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Ken
Ken, Postgraduate doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 6559
Experience:  Working as a Doctor who Cares since 2001.
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My Dad was working in the basement the last few days using

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My Dad was working in the basement the last few days using bleach with water and some bleach at full strength. He apparently had a fan going, but not great ventilation. Tonight he was complaining that the front of his throat felt tight and that he was finding it a little difficult to swallow. He could swallow water without a problem. He also normally has a cough and phlegm that he is able to cough up, but tonight he said he was not able to expel it. I read where the bleach inhalation can have an effect on the esophagus, etc. and wondered if that might be what has irritated him and made him feel like his throat is tight. If so, what can we do here at home to treat it? He has already gone to bed for the evening and I don't want to wake him up unless it's absolutely necessary that we seek medical treatment now. I was going to wait until morning to see how he was feeling.
Ken :

Hello,

Ken :

I am Dr Ken and I will be helping you today

Ken :

Does he have difficulty in breathing or chest pain?

Ken :

Any tightness at the chest?

Ken :

Does he have any diagnosed medical condition?

Customer:

No, he said no difficulty breathing or chest pain. The tightness appears to be just around the front of his neck area. He regularly sees his doctor and currently has no immediate medical issues. He has had a heart bypass 10 years ago. He currently has an appt. to see a physical rehab and pain doctor to discuss therapy and options about the stiffness and pain in his neck, which is due to previous neck cancer surgery and radiation treatment. His neck is very stiff and he said it's the front of his neck that today is feeling tight also. I thought it might be possible that it's all related to the stiffness in his neck, but it's been the back of his neck for the most part -- and when he said that he was working with the bleach, I thought I'd check into that.

Ken :

I do understand your anxiety. Let me explain a bit.

Ken :

I am happy that there are no symptoms which would have worried me.

Ken :

Bleach has ph of around 8.

Ken :

It will not cause any serious side effect if inhaled in low concentration.

Ken :

However

Ken :

If inhaled in high concentration without proper ventilation it could be dangerous.

Ken :

Side effects are seen on respiratory system {trachea, bronchi and lungs} AND

Ken :

on upper gastrointestinal system - esophagus to be specific

Ken :

In his case

Ken :

tightness can be due to fibrosis from radiotherapy.

Ken :

It must have been exaggerated due to bleach inhalation.

Ken :

I am happy that he is asleep now.

Ken :

This relieves me.

Ken :

Few signs should prompt immediate medical evaluation -

Ken :

chest pain/ severe cough/ difficulty in breathing or difficulty in swallowing liquid

Customer:

Yes, I thought maybe it was -- however, up until today, he's only had the tightness at the back of his neck and sides.....so you believe the bleach could just have made it a little worse in the front? He also did not previously have a problem swallowing....which he was complaining of some tonight.

Ken :

I do not see a need to go to ER with symptoms you described

Customer:

He said he could swallow water okay.....but other items were a bit of a problem

Ken :

Calm down

Customer:

;-) Ok

Customer:

If he feels better in the morning do you think we should still see his doctor tomorrow?

Ken :

I would think of radiotherapy as the cause for difficulty in swallowing rather than bleach

Ken :

If I were you -

Ken :

I would get a CT scan for neck to see for severity of fibrosis or any recurrence. Difficulty in swallowing needs to be evaluated for sure

Ken :

I would also get x ray fro cervical spine to look for

Customer:

He has an appointment with that doctor for Oct. 11

Ken :

degenerative changes - would present with stiffness of neck

Ken :

That is great

Ken :

He just needs to explain his symptoms and may be request for CT scan

Customer:

And I might add, he gets very anxious when he thinks there's something wrong -- so it could be that he felt a little more tightness in the neck and the swallowing thing, and then had more anxiety, and on and on and on.....which only makes it worse. He did take half of one of his Xanax pills, which he currently has a prescription for. He's only on half a pill in the morning, but he took half tonight also. Said he felt a little better after taking it. As you could probably tell, anxiety runs high in our family ;-)

Ken :

You are right and accurate in your diagnosis:) Anxiety must have worsen the symptoms.

Ken :

Do not worry he will be fine soon.

Customer:

Thanks very much for your opinion and help.

Ken :

I aim to provide 'Excellent' service. Did I give it to you? If so do consider to rate my answer.

Wish him well.

Ken :

Best

Customer:

Thank you.

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