Behcet's Syndrome Society
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Difficulty breathing?

Hi everyone. It's 2am and another sleepless night. How nice. This morning I woke up to difficulty breathing. It felt as though my throat was closed up. It woke me up and took me maybe 10 seconds to breathe normal, long enough for me to just start panicking then it cleared. I had this happen several times the last few weeks. Never happened until month or so ago. Wondering if anyone had this happen or heard if it's behcets related? Thinking medicine related side effect more likely?

7 Replies

Hi I know what you mean. It's been happening to me for about 10 months now.....almost panic attack like, but definitely not as it can even happen in my sleep, plus I really am not stressed. Don't know what it could be and have never posted on it but you are not the first to post this so I thought I'd let you know you are not alone. Maybe we should chick with our GPs and see if we all get the same answers????




I do know that BD can cause Pulmonary problems, so it's best to check with your GP or go to BD Specialist. Most Dr's don't know all this stuff anyway! Hope you find the answer. Feel better!


I have had difficulty breathing for some time. I often have dreams of drowning or smothering and it wakes me and I realize I am having a hard time breathing. A lot of times I have difficulty taking a deep breath, as in panic attacks, but I don't have panic attacks and like Billii, I am not stressed. It just happens randomly and lasts for 3 days to a week sometimes.

When my Rheum. doc was diagnosing me for Behect's one of the questions she asked was "Do you have difficulty breathing, difficultly taking deep breaths?" I answered "yes", but was surprised at the question as I had never thought to associate it with Behcet's. So I would assume it can have to do with Behcet's since that was one of the questions for the diagnoses. I should have asked the Rheum doc to elaborate on the question, but forgot. I'll ask next time I go.


Hmmmm. I guess I thought this was something with me. I have an appointment with the reumy in a few days and will be sure to mention, though I dont think she will know or really have a good answer.


Bd can affect our pulmonary system...please go get it checked out. Breathing issues r never to be fooled with. Hope u find relief


I have been getting this frequently. I wake up and it is not so much difficulty in breathing, as not being able to breathe at all. Apparently, I have laryngospasm. The larynx shuts the airways off and any attempt to breathe makes a guttural noise with high pitched squeaking. It can last a minute, then resolve, then keep happening. It is not related to my asthma. These problems can be tricky so you should go to the doc now and describe it, so he can refer you to te right place. I am going to an ENT specialist next week in order to have a scope put down, to see what is going on.

Apparently, if you get sensitivity in the nerves around the windpipe then even a small amount of saliva trickling down there in sleep can set it off. Youc an have silent reflux disease as well.

Other causes for poor breathing after sleep can be related to medication, or possibly nocturnal asthma. I sometimes wake up to asthma at 3 or 4 am, and am told at that time cortisol levels are at their lowest and so am more likely to get attacks.

Some people also find if they have been on steroids and gain weight, like me, that their necks get fatter and it is more difficult to breathe freely when lying down in certain positions. Most of my type do get a bit of obstructed airways if lying in an awkward position. Sometimes I wake to find my breathing restricted and cannot swallow properly until sitting up. Others find they are constantly stopping breathing whilst asleep and waking up to correct it, but have no memory of doing that and wonder why they are so tired.

Whatever the cause, it is something that needs properly diagnosing....don't wait for it to become more frequent, see the doc now.


I have been on fairly high levels of steroids since Xmas and have problems when I try bad reduce the quantities, so increase them again. My doctor is aware of this.


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