4 months of unexplained Shortness of breath & intense sinus pressure. All tests normal.

Posted , 2 users are following.

Hey Folks,

I must have googled my medical condition a gazillion times but still looking for answers. This is my story and timeline. If anyone out there is/was going through the same ordeal and has found relief, please respond.

I am a healthy male, 44 yrs of age, with no pre-existing medical conditions. Sometime around Feb 2022, I started experiencing slight shortness of breath (sob). The sob did not bother me initially. However, a week later, it started intensifying and got to a point where I was literally gasping for air. I just could not get that satisfying breath and felt as if my air passage was closing up. I had no choice but to head to the ER. ER conducted the following tests which were all normal - Covid, CT Scan, Blood tests, EKG. The ER doc was unable to diagnose my condition and suggested I follow up with my pcp.

My Pcp prescribed me Prednisone which did not help subside my sob. My pcp suggested I follow-up with a Pulmonologist and Cardiologist.

The Cardiologist performed the Echocardiogram, checked me and told me I had no issues with my heart.

I then followed-up with a Pulmonologist who conducted a Pulmonary function test (pft) and told me that my lungs were inflamed and I had SEVERE ASTHMA. I had mixed feelings about the diagnosis as I never had asthma before. However, I was so desperate to find relief that I just followed what he told me. Initially he put me on Symbicort and after 3 weeks told me to switch to Trelegy Ellipta. He also prescribed me Albuterol to be used as a rescue inhaler during the sob attack. None of these inhalers helped during the sob attack. I informed the Pulmonologist that these inhalers weren't working but he kept on insisting that my lungs were badly inflamed and that recovery would take a while, maybe several months. It had been almost 2 months and I was utterly miserable. To add to my ordeal, I now started experiencing intense sinus pressure and had checked in 2 more times to the ER. ER performed the same test which were all normal. I just couldn't bear it anymore and decided to go for a second opinion from another Pulmonologist. The second Pulmonologist reviewed the earlier Pft tests results and I was shocked at what he told me. He said there was nothing wrong with my lungs and I did not have any asthma!! He concluded that my sob was most likely due to an upper respiratory problem and advised me to follow-up with an Allergist and ENT doctor. I was misdiagnosed and all along I had been forcing myself into taking meds I did not need!!

I then saw an Allergist who conducted the pft test again and confirmed that I did not have any asthma. She also performed allergy testing and confirmed that I did not have any allergies. She concluded that my sob was due to a condition called Vocal Cord Dysfunction that was caused by acid reflux. I told her that I did not experience any symptoms of acid reflux, to which she said that it was Silent Acid reflux and therefore I did not feel it. She told me to stop taking the inhalers and prescribed me Omeprazole 40mg. I've been taking it for almost 3 weeks now. Although the frequency and intensity of the sob has decreased, it is still there. I am glad that I am no longer gasping for breath, however I do experience the sob several times a day along-with the intense sinus pressure. I also want to point out that at times I am able to get some satisfying breaths without any issues or over exerting myself. And then there are times when I feel as if my air passage is blocked. The allergist also instructed me to practice pursed breathing several times a day. However, the pursed breathing only exacerbates my condition and I end up being more tired. Its been almost 4 months now and I am still experiencing the sob and the sinus pressure. I also want to point out that most of the docs I've seen attribute the sob to stress at work or home. I have absolutely no issues at home and although my leo job can place me in stressful situations at times, I have dealt with it for the past 15 years and never experienced such sob at any point. Therefore, I don't think my condition is anxiety/stress related. I have an ENT appointment in the next 2 weeks. Will request the ENT doc to perform a fibreoptic Laryngoscopy to check for issues with the vocal cords. Will update as soon as I can. Meanwhile, if someone is/was going through a similar experience, please share your story and if your condition has been correctly diagnosed.

0 likes, 1 reply

1 Reply

  • Posted

    I don’t know if you are still on this forum as I see you posted quite a while ago., but your story explains my situation to a T. I’ve had SOB for four months where I just can’t get a deep enough and satisfying breath. So far pulmonary and cardiac causes have been ruled out. I would love to hear how you’re doing and if you ever found out what was causing your symptoms!

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.