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 group.

One other guess is, in addition to steam showers helping, was April n months after you started quarantine. Could you have a sensitivity to something indoors?

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Hi! I have allllmost the same symptoms. Maybe a little different! I woke up about 3 months ago feeling like I wasn't getting enough air, and I got dizzy and lightheaded, nauseated. I lost my appetite for a week. I had heart palpitations, and my blood pressure which is normally pretty low, being that I am an 18-year-old female who weighs 115, was in the 150's/90 and it would bounce around. No health issues before this. I went to the emergency room twice, I got fluids, and they did lung x rays, all kinds of blood tests, it all came back completely normal. I went to the cardiologist, they looked at my heart, I even got a halter monitor to wear for 24 hours. They found nothing wrong with me. They say I'm completely healthy. That was two months ago. I go days without feeling chest heaviness, and it feels like my throat is heavy too if that makes sense. Like I need to cough but I don't actually need to. I still get waves of nausea here and there. I went back to the doctor about a month ago and they said it is probably just anxiety, but I never feel anxious. it has never even affected me before if I do have anxiety. I don't believe it's anxiety because I literally hang out at home and my house is pretty calm. There is nothing stressful about it here. So what would it be? The fact that it comes and goes and I just went a week without feeling anything bad at all and it just came back is what's weird. I wake up and feel like I have no energy. It feels like I don't have enough energy to breathe. It's like an internal feeling of "I'm tired" but I'm not even tired. I just have no energy and my chest starts feeling heavy. My blood pressure is back normal now and I have improved, it's just my breathing and having an overall feeling of yuck. Anyway, Idk what to do but im too young for this!

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@darlingg66

Hi! I have allllmost the same symptoms. Maybe a little different! I woke up about 3 months ago feeling like I wasn't getting enough air, and I got dizzy and lightheaded, nauseated. I lost my appetite for a week. I had heart palpitations, and my blood pressure which is normally pretty low, being that I am an 18-year-old female who weighs 115, was in the 150's/90 and it would bounce around. No health issues before this. I went to the emergency room twice, I got fluids, and they did lung x rays, all kinds of blood tests, it all came back completely normal. I went to the cardiologist, they looked at my heart, I even got a halter monitor to wear for 24 hours. They found nothing wrong with me. They say I'm completely healthy. That was two months ago. I go days without feeling chest heaviness, and it feels like my throat is heavy too if that makes sense. Like I need to cough but I don't actually need to. I still get waves of nausea here and there. I went back to the doctor about a month ago and they said it is probably just anxiety, but I never feel anxious. it has never even affected me before if I do have anxiety. I don't believe it's anxiety because I literally hang out at home and my house is pretty calm. There is nothing stressful about it here. So what would it be? The fact that it comes and goes and I just went a week without feeling anything bad at all and it just came back is what's weird. I wake up and feel like I have no energy. It feels like I don't have enough energy to breathe. It's like an internal feeling of "I'm tired" but I'm not even tired. I just have no energy and my chest starts feeling heavy. My blood pressure is back normal now and I have improved, it's just my breathing and having an overall feeling of yuck. Anyway, Idk what to do but im too young for this!

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Here are some questions for you to think about:
Are you eating a healthy, varied diet every day, on a schedule of some sort, with limited junk food, caffeine and sodas (sugar or diet)?
How much plain water do you drink every day?
Do you smoke or vape any substance, or are you exposed second-hand smoke?
Do you work or go to school? Or did you recently graduate high school and are in transition?
How much screen time – phone, TV, computer, gaming do you do each day?
How much physical activity do you do each day – house & yard work, work, exercise, walking, biking, etc?
Do you keep regular hours – getting up and going to sleep at similar times, or do you nap, binge watch shows into the wee hours, work rotating shifts?
Do you have your own place, or live with family?
Are you financially and physically secure or do you worry about food, money, housing, future?
Do you have regular social interaction, in person or distanced, with people your own age who you actually know personally?
Are you in a relationship, and is it stable or shaky?

Now, think about when those bad days happen – are they related to any of the above? Maybe you could keep a journal for a month – what you do, eat, drink, feel – and see if it reveals anything about when you feel bad. Then you have something to evaluate to try to find a root cause or to take back to your doctor.

Absent any real findings by the doctors, and their concern about anxiety, I would guess that at your age, you are needing to make a lot of decisions, that may be true even if you don't recognize it. And people who "hang out" a lot sometimes don't maintain good and regular eating, sleeping and exercise habits, that can contribute to feeling bad.

I hope you can do some detective work and figure this out – it's no fun to feel lousy. Stop by any time if you have more concerns, and we can chat.
Sue

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@sueinmn

Here are some questions for you to think about:
Are you eating a healthy, varied diet every day, on a schedule of some sort, with limited junk food, caffeine and sodas (sugar or diet)?
How much plain water do you drink every day?
Do you smoke or vape any substance, or are you exposed second-hand smoke?
Do you work or go to school? Or did you recently graduate high school and are in transition?
How much screen time – phone, TV, computer, gaming do you do each day?
How much physical activity do you do each day – house & yard work, work, exercise, walking, biking, etc?
Do you keep regular hours – getting up and going to sleep at similar times, or do you nap, binge watch shows into the wee hours, work rotating shifts?
Do you have your own place, or live with family?
Are you financially and physically secure or do you worry about food, money, housing, future?
Do you have regular social interaction, in person or distanced, with people your own age who you actually know personally?
Are you in a relationship, and is it stable or shaky?

Now, think about when those bad days happen – are they related to any of the above? Maybe you could keep a journal for a month – what you do, eat, drink, feel – and see if it reveals anything about when you feel bad. Then you have something to evaluate to try to find a root cause or to take back to your doctor.

Absent any real findings by the doctors, and their concern about anxiety, I would guess that at your age, you are needing to make a lot of decisions, that may be true even if you don't recognize it. And people who "hang out" a lot sometimes don't maintain good and regular eating, sleeping and exercise habits, that can contribute to feeling bad.

I hope you can do some detective work and figure this out – it's no fun to feel lousy. Stop by any time if you have more concerns, and we can chat.
Sue

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Thank you! I am currently trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I did just graduate from highschool in may.

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@darlingg66

Thank you! I am currently trying to figure out what I want to do with my life. I did just graduate from highschool in may.

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@darlingg66 – Good morning. I'd also like to welcome you to Mayo Clinic Connect. I remember when I was 18 and was trying to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do with my life. It took me many years to figure it out, sort of!

I think that with all of the decisions that you have to make, that stress is a very real consideration. Congratulations on graduating this year. This group's posts have lots of ideas that you could try to lessen your discomforts.

Do you exercise?

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@tinyelvis

After reading about costochronditis, that doesn't really seem to fit with my symptoms. Mine is more of a warm, raw sensation that seems to be in my lungs. It's really hard to explain which must be why my PCP thinks I'm nuts. PCP to ENT to Pulmonologist to Gastroenterologist; I've spent a lot of money this year and I've really gotten nowhere.

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Hi there. I know this is a late reply to your comment but just came across it. I have Pulmonary Fibrosis and Traction Bronchiectasis. I hv been experiencing that band like sensation in my back. It is not from my heart. Just had that check out. It also often feels like a deep ache from deep in my lungs. The band sensation gets worse when I’ve been on my feet too long. The deep ache is when I take deep yawn so I try not to do that. Hard to explain for sure. Pulmonologist this ties 1/18/22 but thinking about getting new one. Take care!

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I am currently experiencing similar symptoms and using treatments prescribed by my pulmonologist. My symptoms are still present. Did you ever get to the bottom of this? Thank you for your time.

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@eric211

I am currently experiencing similar symptoms and using treatments prescribed by my pulmonologist. My symptoms are still present. Did you ever get to the bottom of this? Thank you for your time.

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@eric211– Good morning. I'm sorry that you are struggling so much. Covid and long Covid can really take a toll on a person. Do you have a definite diagnosis?

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@merpreb

@eric211– Good morning. I'm sorry that you are struggling so much. Covid and long Covid can really take a toll on a person. Do you have a definite diagnosis?

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Nothing substantial, the pulmonologist said I have Reflux and put me on ppi. My GP has me one steroid and other medicine for multiple issues related to this condition. I’m on a wait list for the long covid clinic. I haven’t slept more then 3-4 hours consecutively in months. It’s mostly every hour I wake up then I toss and turn all night.it’s exhausting

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@eric211

Nothing substantial, the pulmonologist said I have Reflux and put me on ppi. My GP has me one steroid and other medicine for multiple issues related to this condition. I’m on a wait list for the long covid clinic. I haven’t slept more then 3-4 hours consecutively in months. It’s mostly every hour I wake up then I toss and turn all night.it’s exhausting

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Eric- It sounds exhausting! Long covid is definitely not friendly. I am happy to hear that you have taken control, though, and signed up for a clinic. Perhaps you would like to talk with people in the same position as yourself on connect?

– Post-COVID Recovery & COVID-19 group https://connect.mayoclinic.org/group/post-covid-recovery-covid-19/

Have you talked with anyone else in your state who is waiting to be seen?

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