Tight Chest, Congested Feeling no Cough, Discomfort Taking Deep Breath

Posted by tinyelvis @tinyelvis, Sep 18, 2020

Hi. This is my first post. I hope that someone can provide some insight. I've read several posts but cannot pinpoint the exact forum to be in.

I am 49. Quite fit. Normal blood pressure. Normal lab work. Low CT scan number (which I had done in the middle of all this). Chest x-ray normal.

Suddenly in April of this year, my chest started feeling a little tight like I could not take a full deep breath. It was intermittent and mild. Later it developed into what felt like chest congestion but I had no cough. My doctor thought that I might have a mild infection and prescribed antibiotics which seemed to help. It later returned and we discussed if I may have asthma (which I never have had). I have no trouble exhaling or other asthma-like symptoms. However, we tried an asthma-allergy medication for a couple of weeks which made no difference.

I consulted a friend (who is a primary care doctor), and he suggested that I may have silent-reflux (LPR). I've never had any digestive issues or anything to even hint at reflux. My diet was already healthy but I cleaned it up even more, cut back on coffee, alcohol, and tried PPIs (prilosec and pantaprozole) for a month. It really made no difference.

I visited an ENT who used the scope and saw "some" swelling around larynx and agreed with the LPR diagnosis. He encouraged me to keep on the PPIs for another month or so (which I did, along with diet changes), but in the end has made no difference.

My primary doctor suggested that I visit a pulmonologist for their opinion and breathing tests (if required). He thought that I was fine, agreed with LPR diagnosis. We scheduled breathing tests just in case my condition did not improve. After a month of the same, I had the breathing tests done. I was told that my lungs were "pristine" and I should consider a gastroenterologist.

I visited a gastroenterologist and he disagreed with the LPR diagnosis and said that I really have no symptoms of reflux. He offered to do an endoscopy (just to cover the bases) but implied that he did not think it was necessary. I told him that I had been taking the PPIs and he asked if I felt better. He said I should be feeling "like a new man" if it were reflux. I told him that my symptoms had remained constant. He suggested that I stop all PPIs and see if my symptoms change. He even suggested that I may want to see a pulmonologist (which I had already done). I hate taking unnecessary meds, so I stopped. Sure enough, my symptoms have not changed. Still the same daily chest discomfort, tightness.

So here we are nearing the end of September and I still feel the same. I'm not sure where else to turn. My wife thinks that I should get the endoscopy done just to be sure, but to me it really feels like a lung issue. When I take a deep, I feel resistance. It feels like bronchitis without the typical symptoms.

Thank you.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Lung Health Support Group.

@merpreb

@tinyelvis– You must be soo frustrated. I get this. I think many f us do in this group. Since this began have you made any changes to your lifestyle? For example Diet, environment, exercise, new skincare, or perfume, any new medications?

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@merpreb – Yep, more than a little frustrating. 🙂 Some diet changes after this started happening, but before that no changes. It seemingly came from out of nowhere. Some days are better than others, so that lends some credibility to the silent reflux theory but the PPIs make no difference. Thank you for listening to me.

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@tinyelvis

@merpreb – Yep, more than a little frustrating. 🙂 Some diet changes after this started happening, but before that no changes. It seemingly came from out of nowhere. Some days are better than others, so that lends some credibility to the silent reflux theory but the PPIs make no difference. Thank you for listening to me.

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@tinyelvis– Have you found any helpful tips from any of the posts?

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@merpreb

@tinyelvis– Have you found any helpful tips from any of the posts?

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Hi. I've found some interesting reading, but nothing that really matches up with my symptoms or any tips that I haven't already tried. My PCP once mentioned seeing an allergist but I cannot imagine suddenly developing an allergy that causes non-stop tightness/pain and a feeling of congestion in my chest.

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I wanted to comment that some of these symptoms could be early signs of mesothelioma. Symptoms of meso mimic those of many other respiratory conditions. Meso is a rare condition but also easy for doctors to overlook during early diagnostics.

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@lisakuehl

I wanted to comment that some of these symptoms could be early signs of mesothelioma. Symptoms of meso mimic those of many other respiratory conditions. Meso is a rare condition but also easy for doctors to overlook during early diagnostics.

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My chest x-ray was normal, and I've never been around asbestos.

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@tinyelvis

Hi. I've found some interesting reading, but nothing that really matches up with my symptoms or any tips that I haven't already tried. My PCP once mentioned seeing an allergist but I cannot imagine suddenly developing an allergy that causes non-stop tightness/pain and a feeling of congestion in my chest.

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@tinyelvis– It's hard to believe that as adults, or oldish people, that we can get allergies, and all of a sudden too. But it happens, actually a lot. I never had allergies to anything in the air until I was well into adulthood. Although my symptoms were not exactly like yours, it was an allergy nevertheless. I don't think that it would hurt to get checked out, would you?

Let me also ask if you would be interested in trying any breathing exercises?

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Im new here. I know exactly what you’re talking about.
I also been having chest tightness since October.
I’ve also had a lot of different test done. Chest X-ray, echocardiogram, EKG, checked for blockage and breathing test. All tests came back good. My breathing test showed really mild COPD which the Dr says is not causing my shortness of breath.
I also went to the ER. They said my tests were fine. The ER Dr. told me it’s probably anxiety.
Waiting to do a stress test next.
Dr’s keep telling me it’s probably my anxiety. Is it though? Can chest tightness last that long if it were anxiety? I have to admit when I take my anxiety med I do feel better. I just don’t feel like it’s my anxiety. I feel as if I get anxiety from the chest tightness.
I also feel like it’s my lungs. I also feel like I have bronchitis or an infection in my lungs.
I’m glad I found this forum and people I can relate to.

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@rmleong

Im new here. I know exactly what you’re talking about.
I also been having chest tightness since October.
I’ve also had a lot of different test done. Chest X-ray, echocardiogram, EKG, checked for blockage and breathing test. All tests came back good. My breathing test showed really mild COPD which the Dr says is not causing my shortness of breath.
I also went to the ER. They said my tests were fine. The ER Dr. told me it’s probably anxiety.
Waiting to do a stress test next.
Dr’s keep telling me it’s probably my anxiety. Is it though? Can chest tightness last that long if it were anxiety? I have to admit when I take my anxiety med I do feel better. I just don’t feel like it’s my anxiety. I feel as if I get anxiety from the chest tightness.
I also feel like it’s my lungs. I also feel like I have bronchitis or an infection in my lungs.
I’m glad I found this forum and people I can relate to.

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@rmleong– Good morning and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I'm glad that you have found us. Feeling as if SOB is the result of something being wrong with your lungs is natural. Why would it be the result of anything else, right? The chest cavity is a very small place and if something is askew with one of the organs that lives with our lungs then the lungs will be affected. Also, studies have shown that mild COPD can cause Dyspnea or SOB.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2650603/
Is your COPD caused by smoking or another illness? Do you use inhalers at all?

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Do hot showers and the related steam help? This is not advice just curious.

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@feelingthankful

Do hot showers and the related steam help? This is not advice just curious.

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@feelingthankful– It might. Inhaling moist air or steam works similarly to drinking warm liquids. It can help loosen up congestion and mucus in your airways, making it easier to breathe. I think that it depends on what is causing your SOB. Have you tried this?

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