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Date of last update: 10/19/2017.

Forum Name: Chest symptoms

Question: newly quit smoking, difficulty breathing

 cybrwolf - Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:33 pm

My husband and I are 40 years old and fairly healthy. We both smoked for about 20 years but have been quitting together and have been smoke free for about 3 months now. Since quitting, my husband has started to have problems with coughing more (which I realize is normal after quitting for a while), difficulty breathing or feeling like it's hard to get a breathe in, shallow breath.

We do not have insurance, so pay our own way, and want to be efficient about what this may be and who we go see, rather than jumping around to various doctors. Wondering if this is an asthma type issue, or if we need to go to a pulmonologist? of if this is just typical side effects after smoking cessation and that it will eventually subside?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Feb 07, 2008 10:54 pm

User avatar Hello Cybrwolf,

Quiting smoking can cause some temporary increased difficulty breathing but most people actually begin to feel better fairly quickly. If this difficulty continues or gets worse I would recommend your husband see his primary care doctor for evaluation. It may be that he is having an asthma exacerbation or even an infection such as a pneumonia.

Seeing his primary care doctor is probably the best way to go. There also are often clinics that can see patients without insurance on a free or reduced fee scale. Your local health department can probably point you to these clinics if needed.

If your husband develops severe difficulties breathing I would strongly advise he be seen right away in the emergency room.

Best wishes.

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