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Strange Airway Problem!

Hello everyone, i have been quite unusually ill for about 10 weeks now, with some strange symptoms I suspect to be more permenant of the trachea. I am wondering if anyone has any ideas of what it could be? I am due to discuss my condition soon with a 'respiratory specialist' doctor, but any ideas for our discussion would be very welcome.

I am asthmatic BUT up until the first week of October 2012, I have never been healthier in my life. Asthma symptoms were almost non existant, even after 60 miles of demanding cycling! I clearly had things very well under control up to then, thanks to fresh sea, lots of cycling and my regular medication.

I then INHALED a tiny bit of chewing gum (the size of my little fingernail?). The next day, my long ordeal started with a severe chest infection that went through several 'phases', maybe several different infections prolonged into one. I am confident I eventually coughed out the gum piece during much phlegm and mucus coughing up (something I am sure many asthmatics experaince routinely).I did not find NHS GP's very enthusiastic to help me, and even after 3 doses of antibiotics, which killed off the main infections, I was still having alot of random wheezyness and irritable coughing, often keeping me awake at night. Some 10 nightmareish weeks later, I am much better but with some minimal mucus still to occassionaly cough up. What I want your advice about is what I shall describe next below...

HOWEVER, my main concern is this: that progrssively over a number of recent years, my trachea (windpipe) and lower throat regions seem to be constantly slightly restricted, as if they are somehow 'bent' or squashed like when you squeeze a rubber hose pipe. This felt very eveident during the above illness. Whenever i gently press my breastbone area with my hands, and just above there, my breathing is MUCH easier and I can cough up MUCH easier. When I sleep on my front, my breathing is harder than if I sleep on my back or sides. If I press and gently 'raise' my chest up towards my throat, again breathing and coughing is much easier. All this was true even before my recent long bout of illness. I have no pain or internal aches, and I am a very athletic fit 40 year old otherwise. But I sense something is 'physically' wrong, even though it is subtle now.

I am wondering if I have a disorder of the trachea, that has been displaced or snagged on something internally??? Is this possible?? A few years ago, I did cough extremely violently during a bout of illness, and I felt my entire respiratory system 'twang'!

I think having a CT scan or MRI scan would be a good idea, if my specialist agrees it is a good idea.

What I am describing here, is NOT regular asthmatic 'inflammation'. I am aware of what this is like, and we can rule this out.

Any ideas or commoents?


4 Replies

I would ask for a broncoscopy that way it will look at the throat before entering the lungs


Thanks Loz. I have thought alot about this, and have discussed it with a few different doctors. They say a bronchoscopy is quite a severe proceedure, used as a last resort. I am able to breathe alot of the tiem ok, and my strange problem is not life threatening at the moment. The one 'good' doctor I have discussed the problem with, thinks that a CT Scan is more suitable, after i hve done some more detailed breathing tests. She also suggests that the reason why I feel the frquent restriction near the base of the throat, could be a thyroid problem affecting my windpipe. I think I generally do have a sensative thyroid, one that is possibly too large?

I finally have a respiratory hospital apt and a good doctor, so with patience may be in good hands now.

In the meantime, the minor amounts of early morning wheeziness is something I will have to put up with for a while.

It's amazing to think that earlier this year, I was a cycling athlete on the verge of defeating my asthmatic problems..!



Personally I would be trying what I could before a CT scan. That's a pretty decent radiation dose anyway but especially around your very sensitive thyroid. There's a reason we who work in radiography wear Pb thyroid shields!

If you suspect an enlarged thyroid you can have an ultrasound and thyroid function bloods for diagnostic purposes. I've got thyroid issues (graves disease and mine enlarged up toward my jaw) and have since had it removed hence knowing a bit about all that.

Anyway, I do hope you get some answers soon and you go back to being symptom free.


Thank you Mum2to for your advice. Are you a radiographer? If so, could you tell me what ARE the most common side effects that a healthy 40 year old man should typically expect? And for how long would they last? Anything permenant? Would dyes or any other substances need to be entered into my body? I have been very interested in a CT scan (or MRI scan). But I am starting to go off the idea. Am I right to assume that ultrasound scanning would not work on the trachea? Sounds (excuse the pun) like a good idea for my thyroid though.

Somebody has suggested an interesting idea that might help my respiratory system... simply having a HOT turkish bath, in other words, staying up to my chin in hot (or at least very warm) water. Soaking up the heat may help my body parts fataigue and expand 'back into place', so to speak, he says. I have already tried a hot sauna, but no change to my symptoms. Can anyone else recommend 'hot' treatments (ie, any benefit)?



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