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.

@merpreb

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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No I haven’t talked with anyone else

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@eric211

No I haven’t talked with anyone else

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Check out the link I sent above

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@merpreb

Check out the link I sent above

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Ok, I will do. Thanks 🙏🏼

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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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It is very exhausting and painful considering all the muscles used. Stay vigilant with ur pulmonologist.

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It is very frustrating to have a chronic cough, from Silent Reflux, especially with the Covid fears. I frequently find myself embarrassed in public, with people staring at me, or the kinder folks wanting to get me a drink of water, and then feeling that I have to explain that I don't have Covid to strangers.
My internist has sent me to an allergist – I have known airborne allergies, but NO food allergies. I have been to an ENT – NO sinus issues, no throat problems despite having excess amounts of mucous. I have a small sliding hiatal hernia which the Dr says causes coughing, but he also, I believe, has diagnosed me correctly by my description of symptoms: excessive coughing and mucous especially after I eat, occasional lump in throat that won't go away, occasional vomiting (all mucous), an constant nasal drainage with issues catching my breath when I have to wear a mask. I take OTC allergy meds. We have tried one prescribed medication, which stopped the coughing, but it resulted in very bad angry red welts on my face and neck and I had to stop taking it. The new medication is helping, but I'm still coughing, just less. Oddly enough, the 12 hour OTC allergy/sinus medicine that I take, when the reflux is bad, dries everything up, but doesn't stop the urge to cough – it just dries up the mucous. I don't like spicy foods, don't care too much for alcohol except on an occasion, drink decaffinated tea, and try to stay away from acidic foods. The constant coughing creates so much exhaustion!
Are there any natural remedies that can provide relief, besides diet, that can give more relief? I hate taking all of this medication!

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I hope you’ve encountered some type of improvement seeing that this post was over a year ago. Everything you described, I’m feeling now since my Covid infection 1st of the year. I’ll be seeing my doctor soon. Maybe I’ll suggest we begin where your treatment left off.

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@tinyelvis I read your post about your breathing and all dr visits. I’ve been going through EXACTLY the same. From the conditions/symptoms to drs. Same. …. No help. Mine started getting really bad as of may 2022. Wondering if you have found any answers since 2020?

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Have been silently reading all of these stories for the past few days. I’m in shock about how many of your stories resemble mine. First, I quit smoking in March of 2012 after approximately 25 years of 3/4 packs per day. For the past 10 years I’ve experienced intermittent chest pains. I’ve had every non invasive cardiac test done and all came back normal. The diagnosis ended up being Costochondritis. In February of 2021, I tested positive for COVID. Symptoms were pretty mild only lasting 1-2 days. But I began experiencing intermittent SOB. They type of SOB where I can’t catch a satisfying deep breath that I starve for. Eventually it achieves the deep breath and it’s satisfied but only for a short period of time. At first, the SOB was sporadic. Every few days lasting for a day or two and then resolving and staying away for a week or longer but it always returned. In the summer of 2021, I was diagnosed with hypertension. All cardiac tests (CT w/contrast of the chest, ECHO, stress, Holter etc. etc.) were repeated and all tests were found to be normal. No plaques or blockages by CT. The SOB continues and became more frequent. In November of 2021, I saw a Pulmonologist. Pulmonary Function Tests were performed and I was cleared for COPD and any lung disease. SOB improved slightly for a period of time. In February of 2022, I tested positive for COVID AGAIN. This time the virus seemed to get into my lungs as I had a respiratory infection for about a week or so. It took a couple weeks for it to totally clear but the SOB returned much more frequently. In May of 2022, I saw a different Pulmonology group in a different city. He ordered PFT and sleep apnea study. As of the of morning June 22,2022 I’ve was cleared of COPD, any interstitial lung disease and sleep apnea by two different pulmonogy groups. All values were between 102-106% of the expected in the PFT tests. Further, my yearly ECHO done in early June was normal. So where do I stand?!?!? I have pretty consistent SOB, starving for air, excessive yawning. No cough, little to no sputum or phlegm, under control BP and heart rate. I try and run 4 miles 3-4 nights a week and w/o any issues. I lift weights 4-5x a week w/o any issues although the SOB, sigh breath, air hunger issue still remains. The NOT KNOWING is really bothering me. Anxiety?!? I’m taking Buspirone. GERD?!? I've gone from Nexium to Protonix now trying Rabeprazole. My GP, whom I saw a week ago, couldn't identify anything from a regular visit and physical examination. He believes its GERD and suggested changing to Rabeprazole. I’m at a loss. I’m 5’9 and weigh 210 lbs. I’m a pretty muscular guy with some extra weight. Could it be I need to lose a few pounds?!? Diaphragm issue?!? I woke this morning checked my BP and O2 sat. BP was 111/75 and initially the O2 sat was 93%. It increased within 20-30 seconds to 98%. I'm still having SOB and now its accompanied by sharpish pain on the right side during inhalation. I go back to the GP in a month. I think I'm going to request a CT or CXR. Further, I've made an appointment with Johns Hopkins pulmonary.

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@tinyelvis

Hi. I've read many of the threads before posting. 🙂 Personally I think that it is some kind of lingering infection but my doctor disagrees so I'm just in limbo at this point. Some days it feels better and it feels like I'm in the clear and then it comes back.

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Same!!! Almost two years here. Has anything changed for you? Very frustrating and scares me to imagine it getting worse. I would love to talk to you.

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@dcm8299

Have been silently reading all of these stories for the past few days. I’m in shock about how many of your stories resemble mine. First, I quit smoking in March of 2012 after approximately 25 years of 3/4 packs per day. For the past 10 years I’ve experienced intermittent chest pains. I’ve had every non invasive cardiac test done and all came back normal. The diagnosis ended up being Costochondritis. In February of 2021, I tested positive for COVID. Symptoms were pretty mild only lasting 1-2 days. But I began experiencing intermittent SOB. They type of SOB where I can’t catch a satisfying deep breath that I starve for. Eventually it achieves the deep breath and it’s satisfied but only for a short period of time. At first, the SOB was sporadic. Every few days lasting for a day or two and then resolving and staying away for a week or longer but it always returned. In the summer of 2021, I was diagnosed with hypertension. All cardiac tests (CT w/contrast of the chest, ECHO, stress, Holter etc. etc.) were repeated and all tests were found to be normal. No plaques or blockages by CT. The SOB continues and became more frequent. In November of 2021, I saw a Pulmonologist. Pulmonary Function Tests were performed and I was cleared for COPD and any lung disease. SOB improved slightly for a period of time. In February of 2022, I tested positive for COVID AGAIN. This time the virus seemed to get into my lungs as I had a respiratory infection for about a week or so. It took a couple weeks for it to totally clear but the SOB returned much more frequently. In May of 2022, I saw a different Pulmonology group in a different city. He ordered PFT and sleep apnea study. As of the of morning June 22,2022 I’ve was cleared of COPD, any interstitial lung disease and sleep apnea by two different pulmonogy groups. All values were between 102-106% of the expected in the PFT tests. Further, my yearly ECHO done in early June was normal. So where do I stand?!?!? I have pretty consistent SOB, starving for air, excessive yawning. No cough, little to no sputum or phlegm, under control BP and heart rate. I try and run 4 miles 3-4 nights a week and w/o any issues. I lift weights 4-5x a week w/o any issues although the SOB, sigh breath, air hunger issue still remains. The NOT KNOWING is really bothering me. Anxiety?!? I’m taking Buspirone. GERD?!? I've gone from Nexium to Protonix now trying Rabeprazole. My GP, whom I saw a week ago, couldn't identify anything from a regular visit and physical examination. He believes its GERD and suggested changing to Rabeprazole. I’m at a loss. I’m 5’9 and weigh 210 lbs. I’m a pretty muscular guy with some extra weight. Could it be I need to lose a few pounds?!? Diaphragm issue?!? I woke this morning checked my BP and O2 sat. BP was 111/75 and initially the O2 sat was 93%. It increased within 20-30 seconds to 98%. I'm still having SOB and now its accompanied by sharpish pain on the right side during inhalation. I go back to the GP in a month. I think I'm going to request a CT or CXR. Further, I've made an appointment with Johns Hopkins pulmonary.

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Same here. Zero explanation. It is awful.

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