Breathing Troubles and have tried many different remedies, Need help!

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So over the course of the last 2 years I have experienced a spew of breathing issues.  I have gone to the doctors several times to figure this out and have yet to find a remedy.  Originally I had a bad cough that was very phlegmy and would not go away for months.  I caved in and saw a doctor.  He said I had a mild cold and that I should take some antibiotics and "here is an inhaler" " you probably have asthma".  Well, I used the inhaler for a short time, and things kinda got better.  So I stopped using the inhaler as frequently. Well, a couple months went by and this tightness in my chest got worse.  It got so bad that breathing felt extremely difficult.  Almost like something was stopping it in my throat.  I went to the doctor and he ran through a couple options. 1. Asthma 2. GERD 3. Allergies.  Basically started taking allergy meds right away.  Started with Claritin and QVAR inhaler.  Things got slightly better again. But no drastic improvement and eventually things ended up just getting worse.  This tightness in my throat has gotten worse and more frequent.  Nearly a daily thing.  Then tried Flonase in conjunction.  Which has not helped much.  I tried omeprazole in the mornings to see if GERD is even a possibility.  And alas, no serious help.

Now let me explain my symptoms.  I am constantly clearing my throat.  It feels like a dry congestion.  To the point where it is unbearable.  Some days it just feels like a congestion right where my throat and nose meet and it is something that can easily be forgotten about. While other days it extends to right underneath my adam's apple and close the top of the rib cage.  It almost feels like my throat is closing up.  Swallowing feels strange as well.  When this happens an overwhelming feeling of fear dawns over me and I honestly think I am going to suffocate.  I know this is probably just the panic, but I have been able to minimize these feelings and truly just focus on just the issue.  My head feels slightly foggy and slight amounts of pressure around the temples and front of the forehead (right around sinuses).

I utilize Claritin (x1 in the morning), Flonase (x2 squirts in morning), Neti Pot with saline (x2 a day), QVAR (x1 in the morning), and abuterol (when needed- up to 3 times a day). 

I rarely feel these symptoms in the morning.  It usually surfaces around noon and continues throughout the day.  I have taken a basic allergy blood test (RYEGRASS IGE QN 0.95 kUA/L, OLIVE POLLEN IGE QN 2.43 kUA/L <=0.34 kUA/L, ALTERNARIA ALTERNATA IGE 8.74 kUA/L <=0.34 kUA/L).  Benadryl appears to have the best results as it works immediately. While all other remedies have not worked very well. And Bendryl does not completely help. 

I have done a Nasoendoscopy (shows I have slightly enlarged Lingual Tonsils), Xray with barium swallow, CT Scan. So far no immediate problems with throat.

What other resource should I use?  Is there any recommendations on what I can do?  This is really making life very difficult and I would like to stop stressing over this.

My background: 25 Year old male, workout very regularly, live in San Diego. Work at a print shop.  I bring this up because I fear that this can be a cause of the issues. 


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  • Posted

    I started taking something called montelukast which is a prescription allergy pill and I take it at bedtime as requested by the Dr. I am also on a prescription nasal spray that I use two times a day it is called Azelastine HCI and in addition I also take a daily OTC allergy pill. Now I will tell you that I initially had my allergy test done by an allergist. After which I regretted my decision because I knew better having had an allergy test done 30 years ago at an ear nose and throat specialist. Having one done by an ear nose and throat specialist is a much better way to test for allergies. The difference is an allergist will do a scratch test on your back which delivers a minut amount of the allergen. And if you have a reaction they determine that you are allergic to that allergen. Now your ear nose and throat doctors give you several injections of an allergen just slightly under the skin. If you do not react to that amount they give you another injection of a larger amount of the allergen. If you still don't have any reaction then they deem you not allergic to that substance. So as you can see you can still have an allergy to a substance but it takes more to have a reaction.

    Now on your stomach issues you do know you have to take that medicine every day for at least 2 weeks for you to get good results from it. So make sure that you give it a real chance to work. And if that type does not work for you try another one. I've been told by a doctor that Nexium is the strongest one OTC stomach meds.

    You want to make sure you're not using your neti pot after you use your nasal spray. Do your Neti Pot first then do the nasal spray. Otherwise you're just washing out the nasal spray. You also didn't say if the albuterol is helpful for you. But if you're having to use it everyday then the Q-var is not enough. One puff once a day is a very light dose. When I was taking Q-var I took two Puffs twice a day morning and night.

    Finally you did not mention that anyone has ever x-rayed your lungs. Please tell me some Dr did because you've got to rule out things like tumors, collapsed lungs, pneumonia, bronchitis and so many other things that a regular chest x-ray can rule out.

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  • Posted

    Hi Cole. Frist of, you are on exactly the same medications as I am. I share your pain in breathing difficulties, it's a horrible thing to live with. I also have allergies and asthma which have only occurred in the past several years. I'm a similar age to you and take care of myself also. My diagnosis is swollen turbinates (glands in the nose) caused by allergies with asthma. Seems I have a weak immune system too. I'm on the (long) waiting list for turbinate reduction surgery and for the allergies and asthma, unfortunately these things are hard to treat and often treatment is just managing symptoms. I can't tell if you allergy results are abnormal? 

    "It almost feels like my throat is closing up." This is exactly what it feels like when my asthma flairs up. It's hard not to panic about it sometimes. For me, I know that I'm constantly exposing myself to one of my main allergens which is animals as I work with them and have 3 cats. Perhaps there is something at your work place that is triggering it since you say it starts around midday. For me often I know when I wake up though it does come on randomly too. How do you feel when you're at home compared to the days you work? Some weeks I need Ventolin pretty much every day and other weeks I don't need it at all. How often do you use it? As for your throat. I used to get a tight throat and trouble swallowing daily. I think it was the fact my asthma was undiagnosed, wasn't on medication and my anxiety was bad. It does sound like you do indeed have allergies and asthma. When did you start seeking help and how long have you been on medication? Sometimes they take a while to have full effect. 


    I have some suggestions but take them with a grain of salt as I'm not a medical professional. QVAR morning and night.  Every couple of months rotate antihistmine and steroid spray brands. My ENT specialist recommend this as I wasn't getting the same results anymore. The past 6 months has been especially awful for me and getting help for these issues hasn't been easy. It's a slow and expensive process. Are you seeing an ENT and allergist?


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    • Posted

      One other thing is that if you have congestion or mucus sitting in your throat and chest, my Father who had emphysema used to take a tablet that worked wonders in breaking up the phlegm and bringing it up. I can't recall the name of it but it was readily available at the chemist. 

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  • Posted


    You mentioned a CT scan, did that scan your sinuses? And was it a comprehensive 3D scan?

    The reason I asked is I struggled with bad throat, blocked nose, n breathlessness for 8 weeks back in May to July this year. Just as you described, I felt couldn’t breathe. Eventually a CT scan revealed I had infected right sinus. The drips from the infection go into my throat at night n caused infection there and in my bronchial tube which led to bronchitis, which caused my breathlessness. 

    Not sure if your case is same as mine but may be worthwhile to check your sinuses. 

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