Ask The Doctor » Questions & Answers » For almost all my life I’ve struggled with breathing, but

For almost all my life I’ve struggled with breathing, but

Patient: For almost all my life I’ve struggled with breathing, but this past year it has been getting worse. I experience the symptoms almost everyday and the pain is so severe that I can’t move and I’m always shaking, I can never keep my hands still. I want to go to the doctor to see if I have asthma, but I don’t know if it’s worth the time and money that I don’t have. I made a log of the symptoms I was experiencing and put them below with severity, in case that helps at all. They’re also usually when I’m not exercising. For example, I’ll be sitting at my desk at school writing and then I’m hit with a sudden pain in my chest.Is it worth the time to go?Thank you,



Symptoms: -Coughing suddenly
-Not feeling like I’m getting enough air all the time- Severe
-rapid/deep breathing
-breathing loud
-Sweating all the time
-Rapid heartbeat
-Labored breathing
-Sudden tightness of the chest
-Severe stabbing Pain in the left side of chest
-Pounding heartbeat
-Rapid breathing
-Pressure or heaviness- moderate and sudden
-Numbness/tingling- mod
-Slow heart rate
-Shortness of breath-sudden and mod
-irregular breathing
-Pain in sternum- severe and sudden
-Palpitations in sternum
-Muscle weakness- Sudden. Sometimes I can’t grip my pencil tight or move my legs

Doctor: HelloWelcome to Ask The Doctor.Thanks for trusting us for your health issues.There are two possibilities:1. Br onchial Asthma.2. Cardiac issues.Breathlessness in night which awakens you from sleep is usually a sign of Heart Failure and is called as Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea (PND).This PND required evaluation.I would advise in such scenario:1. Hemogram with ESR2. ECG3. Chest Xray4. Pulmonary Function Test5. ECHOIf cardiac issues are found you would be treated accordingly, else you will be treated for asthma.Your doctor would evaluate you clinically. If you don’t have severe chest congestion, he would treat you with anti-allergic drugs like Levocetirizine and Montelukast. He may add deriphylline or doxophylline for the chest spasms.If your chest congestion is very severe and there are wheezes and rhonchi’s, then inhalers containing bronchi dilators like Salbutamol would be required.You might also require short dose of Steroid inhaler like Budesonide.Share my opinion with your doctor before acting upon it.I hope it helps.Stay Healthy


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Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

Dr. Suneel Sharman completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Toronto. He currently operates Infinity Health Centre, a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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