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sroberson

Asthma attack symptoms?

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sroberson

I know I should probably consult the likes of Web M.D. or whatever but i'd rather hear it from a random person online. Every once in a while I wake up in the middle of the night with a severe and painful cough and itch in my throat as well as painful pressure on my chest that makes breathing a bit painful and labored. The first time I dismissed it as a one-off but this time im starting to wonder....am I suffering from a classic asthma attack? Anyone here have asthma that could describe the feeling of an attack?

Thanks, just sitting here awake at 1am waiting for it to pass

Edit: I just want to note, that to my knowledge im not allergic to anything...Which makes me skeptical about asthma, just trying to figure out how to make this not happen again.

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Redeemer

Okay, how are you now? How long do these things last?

I have asthma, it really kicks my ass at times so maybe I can help with clarifying some things. Also, qualified nurse/psychologist here, so feel free to really pour all the answers on me, don't hold back just because you don't want to write a wall of text.

 

When I have an attack, it feels like tightness around my chest and waist. I have pain on the inside of my chest - sometimes it's sharp, other times it's more like a burning ache, depends on the trigger, which I'll get to later. Now maybe this is normal for females only, but I get breast pain as well, so that means it's involving muscular spasms too. However I'll bet males also get pain in the muscles around their breast area, I'm not sure if it's tissue-mass dependent.

 

For my neck and throat area, if I really start to heave air, I can actually make my throat raw because I dry it out due to not swallowing for a while. I also cough a dry, raspy cough that really puts the cherry on top of the whole Bastard Sundae.

 

If I have a very bad attack, muscle spasms range up from my chest to my shoulders and neck, and down my back.

 

Now, triggers. Sometimes I'm just exerting myself too much, around animals with fur, or the weather and humidity get the better of me, and this is where the pain is sharp. Sometimes I'm unable to breathe in properly because the sharp pain stabs at my ribs, so I have to wait for a while and breathe tiny little lengths with my inhaler for some minutes.

Other times, my attacks are panic induced. I have issues with anxiety and panic, especially lately, and when I have a panic attack, I get a whole bunch of shit including shaky hands, heart palpitations and of course, an asthma attack caused by the motions of panic. Only this attack is deep inside the chest, and I don't cough with this one.

 

So, I must ask - do you dream of anything before these attacks wake you up? Are you particularly stressed out right now? Does you family have a history of asthma? Do these attacks only happen at night?

 

Also, do not ever exclude the idea of allergies. Recently, I've become allergic to many things for skin care, and it can happen at any age, any time. So please look into what's changed in your house. Food, type or brand? Air freshener? Shampoo? Laundry soap? Cleaning products? Is anything being used that's not normally used? What's around your bed, cosmetic or home decor wise? Do you keep your room free of dust?

 

I have to stress though, please don't let the internet diagnose you, please see a doctor about this as soon as possible.

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Drasiana

Best advice I could possibly give you: GO TO A REAL DOCTOR ASAP!

 

As for what you're suffering from it sounds like it could be a sleep disorder, like sleep apnea--but even if that's what it was you'd need a diagnosis and the proper treatments for it because sleep apnea is a doozy.

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Redeemer

Best advice I could possibly give you: GO TO A REAL DOCTOR ASAP!

 

 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

 

The internet is no place to get a diagnosis.

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sroberson

Thanks for the input Red and Dras, I really appreciate it.  

 

The first time the attack happened I got a glass of water and it passed relatively quickly without me really feeling like I was in trouble.  Last night I think it lasted 40 minutes at least before I felt comfortable enough to go back to sleep.  It felt like some pressure right behind my sternum and a little bit in my back, and I noted that whatever was happening I was wheezing when I breathed.  Strangely I also had a light feeling of throwing up whenever I coughed - no idea...

 

It wasn't until I read your response, Red, did I consider what happened to be a panic attack.  I guess I wasn't fully awake to consider all of my options.  I have been stressed lately, particularly with work, though I keep trying to play it down and convince myself I can handle it.  That's a rather morbid thought, that I nearly called 911 at 1am because I couldn't breathe and it has something to do with stress.  Didn't want to resort to having an ambulance show up in the middle of the night to treat something that wasn't severe and bill me something obscene - though i'll admit I was scared about the idea of not calling and it getting worse.  I guess I won't rule out the possibility of me developing a new allergy but i'm going to really hope that it is not sleep-apnea as Dras mentioned - i've heard plenty of fatal consequences that my grandfather faces who suffers the same problem.  

 

I guess i'll play it by ear for a little longer since I hope i'm going through the worst of the (possible) stress related issues.   If not, then it probably will be time to talk to a doctor (and pay another obscene bill).  Sorry for my sort of abbreviated thoughts, today just didn't really work out very well. 

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DZComposer

Yeah, seeking medical advise on SF-O is not a good idea. I advise seeking medical advice from a medical professional.

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unoservix

seeking medical advice on the internet in general is a bad idea. you'll go in with a runny nose and a sore throat and you'll come out convinced that you have all of the cancers. go to the doctor.

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Redeemer

Thanks for the input Red and Dras, I really appreciate it.  

 

The first time the attack happened I got a glass of water and it passed relatively quickly without me really feeling like I was in trouble.  Last night I think it lasted 40 minutes at least before I felt comfortable enough to go back to sleep.  It felt like some pressure right behind my sternum and a little bit in my back, and I noted that whatever was happening I was wheezing when I breathed.  Strangely I also had a light feeling of throwing up whenever I coughed - no idea...

 

It wasn't until I read your response, Red, did I consider what happened to be a panic attack.  I guess I wasn't fully awake to consider all of my options.  I have been stressed lately, particularly with work, though I keep trying to play it down and convince myself I can handle it.  That's a rather morbid thought, that I nearly called 911 at 1am because I couldn't breathe and it has something to do with stress.  Didn't want to resort to having an ambulance show up in the middle of the night to treat something that wasn't severe and bill me something obscene - though i'll admit I was scared about the idea of not calling and it getting worse.  I guess I won't rule out the possibility of me developing a new allergy but i'm going to really hope that it is not sleep-apnea as Dras mentioned - i've heard plenty of fatal consequences that my grandfather faces who suffers the same problem.  

 

I guess i'll play it by ear for a little longer since I hope i'm going through the worst of the (possible) stress related issues.   If not, then it probably will be time to talk to a doctor (and pay another obscene bill).  Sorry for my sort of abbreviated thoughts, today just didn't really work out very well. 

 

First off, don't apologise. You're experiencing something that frightens you and causes you discomfort, and you want to talk to friends about it before going to the doctor and paying a bill. That's completely understandable. I myself am limiting my visits to the doctor because I have no health insurance, but I do have a lot of things I need seen to. But even with all our advice and experiences, seeing a doctor is the best option. Even if I was working in your local clinic, as a nurse I wouldn't even have the authority to diagnose you or prescribe you treatment - this is something for a doctor. I wish I could help more, and I often have people coming to me and asking for medical advice, but we're only trained for so much and a redirection to the doctor is very much necessary in most cases, especially here. I'll be worrying about you until you do go!

 

If you're going through a stressful time lately, it could be a panic response. They're more common than most would think and they're just as unpleasant as an asthma attack. And the tricky thing is that they easily make themselves worse, because you feel the early signs, then you dread the attack itself, which only makes it come on stronger. It's also possible to panic in your sleep. When I was in high school, I was bullied and ended up with stomach ulcers and whatnot, but I also had really awful dreams at night and ended up making crazy noises in my sleep. I also used to, and still do, hold my breath in my sleep until I wake myself up.

 

This is apparently connected to my panic problems, so I understand, but really, several conditions can all share similar symptoms. It's much more clarifying to sit down with someone and get the whole picture, in order to put all the pieces together. If your grandfather has sleep apnea, then perhaps this is contributing to your current problem.

 

But yes, please do see a doctor as soon as you can!

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