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Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: Chest tightness, sore dry lungs, trouble breathing


 Gregg88 - Sat Mar 01, 2008 8:05 pm

Hello,
I am a 21 year old male, and for the past month i have been experiencing tightness in my chest, sore dry lungs , occasional trouble breathing, coughing up white phlem and minor loss of apetite. These symptoms have been more or less non stop for a month now, being worse for the first 15 minutes after i wake up and at night. And its starting to concearn me.The symptoms occured overnight but i did have symptoms similar to this for the past year but only lasted for about 15 minutes generaly after i smoked. I did go to see a doctor and had an xray of my chest. Which my lungs were clear and apeared healthy. I was given an albuterol inhaler ( which doesnt seem to help very much ).
Sypmtoms started when i caught the flu, i was sick about 4-5 day s with a mild fever. Bronchitis is common after you get the flu, but im not sure how long bronchitis lasts. I was told symptoms could last 2 weeks or so. But it has been over a month now and i don't feel and relief from when it started. I do smoke, but i am not a heavy smoker, a pack usualy last me about 3 days. Sorry for the long topic but these symptoms are greatly concearning me and any information that could possibly help ease the symptoms and my nerve's or a possible diagnosis would be greatly apreciated. Thanks!
 Marceline F, RN - Sun Mar 09, 2008 12:49 am

User avatar Dear Greg88,
You did not mention at which time you were able to consult with your doctor, and it was unclear if that visit was related to this onset of symptoms or to those of the past year. An xray is a valuable diagnostic tool, but it is limited to what it can reveal to the practitioner: infiltrates, consolidations, masses, certain anatomical abnormalities, etc. It cannot however give the doctor a picture of the actual tissue health of the lungs. There are non-invasive tests that could prove to provide additional information to the practitioner such as PFTs - pulmonary function tests, VQ scans - ventilation/perfusion scans, spiral CT - computed tomography. There are also simple blood tests that can aid the diagnosis of infection or inflammatory processes. You may wish to ask your doctor if any of these or other tests may be of value to determine what is causing your cough and shortness of breath.
And, not to preach at you, but it may be worth your while to curtail your smoking altogether, sort of a self-test if you will. If eliminating the smoking altogether changes your symptoms, then you may wish to factor that information into your decisions for a healthy lifestyle. You are young, and hopefully have a long and healthful life ahead of you. Please consider only putting into your body those things that will lend toward a happier, healthier, cough-free life!

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