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Dr. Saha
Dr. Saha, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 17823
Experience:  35 years of experience
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I am a 26 year old man with spinal muscular atrophy type II

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Hi. I am a 26 year old man with spinal muscular atrophy type II (SMA). I use a power wheelchair and have a heavy scoliosis. However, I had an X-ray picture taken of my lungs a couple of years ago, when I was 23, and it said everything was fine but that my lungs were slightly enlarged. My doc said it very casually and with no concern. Anyway, I have been a social smoker but never a heavy smoker. However, when I quit smoking almost five months ago i started feeling bad. Had a lot of shortness of breath, cough and wheezing. This lasted about two months and then I had some weeks of productive coughing and after that my lungs felt ok for two months or so. Now, however, i feel this a bit again, not short of breath but rather chest tightness. I had several doctors listen to my lungs but they couldnt hear anything wrong. I also another X-ray taken and it said the same as my previous - no changes. However, my question to you is, could my very curved spine be what causes the slight enlargement of my lungs or is it something fatal like emphysema? Im really nervous and anxious about this.
Thank you for your question,
I’m Dr. Saha and I’ll try to help you.
Did you have any other test besides X ray?
Which specialist did you consult?
Do you always feel tightness in chest?
Is there any precipitating factor?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I did not have other tests. However, I have had spirometry tests done ocassionally and due to my disability i have always had a low vital capacity due as my diaphragm muscle is weak. I had bloodtest done and my oxygen levels measured - all clear. Anyway, the doc I consulted was my GP and then a radiologist. The chest tightness has lasted 4 years.

What is the opinion of the radiologist?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

he just said slight hyperinflation

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

He just said slight hyperinflation

Thank you Kasper, for the information,
Tightness in the chest can be due to a few factors.
Spasm of bronchi can cause it.
This can occur from inflammation or infection.
Smoking is a common cause of chronic inflammation.
It is good decision to avoid smoking.
It can arise from heart issues.
Sometimes, anemia, anxiety state can cause a feeling of tightness.
As there has been no worsening in X ray in years, it does not seem to be development of emphysema.
Auscultation or listening to chest also did not elicit any sign.
However, you can take an examination by a pulmonologist.
It can help to rule out any factor in the lungs.
I hope this information helps.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks I found this very informative.

However, what I would like to know is if scoliosis and thereby chest deformity can cause the slight hyperinflation or make my lungs appear larger. When I had the x-ray done I was lying down and had to take a deep breath and hold it while the picture was taken.

You are always welcome.
It is normal practice to take a deep breath & hold it during taking an X ray.
In scoliosis there can be unequal spaces among the sides in the chest cavity.
So one may expand more than the other.
That can be a factor.
If you are satisfied, please leave an excellent rating.
Good luck.
Dr. Saha and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

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