response of the lungs, usually to an organic substance, that can cause pneumonia or other disease of the lungs, not evident on a plain chest x-ray. Yet, another possibility is that you are suffering from asthma, possibly initiated by whatever caused the pneumonia.
Your first step should be to see your doctor and have a chest x-ray. He/she should examine your lungs. If your doctor hears wheezes, you are probably dealing with asthma. You should, then have spirometry, and be placed on anti-asthma medicine, with further observation of your response to it. But if your doctor hears 1) crackles or rales and not wheezes, or 2) breath sounds are unusually quiet, you are probably dealing with some other lung problem. Your doctor may want to order a CT scan of your lungs.
One final important condition that can lead to wheezing, with a clear chest x-ray, is recurrent clots to the lungs, called pulmonary emboli.
If your primary care doctor is uncertain about any of the above you may want to request consultation with a pulmonary specialist.
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