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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17326
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Wheezing / burning

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I just woke up from a sound sleep. I was awakened by coughing along with wheezing and a bile type burning on my esophagus and hot. I was fine after 5-10 minutes.

What was this, am I ok? Do I need the ER or a doctor?

Is it SAFE for me to go back to sleep?

Can this be stress induced?

Also, on Monday I had injections of lidocaine / cortisone into my left shoulder and neck area.

One further thing. I had my left arm yesterday turn bright red and burning to the touch with NO sun exposure whatsoever. I have been told in the past that this is from my fibromyalgia.

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I will be glad to assist you today.

The most likely cause of this was some acid reflux that tried to enter the airways of the lungs and caused coughing. Coughing is one of the body's natural method for protecting the airways. If any liquid or solid tries to goes down the airway, it will cause severe coughing until the substance is cleared from the airway. In this case, with the burning sensation in the esophagus, that is strongly indicative of acid reflux, and the coughing is suggestive that it tried to go into the airway.

In this situation, since you felt fine after 5-10 minutes, and are having no ongoing lung symptoms, such as persistent cough or shortness of breath, there is no need to be seen emergently and it is OK to go back to sleep. If you have any medicine to relieve stomach acid, such as antacids, Zantac, or Prilosec, then it would be OK to take a dose of what you have. But even if you do not have one of these medicines, a single occurrence of acid reflux causing coughing for 5-10 minutes is not worrisome to the point of concern about going back to sleep. It certainly is true that acid reflux is a condition that should be treated, and you can get any of the above medicines over the counter, but you do not need to make a special trip to the store at this hour to acquire one of these medicines.

If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
That does ease my mind quite a bit.

Is there any relation to the lidocaine injection from four days earlier
No, there is not an association with a local injection of lidocaine and cortisone. Systemic use of cortisone can contribute to acid irritation syndromes, but a local injection into the shoulder or neck has a trivial systemic effect, so would not cause this or contribute to this.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Ok great. So I am safe to go back to sleep and see my doctor after the weekend? This frightened me quite a bit.....

Yes, that would be fine, and you can get one of the over the counter medicines to take over the weekend.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I will do that...... Not being able to breathe while wheezing was incredibly frightening....

Thanks for your help.........
I can understand the frightening aspect, but it is good that it passed within 5-10 minutes.

You're welcome.

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