Hello I am a 26 year old male The past


Q: Hello I am a 26 year old male. The past or so I have been having a constant pressure in my head with shortness of breath. I am still able to take a deep breath but it feels like I have to force myself to breathe. I do have severe anxiety though. I never no if that is it or not because each attack is worse than the last. My spo2 level is 98. Is it possible to have an spo2 of 98 if you have a breathing problem? Just looking for an answer thanks.


A:   Hello,
Thanks for writing to us.
I have read your case and can understand your concern.
It seems you are more likely having anxiety disorder.
Stress causes muscles to contract, and therefore, tighten.
When muscles remain tense, they can become painful, which is a common reason for stress-related headaches, head “pressures,” and feeling like you have a “tight band around your head.”
The other symptoms of anxiety disorder are:
Numbness and tingling
Chest pain
Fear of impending doom
Shortness of breath
Heart palpitations
Weakness in legs
Feeling like you are going crazy
Inability to rest
Sleep problems

If you have some organic breathing difficulty usually spO2 should decrease.
It is advisable for you to see your doctor who may start you with antidepressants/ anxiolytics like Escitalopram, Sertraline, Fluoxetine etc. Benzodiazepines like clonazepam, lorazepam etc. can be given to relieve acute anxiety attacks. This can be accompanied by psychotherapy like Cognitive Behaviour Therapy which aims on modifying cognitive distortions to rational thinking.
Hope this helps.
Feel free to write back.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: So you don't think it is pneumonia or some life threatening respiratory problem? Thanks
Doctor: Hello,
Thanks for writing back.
I can understand your concern over your health.
pneumonia or similar respiratory conditions are usually accompanied by high fever, generalised malaise, cough, fever, chest pain, nausea, shortness of breath etc.
This most likely appears to be anxiety which can be easily treated with appropriate medication and psychotherapy.
Hope this helps.
Feel free to write back.
Patient: The anxiety is causing the shortness of breath and tight chest and head pressure when I am walking? Thanks.
Doctor: Hello,
Thanks for writing back.
Anxiety can cause breathlessness , tight chest and head pressure while at rest or during activity like walking.
It is advisable for you to visit doctor/psychiatrist who can prescribe you with anxiolytics which can relieve your symptoms.
You can also get ECG (electrocardiogram)done on consultation with doctor to rule out organic pathology.
Hope this helps.
Feel free to write back.
Take care

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