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A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16326
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
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Why am I so short of breath? I had pneumonia in November

Resolved Question:

why am I so short of breath?
I had pneumonia in November that turned into asthmatic bronchitis, and improved long ago, but kept getting small episodes of shortness of breath for a while, however, lately it seems like I have a constant pressure on my chest and like my breathing is just a bit constricted. No wheezing, a little coughing from a cold I recently had. Overall I feel okay, a bit tired, but okay. But this constant breathlessness, like when I talk is frustrating and worrisome.
I had a chest ct scan that didn't show anything, also had an echocardiogram just to make sure all was okay with my heart.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 6 years ago.


Welcome to Just Answer and thanks for your question. Asthma is one possibility. Allergies are another and anxiety is a third. Of course only the providers who can treat you in person and order testing can tell you why you are having this symptom. It sounds like they are working on a diagnosis. A pulmonologist is the specialist to consult.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

yes, seeing specialists, but it's been a few months and no diagnosis, so I'm looking for more ideas

allergies were ruled out, my lung function test shows some minor inflammation in small airways, doc says could be asthma, or could be from bronchitis taking a long time to heal

with a person with mild asthma, is this type of symptom typical? shortness of breath every day for months?

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 6 years ago.
With untreated asthma the airways are not able to function, resulting in lowered oxygen intake which can cause a feeling of shortness of breath. It isn't typical with mild asthma, but can be a problem with more serious asthma. Chronic bronchitis is the same way.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
My lung tests show I definitely don't have serious asthma and I don't have chronic bronchitis. So wondering is this something else since as you mentioned, it isn't typical with mild asthma.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Also you mentioned anxiety, but would that give me symptoms constantly or only during a panic attack (which I'm not having) - thanks
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 6 years ago.

If tests have shown that it isn't asthma or bronchitis, then that definitely means that it is something else. What that "something else" is would be what your treating physicians are going to have to find out. For one thing they can measure whether you are actually low on oxygen versus you have a feeling that you are low on oxygen. That can determine if it is purely a physical problem versus something like anxiety. The latter makes someone "feel" as though they are short of breath even though they aren't. Anxiety can be constant or only cause intermittent problems.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
this is so confusing, my oxygen level has been normal, my lung tests show asthma, but just minor. But you don't think that should cause my symptoms? That's really what I'm concerned about. No other things I should look into that could cause the symptoms? (my last question)
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 6 years ago.

Your providers can try a mild anxiety medication for a month or two and see if that eliminates the feeling of shortness of breath. It appears that they are going through the diagnostic process one by one and finding nothing serious at all.

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