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Doctor insights on: Unable To Breathe During Attacks Of Coughing

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My cough hasn't gone with antibiotics & inhalers. Leaves me unable to breathe. What is it?

My cough hasn't gone with antibiotics & inhalers. Leaves me unable to breathe. What is it?

Possibilities...: Possibilities include bronchospasm, which you are being treated for. Other possibilities include gerd, post-nasal drip or even a combination of factors. You should see your doctor again and perhaps add the treatment for one or both of these to see if your cough resolves and then meds can be taken away slowly to see if and when the cough recurs. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,596 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more


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What would happen if a regular size capsule pill went down into the airway? Would I just cough a lot or completely unable to breathe/talk?

What would happen if a regular size capsule pill went down into the airway? Would I just cough a lot or completely unable to breathe/talk?

Cough cough cough: The cough reflex is quite persistent and such an event would trigger a persistent and unremitting one. At some point, you might become exhausted pass out for a while. The pill could lodge in a smaller airway for a while, but the cough would return when you woke up. ...Read more

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My 7 mo girl is having cold and cough. She is unable to breathe easily due to nose block.?

My 7 mo girl is having cold and cough. She is unable to breathe easily due to nose block.?

Nasal irrigant: You can instill saline into the nose with a dropper or a rubber bulb and thereby attempt to relieve the congestion. On the other hand, since her difficulty breathing may be to other factors, the best thing to do is to let your pediatrician take a look at her. Hope she is better soon. ...Read more

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My son has a recurring lump in his throat. Sometimes it cause him to be unable to breathe. He bark coughs constantly and brings up thick white mucus.

My son has a recurring lump in his throat. Sometimes it cause him to be unable to breathe. He bark coughs constantly and brings up thick white mucus.

If he's school age,: It can be from medical causes like allergies/asthma, neurodevelopmental disorders with chronic vocal tics or primary mental health disorders with anxiety & globus pharyngeus with or without gastroesophageal reflux. See his pediatrician for a history & physical that will determine what studies & referrals he needs. ...Read more

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Wake up in the middle of the night unable to breathe. Can't get air in or out. Lasts a few seconds. Similar experience during the day. Heart or other?

Wake up in the middle of the night unable to breathe. Can't get air in or out. Lasts a few seconds. Similar experience during the day. Heart or other?

Not heart: Not being able to move air is not the same as shortness of breath. It you really have a problem getting air in or out this sounds like obstruction. Are you sure this is not shortness of breath rather than not being able to move air in and out ...Read more

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Strong palpitations and unable to breathe, dizzy, sweating, could this be a panic attack it lasted for five mins and was over?

Strong palpitations and unable to breathe, dizzy, sweating, could this be a panic attack it lasted for five mins and was over?

Yes: But could also be related to another heart conditions, depends on what causes the panic attack? Were you stressed? If yes then probably it is panic attack, if No, then you need to get checked by a cardiologist, as sleep apnea can sometimes exhaust and weaken the heart muscle. ...Read more

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Every so often I wake up in the middle of the night unable to breathe? It takes about ten seconds to return to normal again. It's scary. What is it?

Every so often I wake up in the middle of the night unable to breathe? It takes about ten seconds to return to normal again. It's scary. What is it?

Many things: Part of the differential in your case could include low blood sugar spells (especially on Lantus), heart arrythmia, reflux with spasm of the larynx, or even panic disorder (tho rare to occur only during sleep) ...Read more

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I wake up unable to breathe properly if I lay on my back, is this problem?

I wake up unable to breathe properly if I lay on my back, is this problem?

The inability to: Breathe is ALWAYS a problem especially if it wakens you and I would stringly recommend you consult your doctor TODAY or if unavailable head to the ED right now or call 911 ...Read more

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What is a breathing machine for? What could make someone unable to breathe on their own?

What is a breathing machine for? What could make someone unable to breathe on their own?

A ventilator: A ventilator assists In cases where someone is unable to breath effectively on their own, for any of a number of reasons, trauma, stroke, head injury, unconsciousness, emphysema, heart failure, pneumonia, major surgery, need for heavy sedation, severe infection (sepsis), drug overdose, spinal injury, rib fractures, neurologic conditions such as ALS or multiple sclerosis, there are many others ...Read more

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I am unable to breathe deeply because when I do my abdomen on my right side hurts. Not sure what to do. I have VA Insurance.

I am unable to breathe deeply because when I do my abdomen on my right side hurts. Not sure what to do. I have VA Insurance.

Cholecystitis: I would get it checked out immediately if the pain is that severe. My guess is this is related to your gallbladder, but it could be appendicitis, pneumonia, or a perforated ulcer. ...Read more

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My granddaughter, 16, is having spells of being unable to breathe... Once in class at school and once while cheering as a cheerleader.?

My granddaughter, 16, is having spells of being unable to breathe... Once in class at school and once while cheering as a cheerleader.?

Could be anxiety: Your granddaughter could be having anxiety attacks, but needs a general health checkup with her physician too. If all is well physically, then consultation with an adolescent psychiatrist could help her. There are helpful talk therapies and medicines too if these are needed. Good luck to you and your granddaughter. ...Read more

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Hi I'm 24 yrs. Sometimes hv too much sharp left side chest pain. I find myself unable to breathe & move when it happens. Daily 2 tyms face this problm?

Hi I'm 24 yrs. Sometimes hv too much sharp left side chest pain. I find myself unable to breathe & move when it happens. Daily 2 tyms face this problm?

Some ideas: Although you're on the younger side to be worried about a heart attack or angina, it might not be a bad idea still to see your doctor and have an EKG done to make sure your heart is ok. Otherwise it could be muscular pain in the chest wall, intercostal pain (pain of the cartilage between the ribs), or nerve pain.It'd be a good idea to have your doctor examine you thoroughly and take a full history ...Read more

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Actually my wife is experiencing breathing issues where she seems to be unable to breathe at the end of her seizures. What is happening?

Actually my wife is experiencing breathing issues where she seems to be unable to breathe at the end of her seizures. What is happening?

Seizure breathing: In a typical "grand mal" (generalized whole body convulsion) all of the muscle go into sustained contraction, which means, among other things, that the breathing muscles of your chest and rib cage no longer work. Thus a seizing patient is going without adequate oxygen during the period of contraction. When the contractions stop it is normal for the patient to be gasping as part of recovery. ...Read more

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I have a deviated septum. Sometimes, I am unable to breathe. I feel better after I use a spray. Should I opt for a surgery?

I have a deviated septum. Sometimes, I am unable to breathe. I feel better after I use a spray. Should I opt for a surgery?

Deviated septum: A deviated septum is not an uncommon problem. It can lead to nasal obstruction, snoring and even sinus issues. You only need surgery if you are having symptoms. If there are symptoms like nasal obstruction, snoring or recurrent sinusitis, have your nose evaluated by a board certified otolaryngologist. ...Read more

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What can we expect and what is life expectancy of someone on daily dialysis with pneumonia unable to breathe independently. Continual fluid in lungs.

What can we expect and what is life expectancy of someone on daily dialysis with pneumonia unable to breathe independently. Continual fluid in lungs.

Ask doctor...: The info provided is not enough to deduce life expectancy for patients requiring daily dialysis, which suggests the patient has fast fluid accumulation resulting from poor cardiac function on top of end-stage renal failure, together further decrease life expectancy. So, it is very poor - maybe a matter of weeks to 3-6 months unless some miraculous events happen. Best wishes... ...Read more

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I am frequently unable to breathe properly through my nose. I have tried allergy medications and using a netti pot twice a day. Time for an eent?

I am frequently unable to breathe properly through my nose. I have tried allergy medications and using a netti pot twice a day. Time for an eent?

Yes: The problem may have a medical solution, but there may also be an anatomical problem (such as a deviated septum). All the medicine and treatments won't work until the anatomy is functional and you have an open airway. ...Read more

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I wake up with my throat totally closed, unable to breathe any air in at all! I fight just to get a tiny bit, finally it passes. Why? Can you help?

I wake up with my throat totally closed, unable to breathe any air in at all! I fight just to get a tiny bit, finally it passes. Why? Can you help?

Reflux: Frequently there is an over active reflex protecting your throat that may be due to acid reflux, or a nerve sensitivity in your voice box. You need to be examined and have your throat and larynx looked at with a small scope in the office. ...Read more

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Can sinus or nose problem cause symptoms similar to chronic bronchitis? Excessive mucus n unable to breathe deeply?

Can sinus or nose problem cause symptoms similar to chronic bronchitis? Excessive mucus n unable to breathe deeply?

Possibly...: Sinus problems can lead to bronchospasm which can result in shortness of breath. You may cough mucous from post-nasal drip. The treatment, however, includes nasal sprays as well as inhalers to control the bronchospasm. See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. ...Read more

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Choking feeling while sleeping... Unable to breathe through nose suddenly?

Choking feeling while sleeping... Unable to breathe through nose suddenly?

Suddenly?: Sudden nasal congestion can be from a viral infection. If you have been developing choking in your sleep for a while with some nasal congestion and now your nose is completely blocked you may have nasal allergies and post nasal drip. Depending on the duration of your symptoms either see your primary or an allergist. ...Read more

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Pain in the right kidney area. When pain strikes, unable to breathe deeply (just as chest gas pain) did sonography reports clear. Is the pain coz of gas?

Pain in the right kidney area. When pain strikes, unable to breathe deeply (just as chest gas pain) did sonography reports clear. Is the pain coz of gas?

Hard to say: If the pain is from gas. You have to make sure you don't have kidney stones or urinary tract infection or cardiac or respiratory conditions causing the " chest pain." it could just be gas pain. Regardless, make appointment to see your doctor. ...Read more

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Just had a Septoplasty on 7/23 with Submucosal Resection, was able to breathe in through nostril 1 day post-op; as of 2 hours ago feels unable to breathe in through the nostrils at all. Is this a cause for concern?

Just had a Septoplasty on 7/23 with Submucosal Resection, was able to breathe in through nostril 1 day post-op; as of 2 hours ago feels unable to breathe in through the nostrils at all. Is this a cause for concern?

You must discus: This with your treating physician. Call, first thing in the morning. I'm sure you have had several days lately, when you couldn't breathe through your nose, with all the surgery and all. ...Read more

Unable To Breathe During Coughing Attacks (Definition)

Unable to breathe during coughing is a symptom meaning a person is coughing so frequently that he does not have enough time in between coughs to take a normal breath. Pertussis (whooping cough) can cause this type of coughing. RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) can cause this type of coughing ...Read more