Hi can anybody help Afew days ago I was out and couldn't catch my breath like I was gasping for Afew days I felt totally drained and soon as I left my bed became breathless again I was given antibiotics yesterday doxycycline 50ml I'm still breathless I have to sit down for at least an hour before I can take a full breath i have never had this problem before a week ago and always exercise when I can I have no other symptoms just lung hurts somtimes on my back if I walk about I become really breathless and my heart starts to pound and feel light headed I was wondering if any body els has experienced this? And how long before you felt better or what it is

37 Replies

  • Hi and welcome. I'm no expert but you'll need to give the antibiotics time to work, in the mean time have you tried pursed lip breathing? Breathe in through your nose, purse your lips and breathe out, it helps me when I'm short of breath. you can check out breathing exercises on you tube :)

    Be patient, rest and drink lots of fluids and take care xxx

  • Hi yes I have also tryed that I did notice today I become very panicky that I could not breath even small breaths was just not doing anything to help and I've then got to just sit or go upstairs to lie down straight away and around 30 mins later I can take a refreshing breath even just walking upstairs is taking most of my energy I am 26 years old is it possible to have a chests onfection with no other symptoms ?

    Thank you for replying

  • My experience says yes. I usually get tight chest and short of breath, no cold or anything like that. oh and wheezy!. I have also tried a small hand fan in front of my face which seems to help to get the air in but my nurse isn't too keen on that but..........

    If you try leaning forward a bit it can help too.

    When you are really gasping it can lead to panic which is where the breathing exercises helps. Just slow you r breathing down and it will come under control quicker. I know it's horrible feeling like this but keep calm slow down and rest.

    Some of the others will be along soon who have more experience and may have some suggestions for you.

  • Yes that's exactly what I do always have the fan on or if I do need a deep breath leaning forward does help ravour than lieing down I've noticed also when I'm asleep I breath fine and in a morning for around 2 hours then it hits me again x

  • I could have wrote this diesel===been to dr? Im so tired of it--5 monhts now--don't want to leave the house--ruining my life--Im seein dr this week--MmeT

  • hi Micky--sounds like me but I smoked for decades and quit 8 mos ago--I breathe little shallow breaths and if I have to exert and take bigger ones--I panic and makes it all worse-im tired all the time--hemoglobin consistently high but not enough getting to lungs---Go get checked is my advice--if you have lungs it don't matter what age you are--maybe just a passing thing but then you can relax=-===you need an inhaler===MmeT

  • Hi you think stopping would help I did stop myself and it did help after 3 days after stopping smoking I'm hoping they know what it is to get it sorted ASAP as I can't really rest with having 2 small children so the only time is really when I get into bed I constantly have to sit down to catch my breath it also makes me panic aswell I have been putting vics on ever nice also having a fam blowing air at you also helps x

  • yes I thought quitting smoking would be the road to freedom--ive felt awful 8 months now--3 months after I quit the breathing and panic started and I also developed a gnawing in my gut that forces me to eat--and so im fat and cant breathe=-=I don't expect much mercy from dr--they don't understand how deadly this drug is--I live in bed a lot--don't want to go anyplace very long--between starving and gasping or panicking my life is at a standstill-it has to be hard with children--I find myself resenting the cat when I have to move--ive got to find out what is going on--this is going to kill me as sure as cigarettes-I just keep thinking today is the day it will lift--no luck yet-hang in there -Mmet

  • Yes I'm completely the same I keep thinking if I have a good rest tonight to will be better tomorrow but when I wake up I feel okay for around 1 hour then it starts again its so draining when you are unable to catch your breath and you know you have to move even just walking around or getting out of bed is hard enough and draining but have to also walk to do school run and shopping ect and this also makes me panic I'm hoping the doctors can work their magic I did feel better than I was as I was really gasping for breath at one point and though I would have to ring an ambulance even though I was sat doing nothing and I couldn't even reach the phone so just curled up and tryed to sleep it off I shall let you know how I get on tomorrow when I do take a deep breath I can feel wheezing at the end of it? X

  • ive got the wheezing too---isnt is awful?????Please let me know-I would be thrilled if this is an infection and nor copd MmeT

  • Please check with ur pulmunolist

  • maybe im just sick with something--hmmm

  • What you're describing all sounds like symptoms of a chest infection, including the pain in your back (it's one of my 'tells'). Diesel's advice is good. Give the antibiotics a chance to have an effect. Are you able to take it easy for a while until they've had time to work? Try to relax and not worry and get anxious (easier said than done I know) as that could cause the light headedness and pounding heart you're feeling.

    Definitely don't panic. We've all been there. And we're here if you need to ask more questions.

    Usually I'd hope that antibiotics would work within a few days and I'd be back to normal once I'd finished the course. Hope this is the case for you and you're feeling much better soon. Jan :-)

  • Thank you I hope so I can't really rest as I have 2 small children one 4 and 1 5month so the rest I get is only from sleeping I feel awful I'm not able to get them out and about at the moment i hope it gets better soon I'm currently drinking hot water and garlic to see if that also helps as I'm scared of a serious illness how long would chest infections last it made me worried as I asked in Google and it stated I would feel better 24-48 goes later and tomorrow this would have been a week :( xx

  • You have got your hands full. I'm sure you don't get much rest with 2 such young ones, but grab what you can. Don't worry about not getting out with them while you're unwell. There'll be plenty of opportunities when you're better.

    In my experience Google's 24-48 hours is a bit ambitious. I find it's usually 2-3 days depending on how bad the infection is. If you are not feeling an improvement after a week, I'd go back to your GP. Sometimes we do need 2 weeks of Abs, or even a different one. Have you been able to give a sputum sample so that it can be tested against the antibiotic? It's a good idea if you can.

    Keep us posted. Jan

  • No nothing like that I just told him my symptoms and he give me them as I'm allergic to penicillin yes I've been dragging myself out of bed as i do have mum duties but soon as they are in bed I try to relax hopefully they will start to kick in soon x

  • I hope you get some relief from your breathlessness soon. Have you explained to your doctor how breathless you are ? I think you've had some good advice here about controlling your breathing and it does sound like panic symptoms could be making it worse. It can't be easy for you to cope with this while looking after two young children. Have you got any family who could help you out ?

  • No just me I really hope they start to work soon fingers crossed will keep you all informed garlic and hot water has give some relief x

  • Micky sounds like you have bronchitis or walking pneumonia--Get to Dr dear MmeT

  • Hi this just sounds like a bad chest infection rather than a lung illness. Keep taking the ab's and you should be back to normal very soon.

  • Hi, if you feel no better this morning I would ring your GPs practice and explain that you are still breathless and in pain.

    It is a Friday so best to see someone before the weekend.

    The BLF have a helpline too.

    I guess today is the third day on Doxycline ....are you coughing up anything?

    Take care.

  • Hi yes will s how it goes today if no better then I'm going to go to the hospital instead not coughing up anything I noticed there's a slight change when I do cough though but no other symptoms only lungs x

  • Hi Mickyp12345 i had a viral lung infection last year and your symptoms sound like mine at that time, it took two lots of antibiotics to clear it and it was a month before i felt better . some of your symptoms sound like anxiety or panic attacks which i suffer with all to often . As you have been told see the doctor today even if its just to put your mind at rest hope your feeling better soon take care x

  • Yes I do also suffer with anxiety myself but never interacted with my breathing I do believe it is a lung infection or a chest infection I hope it goes away as I'm looseing the will to live now I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy will keep you all informed X

  • pneumonia can make you feel like dying--it isn't all coughing etc like people think--it is sob--super tired and flat emotionally==Truly one of worst things ive ever had--just so not myself--MmeT

  • Please don't consult Dr Google. Things you find there will scare you to death... so very negative and frightening!! If you have a chest/lung infection, antibiotics and steroids should shift it. You may need two sets, if the infection has really caught hold. I think that many of us here have thought as you do, but we pick ourselves up and carry on. You have excellent reasons for doing the same. Hang in there and let the meds do their job.


  • Hello Mickyp, and nice to meet you.

    It does sound like you may have had a chest infection that is being made worse by anxiety. The pounding heart and lightheadedness can be classic symptoms, and very unpleasant too. You mention that you are OK when asleep and for a couple of hours when you get up...and that seems to be when your breathlessness kicks in...which is a little unusual for something serious to be going on.

    Hopefully the antiBs will help any infection soon and if you are still feeling breathless after the course I am sure your GP will be able to offer further help.

    All the best

    Tee x

  • You did not say if you are diagnosed with a certain lung disease like COPD? When you are ready to get a COPD exacerbation, it is usually from a lung infection and will feel this way. A lot of COPD patients and others have anxiety and panic attacks and some take meds for that such as Xanex. It makes it easier to breathe when you are not anxious.

    Any time I had to go into the hospital with an exacerbation, I had to be on oxygen for 2 months. Have you ever been on oxygen, yet?

    You sound so bad for only being 26 years old. (I am 68). Have you been under a doctors care for this for a while? I know lots of questions but trying to understand your situation. Hope you get help before the weekend! Hang in there with the 4-7-8 exercise where you quickly breathe in to the count of 4. Hold to the count of 7. Then breathe out to the count of 8. Use the pierced-lip breathing in-between.

  • Winded do you have copd? MmeT

  • madametobacco49

    Yes I have COPD.

  • I quit smoking after 53 years and month 3 all hell broke loose--now 8 months--I did find an old cat scan record that said I had emphysema--and attektasis/lung scarring--that was2 2003--the denial never ceases to amaze me-- I didn't believe them--sooo--im kind of expecting it-cause I been dxed that time and another-I had a test in a glass booth--blowing out real hard but passed that 8 months ago--but this one test isn't conclusive is it?? im so tired of saying I cant breath-I take -little short shallow breaths--I wheeze alot--and am tired--im brokenhearted that I was dumb enough to smoke that long and think id get away with it and if I have it my life is going to change drastically--it already is MmeT

  • Yes, I, too, thought they must be wrong when they first told me I had Emphysema because I could do everything....but that was 20? years ago? (1995 I think)

    Then, after I had my first exacerbation a few years ago, I was so scared. I actually was using an Ultrasonic Humidifier for 2 months and was putting a gallon of tap water into it daily and it was giving off a fine white dust that I breathed in those two months....The fine white dust was on the TV screen and PC Monitor every day. I thought it was from the remodeling I was having done! It was the Humidifier turning the minerals in the tap water into this dust! A humidifier I used to help my breathing.....I kept getting symptoms like the flu constantly and my doctor did not know what was wrong with me.

    That is what really done my lungs in. And, they never did get back to how they were, again. I did smoke but this dust is what did me in overnight. I could not tell it was coming from the Humidifier. Dammit!

    I would give anything to be able to re-live the last 10 years so I could do them over. The right way!

    I feel sorry for those that live in the UK as from what I get, coming to this site, is that country has bad air as it is. They actually have warnings. I do not have that in the States.

    I swore I would NOT stay on oxygen. And, I won't. There is no good in the quality of life I would have. If I had my husband still with me, that would be different. Or, if I had doting children that cared about me. But I don't. My husband died at 40 from a heart attack while he was sleeping at night after he had quit smoking 30 days earlier, too! I've been a widow for a long time. Now, no sense trying to find someone because who wants to saddle their self with someone in my condition?

    If my kids would visit or call or care, I know for a fact, that I would live longer.

    Seems all I do every day is take care of myself. Worry about myself. Worry about what's ahead. Worry about getting chores done here I can't do. I put an ad in the paper and got most of the work hired out and done. What a relief.

    I better go.........

  • hI again Winded=well I could have written your letter--3 daughters==only one cares and she is 1500 miles away-Im in US too-in South Dakota==her in Arizona==Id like to move there-I live alone--with my cat and I worry way to much with no one to talk to----I don't trust the drs here--Im terrified--what a terrible story about humidifier--that is really to bad--I feel the same as you about meeting someone--who would want me in this shape?/ Thay would have to be pretty screwed up too--but it gets so lonely--no one comes to visit--if they do it is goofballs in apt complex--ugh--If my kids only knew how important they are to my well being--maybe that's what scares them,,,who ever thought we would get old and end up sick?/ well they sure didn't and don't like it one bit=-I would never do to my mom what those two older ones have done--awful--and tho I think im ok my heart is broken--so what is the telling test on this copd--can you sometimes breath like I did in that booth and still have it?? I think its the cat scan---I got a bad feelin--I see the gradual change in me the last few years--everything is work now--even bending over-Please write again we seem to have some things in common--same age and in the states--xxx MmeT you can message me too

  • Hi , how are you doing now? Did antibiotics help? I've got very similar symptoms - chest tightness and severe shortness of breath which usually starts around 11-12 pm

    I've had it for 3 weeks or so , stuffy office makes it much worse , so I can only stay at home

    I am under asthma clinic but had lung function tests a few days ago and they are more or less the same as before , I wonder if it could be a chest infection - my lung consultant didn't bother to check. How do you know if you had a chest infection - did you have an xray?

  • Hi there the antibiotics did help I could feel myself getting a little better but I stopped them about a week ago and for the past 2 days I am getting worse again I have made another appointment to go and see the doctor again tomorrow will let you know what the outcome is I never had a chest X-ray the doctor just gave me antibiotics I've never suffered with asthma x

  • I quit smoking 8 months ago and have had this since month 3 progressively getting worse and keeping me home bound--I don't have to sit for an hour--but any exertion wears me out and makes me unable to breathe right--I cant fill or empty my lungs--I am being checked for copd next week--and it wouldnt surprise me- I have an old inhaler I got when I had the flu winter before last--it helps some--I thought this was going to go away--like they say you have to learn to rebreathe but Im seriosuly worried--I cant do the things I used to- oh and I wheeze like a teakettle sometimes--Good luck--MmeT

  • Hi mickey--I was a late bloomer on this symptom--I started 3 months into my quit----Now listen don't mess around--Take your antibiotics and if you don't feel better go to Dr--I did the panicy stuff too--I took shallow short breaths--But at 3 mos it just got so bad breath wise--I was struggling way to much--still I persisted in believing it was just a passing symptom and would pass--But last week I went to dr--and they immediately put me in hospital--I had 3 lbs of fluid on my lungs--No wonder breathing was a chore--This is not to scare you =-=-=just listen to your body--I finally realized at 8 months it was to long to be getting more breathless instead of better--Everyday Id hope it would get better--The thing is --it can be the heart from smoking too-That isn't stressed enough-I believed it was my lungs cuz I couldnt breath but my heart was not pumping oxygen to my lungs and whole body--This is a cautionary tale--This isn't a common occurrence but it does happen--more so I think to really long term smokers practically a lifer--Im at a loss myself why it appeared when I quit--I know I was getting short of breath smoking but nothing close to that--I want to paint you pictures of hearts and flowers on this quitting but Id be a liar--It is harder for some--longer for some and different for all--The point is take care of you--and realize this drug is not kids play--Go slowly--there is no hurry and be aware--I know that panic is awful--and a vicious cycle can start--Get a hold of me if you like--Im either on here or check every couple hours--Just keep going--and get them beautiful young lungs back to A-1-Promise me and my suffering will have been worth it and everyone else who has heart or lung disease from this demon... The jury still out on what all is wrong so I got a road ahead of me--Get clean--you do not want this -Hugs,MmeT

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