Atelectasis, low o2 at night, feeling of breathlessness

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Hello, new forum user and poster.  Just wanted to see some peoples opinion as to my symptoms as its a big question right now.  Still getting tests done.

I am 36 years old and non smoker, 6'1 220lbs.  About a year ago I woke up all of the sudden had to take a few deep breaths to pop my lungs open.  Thus the start of atelectasis in the lung bases.  Happens almost every day in the mornings when I wake up.  I take a few deep breaths and they pop open.  Done.

I also feel like I have to take a deep breath every handful of breaths to "oxygenate".  

I have had two PFT tests in the past two years, one before the atelectasis started and one after.  Came back normal.  

3 chest xrays in the past couple years, latest last week, all normal.  

Tried the stress route and took anti anxiety meds, didnt notice a difference.

I keep pushing the issue as I know "something" just isnt right.  I dont have a cough, mucuous, etc.  I even had a methacholine (spelling) challenge test, negative. 

I feel a bit breathless after mild activity.  I can cut grass, go on a walk, etc just fine.  Feels worse when doing menial crap around the house.  

Last night I had a sleep study test, Have a followup appt next week.  Showed minor snoring (wife says ive been snoring a lot more when i never used to), and the biggest thing is my O2 dropped to 83% at one point.  The tech didnt say much but said "to the most part it was ok".  As I was dozing off I would look over and see it at 92ish.  

Well anyway there you go.  Just trying to figure all this out.  Scary stuff.

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  • Posted

    It does sound like you may have a form of sleep apnea...breathing very shallow when you sleep and so your body organs are not getting the oxygen they need to function. But....I'm not a Dr. And at least you don't stop breathing when you sleep...the most common for of sleep apnea. But both can be treated pretty simply with a CPAP mask and machine and maybe something alot simpler for you. Don't be scared...finish your testing and let us know what they find. It sounds like you are being proactive and that's always good. Blessings....ladyjack51
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  • Posted

    Hi it does sound like there is something wrong but as I am no doctor I don't know what.   Your oxygen level seems very low and I do know if it regularly drops below 90 you might need oxygen.   If your level drops below 88 this is a warning sign.  I do know that regular levels below 84% can affect your other organs as they are not getting enough oxygen to support them.

    Do you have an oxymeter?   If so keep a very close eye on your levels.  x

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    • Posted

      I'm actually in respiratory school and going to graduate soon. I work in a hospital now as a student and check my o2 regularly. Always 97-98 during the day. Must just be a night thing. Looking forward to my follow up appt
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  • Posted

    Hi Scottrobinson!  This IS a good site to air your concerns.  I agree FULLY with hypercat regarding the oximeter....it's good to have one around all the time.  They are relatively inexpensive.  However, when I told my GP that when I check my oxy level during the night, (I am on oxygen during the night) he said "that is not an accurate reading....to get an accurate reading while asleep, you need to do a sleep test".  This test was done at home, hooked up to a meter that registers with the doctor's office.  He had me take the test using oxygen all night, then the next night I did the test NOT using oxygen.  Also, I agree with Ladyjack about the sleep apnea.  My husband snored quite a bit PLUS I would reach over several times a night to make sure he was breathing. He took the sleep apnea overnight test at the hospital.   Long story short....he is on a CPAP and we are both sleeping much better.  Thank goodness you are proactive......keep us in touch because we DO care about one another!
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  • Posted

    Did this ever get figured out? You are not alone, I'm having the exact same problem! My Dr. Doesn't believe me. I have atelectasis in the mornings and I clears up with one big breath, but there's no proof since the dr. doesn't sleep next to me. No coughing, but I become breathless with just going grocery shopping. I've taken prednisone, tons of Xopenex, and I just had a nebulizer treatment last night but I woke up and had the same atelectasis today. rolleyes
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  • Posted

    Been a while since posting.  Pulminologist said the sleep study was fine.  O2 was good.  Pushed for a Ct later which revealed a mediastinal mass about 3-4cm.  Had a 3 mon follow up Ct, another 3mon, and am slated for a 6mon in the next week or so.  They think thymic tissue as it doesn't look any particular cancer based on the Ct. 

    another doc family doc said to go back to my cardiothoracic surgeon to have it taken out.  Pain is now on the right said as well.  Odd sensation in left said of neck/face now.  Still looking into it.  The story goes on. 

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