British Lung Foundation

Does anyone else do this

Im going to describe this as best as i can so bear with me.

I get this involuntary breath ........its not a deep sigh or a conscious breath in and out .....nearly every day my lungs just suddenly fill with air its the strangest thing and didnt start happening until l they reduced my oxygen

Does anyone know what i mean and anyone have any knowledge of what this is

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51 Replies

Hi Mandy , I have no idea, I find sometimes that I need to breathe in again before I've finished breathing out, it's a weird feeling like my breathing goes out of sync..... Sorry I couldn't help with ur question. X sister Sonia x

yeah i get that sometimes sis when im sleeping...... it wakes me up but this is different and i mentioned it to a nurse who didnt have a clue what i was talking about

its very odd my lungs just seem to take a breath in on their own and i know it sounds nuts x x

Since early last summer, I've been getting this sort of 'gasp' thing. The best way I can describe it is like a child who's crying and talking at the same time and the way they take a gasp of air to continue. It's annoying but I'm used to it now. At the moment it seems to happen a lot when I'm trying to settle down. Don't know if this is anything like yours but I've certainly been wondering why and what as well.

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oh....when a child has been crying then still sobs when they stop is a very close description

mine happens a lot when i relax especially in bed..........isnt it weird i have to find out what it is i never had it before they reduced my oxygen x

I'm not even sure I want to know Mandy because it's probably just an indication of further lung damage. And we have quite enough of that already :)

if it were something like that argana my nurse would have known what it was im sure

if i find out what it is i wont tell you then :) unless its good news x x

poor mandy hope things get better for you xx

ha falling apart at the seams honey x

come on girl your doing wellx

When I described the same thing to my nurse, just before I went on oxygen, she said my body was seeking extra oxygen. She likened it to when someone has been sobbing and takes an involuntary breath. Maybe ring the BLF nurses?


yeah that makes sense because it wasnt till my oxygen was reduced that it started

thanks honey

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I don't do as you describe but have noticed if I am sob i often yawn. And am not tired. I attribute this to my body trying to get more oxygen.......

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yeah ive heard of that and also deep sighs which i use to do but now anymore

I also get the involuntary breath at night, although mine isn't to do with my lungs but my heart. I'm not suggesting you have a heart problem, just letting you know other things can cause the involuntary breath. I hope you find the reason for your problem.

eyes_right x

oh blimey i get pains that go into my jaw

Hi Mandy do you suffer with heart problems or angina? I have angina and the pain always starts in my jaw.Maybe you need to tell your doctor hunny,just a thought. :) Janexx

i been getting those pains for years and had a heart echo but they said it was ok....i do still get the pains but usually its a terrible ache round where your bra sits then goes in my jaw

Thats good Mandy at least they are keeping an eye on you,didnt mean to worry but I know jaw pain can be an indicator .Keepwell :) Janexx

yeah that was why i went to see doc but dosnt explain why i still get pain though its very scary and hurts a lot

Hi Mandy you shouldn't have to suffer like that ,keep badgering your doc if he doesn't know he should give a referral to somebody who might.Goodluck and Keepwell you have lots on your plate by the sounds of your posts takecare now. :) Jane xx

Crikey - you can wear a bra Mandy? I can hardly breathe when i wear one so have given up. Luckily I'm quite small so it doesn't make a huge difference ;)

ha ha ha oh that made me laugh.......i use a bra extender its comfy x x x

what on earth is a bra extender? :/ <that twiddle was meant to produce a smiley

M & S do packs of three - or make your own -

Thanks Toci. Of course, obvious now I've seen it. There seem to be different models, just seen a youtube with the elastic going right round the waste and back again in a criss-cross way, all filmed in a soft porn kinda style ;)

That does NOT sound much like mine... :D

No its not - I looked at yours too - doing thorough research. Maybe i'll end up looking like a porn star :D or not . . .

you know the hook and eye part of the bra you can buy a piece that has the eyes on it and you just hook it onto your bra and it gives you more inches...have a look on ebay thats where i got mine they are great......

Hi Mandy + Toci - this is the one i found on Youtube:

Bit Page3-ish :D

yep the bra extender

Good for a low backed garment. Mine are M & S - 3 extenders, 1 of each in white, black and neutral.

Thanks for help Toci and Mandy :)

Mandy, my illness is quite complex and I wasn't suggesting you had a heart problem.

ha ha no honey i know that i just happen to have already had a heart echo because of pains i get x x


Involuntary breathling may be caused by the breathling centre in your brain receiving the wrong information. Quite often at rest you make take an extra deep breath, it is just your brain playing catch up.

hmmm even when your awake doing things ?

Yes, I used to get these involuntary breaths a lot during the day when sitting down, not when active. I agree with those saying its a compensation for low oxygen. Ive never had it at night though.

Mine was not always at rest, Stone. In fact, it was more usually when active.

oh that dosnt sound like what i have mine isnt uncomfortable in any way its just weird want to get that checked my love

No discomfort for me, just a 'sobbing' breath.

Hi Mandy, I get these involuntary breaths too, but only when I am relaxing and trying to slow my breathing. My diaphragm seems to spasm and my lungs fill with deeply with air, as if my body or brain decide to do their own thing and over ride my attempts to control my breath.

I guess it is lack of oxygen in the blood

yeh knitter that exactly it

I have times were I am breathing but I have to make it a deeper breath over it as I seem to need it more?

As for the pain in the jaw does it start in the chest and radiate up though the neck to the jaw?

Does it ease with warmth?

Does it hurt if you press there?

Techi bit:

Angina is a pain, and it can be a pain in the neck, the jaw, the arm,

the back, the shoulders. And it's caused when the heart muscle is short of blood. So there's

atherosclerotic lesion in a coronary artery, or maybe more than one, and it's restricting the amount

of blood that goes to the heart muscle, and that's seen as pain by the body.

Now there's two types of angina. There's stable angina and unstable angina. Stable angina comes on

when you exercise, and if you rest, it stops. So you know when it's going to come and when it's going

to go away. Unstable angina's different. It can come on at any time, day or night. And if you rest, it

may not go away.

I have AF and tachycardia with pulmonary hypertension I get them because my heart can go so fast and out of sync it does not get the oxygen needed to make it pump properly which in turn lowers my oxygen intake to the heart muscle. So in layman's terms it cramps.

I would certainly speak to your GP but it might well be a pulled muscle.

BE Well


the pains i get feels deep inside and its a deep ache and feels like someone is squeezing my upper chest and under my arms then it goes up one side of my neck and happens when im laying down or sitting and a heart echo shows nothing wrong

by the way...does it ease with warmth i would know it can last for a few seconds or a few minutes and it hurts so much i dont move

Ok I am not a doc but it may be similar to me I have a 12.2% drop in lung function when flat or near flat. also lift your arms up in the air ( when no pain there) Do you seem to be shorter in breath? I have also have a paralysed Diaphragm which does not help. It could even be reflux? and the oesophagus is spasminging

im always shorter in breath when i lift my arms i thought that was just part of the illness

Yes i notice this particular in the shower washing my hair when Im exacerbating. I think this's why we do the swivelling exercise holding up the broom handle in PR. Need to keep upper body muscles in arms conditioned - best from the bra-less one :(

I just thought coughing can bring on a hiatus hernia I have one of them too.

if you try and breath from the tummy while doing it it should ease.

I used to do this and then I saw a physiotherapist who taught me how to breathe properly like I did as a baby. Its an involuntary gasp as your lungs don't think they are getting enough air. Its a difficult habit to get out of but once I carried on practising with the breathing then I grew out of it. You probably don't need the extra breath - your body just thinks it does.

Good luck

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