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Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Message Board

Lung & Respiratory Disorders / COPD Board Index

Hi Ghostler :-)

I have the exactly the same problem intermittently. Lying down to go to sleep, I just barely doze off and then suddenly wake up gasping for air. A few deep breaths, lie down, doze off, awake again! It comes and goes in cycles of a few days, but when it makes it impossible for me to go to sleep, I sit upright in my desk chair (which is very comfortable), and manage to finally doze off. Also, I sometimes find that sleeping on one side (in my case the right side) works better than the other. Can't imagine why that should be.

However, I've been diagnosed with early stage emphysema (years of boneheaded smoking), so I suppose we have different situations. Just a couple of suggestions, though:

First of all, see if you can talk your PC doc into prescribing a chest CT scan to see what's going on in there, if anything. There are many disorders that can cause shortness of breath, some serious, others not so much.

Get checked out for sleep apnea. Apnea doesn't usually come in closely spaced attacks, but you never know. If if's apnea, there are treatments for it.

Finally, as a stop-gap measure until someone figures out what's going on, I'd recommend seeing if you can get a prescription for an inhaler such as Symbicort. Generally speaking, just a couple of spritz's in the morning and a couple more in the evening can make a significant difference. (But be aware, it's pretty expensive, so your doc may well recommend another brand that might work just as well.)

Good luck, and believe me, I know what it's like. No fun at all!


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