Posted by: Louise | 2019/05/12


Is this asthma?

Hi, I am a 49 year old female going through menopause. The only medication I take is HRT patches. For about 6 months, I have been experiencing episodes of feeling I am going to suffocate. These can last from 1 hour or longer. They wear off on their own, or if I distract my mind enough but this isn't always possible as I feel so scared when they happen. The strange thing is I don't struggle to breathe...its a feeling my body has run out of oxygen. There is no change to my pulse or chest tightness. I don't wheeze or have any kind of cough. I regularly work out and don't experience these episodes. They mostly occur in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings. I can feel them coming on. I have had a chest x ray, ECG, lung function test and bloods, all of which have been normal. There seems to be no rhyme or reason or trigger....only the morning episodes and hormonal fluctuations, as I had a bad day recently only to start my period the next day (the HRT has starred my menstrual cycle up again). The last time I felt this I inhaled 1 puff of Ventolin and felt better. My breathing rate always 12 to 16. Does this sound like asthma or something else?

Expert's Reply


Asthma Expert
- 2019/05/14

No, this does not sound like asthma. However, it does sound like you have dysfunctional breathing. You need to see a lung specialist in conjunction with a good respiratory physiotherapist.

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