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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index


For the past 5 - 6 years I have been getting chest tightness, wheezing, and shortness of breath around the same time every winter. With out any cold or sickness before hand. It typically stays for at least a month or two, and up to 3 months or till it starts warming. No phlegm at first, but after a month or so it seems to cause me excess phlegm as 'rattling' starts in my wheezing after a few weeks.

Lying down makes it worse as I usually wake up early in the morning from chest tightness. In contrast, sitting or standing for awhile helps. When it's gone, I'm great. And any other time of the year I'm fine. I never get a cold before it hits, it just gets tight one day, usually during a cold night, and it doesn't leave for a long time. Off and on throughout the day, cold air typcially triggers but I get it inside as well. Other than this, I typically don't even get headaches or colds year round.

By the way, I'm 22. After talking with my mother apparently I had breathing issues when I was little for whooping cough and went to the doctor for it a few times. When I was 11-12 I was diagnosed with asthma, though I need needed to use my inhaler and I never was short of breath after running. Actually I ran track.

Something I think is key though, I have basically no cough reflex. I happens, but I never remember having any colds where I had a cough growing up, and basically never cough unless I cause myself to. Possible damage from the whooping coughs? I also almost had pneumonia whenever I first remember starting to get this chest tightness, which was sometime during my teens. The doctor prescribed me albuteral, and it seemed to help. But it still returns every winter, and for the first time the albuteral isn't really helping that great. (It's someone elses prescription) Usually, especially in the beginning stages, albuteral would help instantly.. Now it seems standing/sitting up and time is the only remedy.

It's been about a week or two. No colds or phlegm yet. And not very much wheezing, more just the the feeling like my lungs are tight and harder to expand.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. It isn't very enjoyable knowing this is coming around every winter.

Ah, yes. Do make sure your rescue inhaler is unexpired and still has medicine in it!

If it gets to the point where it's really disruptive, or if you have difficulty walking or talking, definitely seek medical attention right away. And in the long run, it's better for your lungs to have the inflammation controlled. In fact, many cities offer treatment services for people with asthma, because they want to reduce the expense of ER visits. Also, there are relatively low cost clinics.

Unfortunately, most of the other medicines can get pretty expensive. But again, help is available, prescription assistance programs, etc.

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