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Dr Uzair
Dr Uzair, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 7342
Experience:  MBBS, FCPS (R) General Surgery. Years of experience in Emergency Medicine.
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. Over Xmas this year I experienced some episodes of breathlessness

Resolved Question:

Hi.
Over Xmas this year I experienced some episodes of breathlessness whilst at rest,it ceased when active. It's hard to describe,sometimes if felt like a sensation of not being able to breath enough and I even thought I was imagining it.
I visited a consultant to get checked out as also noticed funny feeling at back of my throat. I had a chest X-ray and was clear.
I recently read about COPD and am worried it could be this? Are my spy tons common for this?
Thanks
Carolyn
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Uzair replied 2 years ago.
Dr Uzair :

Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I shall try my best to assist you while you are corresponding with me.

Dr Uzair :

Do you smoke?

Dr Uzair :

Please enter chat and use reply to respond and interact.

Customer: Hi yes over the years mostly socially and gave up 6 months ago
Dr Uzair :

Alright. Do you have any cough or sputum/phlegm?

Customer: No until 2 days ago when I got a cold - sore eyes,runny nose and cough,no phlem
Dr Uzair :

What type of Consultant did you see?

Customer: One that deal with stomachs - bupa consultant
Dr Uzair :

Alright. This does not sound like COPD.

Dr Uzair :

COPD does not present suddenly with shortness of breath and it does not present without a productive cough, wheezing and phlegm/sputum.

Dr Uzair :

The shortness of breath too, is insidious at first, occurring on exertion rather than being on rest.

Dr Uzair :

There should be a strong history of smoking or occupational exposure.

Customer: My breathlessness at rest doesn't? Would there be other symptoms for COPD?
Customer: Sorry just read the rest of your message.
Dr Uzair :

Okay.

Dr Uzair :

A chest x ray shows pathognomic features of COPD, if yours was normal, then that further rules out COPD as well as other chest conditions that might cause shortness of breath.

Dr Uzair :

I would however advise that you get an EKG and a stress EKG done next time you visit your GP.

Customer: Thanks.last question. Over Xmas no cough but last two days noticed slight breathlessness with cough.
Dr Uzair :

This could be due to the cold that you have. Steam nebulizations with menthol thrice a day should help.

Dr Uzair :

Stress and anxiety can also cause shortness of breath without any other symptoms, so try to avoid that.

Customer: Thanks what is EKG for? Is it the same as PFT?
Dr Uzair :

No, its just precautionary to check how your heart is doing.

Dr Uzair :

Its always better to get an EKG done whenever there is chest pain or shortness of breath.

Customer: thanks,you've been very helpful. To occlude you would expect breathlessness whilst active with a cough if COPD? Not what I described? Sorry for so many questions.
Dr Uzair :

Yes, you are right. Cough with chest tightness, shortness of breath, sputum with cough and a lot of it, a history of exposure to an irritant like smoke, x ray changes, body habitus changes all are required to diagnose COPD.

Dr Uzair :

Simply having shortness of breath at one occasion does is not COPD.

Customer: We'll have had it more than once over Xmas then stopped for 2 months then just noticed 2 dats ago.tighness of chest when I breathe in to maximum it does feel tight so not sure if that is the care.would it be tight without breathing in?
Dr Uzair :

In COPD it usually takes longer to breathe out than to breathe in.

Dr Uzair :

The best way to rule out COPD is to get a spirometery or PFTs done.

Dr Uzair :

But in your case, it does not look as if you have COPD from the history.

Dr Uzair :

If you twist my arm, then I might ask you to get PFTs done. But you do not have symptoms sufficient enough to warrant that.

Customer: Ok brilliant. I am a worrier so I will ask GP for tests. Would you say the breathlessness at rest would be a later symptom of the disease and if the case showed in X-ray?
Dr Uzair :

Breathlessness at rest is a symptom of advanced disease, by the time one has this symptom, COPD has been diagnosed, there are body changes and x ray shows a barrel shaped hyper inflated chest with air bronchograms.

Customer: Thank you last point I assume the chest x ray would have picked out if this case as we didn't discuss COPD?
Dr Uzair :

Yes, it would have in this scenario.

Dr Uzair :

And it has been a pleasure assisting you. :)

Customer: Many thanks again.Im so glad I contacted you.can early COPD be managed if diagnosed?
Dr Uzair :

Yes, the progression can be halted and the prognosis is very good.

Customer: Thanks again! So hopefully wouldn't die early?
Dr Uzair :

Haha, not at all. You don't have COPD.

Dr Uzair :

Please do leave a positive rating for the service. I would appreciate if you leave a bonus for me.
Best wishes and take care.

Customer: Sure will do. Carolyn
Dr Uzair :

Thank you, Carolyn.

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