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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Are there different kinds of breathlessness?

05/02/2008

Question:

Why is it that I am breathless when I am speaking or even sometimes eating and yet I can swim walk climb stairs etc without being so. I have recently been diagnosed as having COPD and it is all new to me, I don`t understand why I have no wheeze or cough or anthing else that I can relate to it. Looking forward to a reply

Answer:

If you are not short of breath with more strenuous activity, like swimming or climbing stairs, it suggests that the trouble you are having with speaking or eating is not secondary to COPD. You might have vocal cord dysfunction or issues with gastric acid aspiration as an explanation for shortness of breath while speaking or eating. You might want to discuss this further with your doctor.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University

Phillip T Diaz, MD Phillip T Diaz, MD
Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University