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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 31155
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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On and off for the past four or five years I have suffered

Resolved Question:

On and off for the past four or five years I have suffered from sudden nocturnal awakenings. That is to say I will suddenly awaken, struggling to catch my breath, feeling as if I am suffocating or choking. The only way to remedy this is for me to sit up or stand up, after which the 'attack' will eventually end. I have noticed that this usually only occurs when I sleep with the window and door closed and the air feels heavy or thick. Sleeping with the window open, or with the door open and a fan to circulate the air out of the bedroom helps and can prevent this from happening. It's not something I've paid much attention to as it doesn't happen regularly and I can go months without experiencing it and then suddenly I can experience two or three nights in a row of this, sometimes it happens multiple times in the night. I also suffer from sleep paralysis which has the same trigger as the breathlessness, sometimes they are combined. I was just wondering whether this could be anything which may need further investigation or whether it is a normal part of going to sleep. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi. Have you seen a doctor about this and had a sleep study?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi, I haven't seen a doctor about this actually, I thought that it was probably just a normal reaction.

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Well Matt this sounds very much like a sleep apnea problem and the attacks can happen while you're asleep and never wake you up too. You may have had the problem for quite some time. The best way to see about it is to have a doctor order a sleep study test and have an evaluation with a sleep specialist.
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