Medical Specialty >> Pulmonology

Doctors Lounge - Pulmonology Answers

Back to Pulmonology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Miscellaneous Chest Diseases

Question: Hard time taking deep breaths

 madman - Mon Jul 09, 2007 4:24 pm

For the last several weeks I have had a hard time taking deep breaths. It feels like altitude sickness where you are startled by lack of air or something. I have post nasal drip like crazy and my nasal passages are congested. Along with clearing my throat, etc.

I would figure this for allergies but the catching my breath thing throws me off. I am 48 and used to smoke off an on since I was a teenager. I quite 4 years ago. I think that has me a little concerned (and always will I guess.)

I can still exercise by riding my bike for an hour every day and still beat my kids at holding our breath underwater.

I tend to think it is anxiety caused by my nasal passages making it hard to breath (I am NOT a mouth breather.) I think this because when I don't think about it I feel ok or if I am very relaxed I am ok.

Any thoughts?
 Marceline F, RN - Wed Jul 18, 2007 5:28 am

User avatar Dear Madman,
Is your postnasal drip chronic (been there a while) or acute (suddenly happening - sometimes due to seasonal or environmental changes)? Are you on any of several remedies for seasonal allergies such as Zyrtec, or Claritin, or others? Breathing clearly is such an automatic function, and one of the very basics of survival - no wonder you may have a strong emotional reaction to the feelings of stuffiness - or near-suffocation. Has over the counter remedies for stuffy nose given you any relief? They can only be used for a couple days without causing rebound stuffiness - but may give you an idea if getting a longer term acting medication might be worth exploring with your doctor.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us