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Thread: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

  1. #1
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    Mar 2020
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    Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Hi everyone,
    For about a month now I've been struggling with a breathing issue that's very hard to describe. I'm aware that panic attacks can lead to a temporary feeling of shortness of breath but I've had some ongoing problems:

    - A sensation that even though I am breathing- the breaths feel weak and unsatisfying, almost like I'm not taking in enough oxygen or something
    - A continual air hunger type feeling which is very uncomfortable
    - Feeling lightheaded and dizzy
    - Breathing feels out of sync somehow; almost like I have to actively concentrate on breathing and sometimes if i stop it's like i forget to breath then i need to gasp
    - Sometimes feels like my throat is going to "close up"

    Sometimes this goes on non-stop, all day long. But the worst is night time - when i lay down. I'm convinced I'm suffocating and cannot sleep.

    I went to a doctor, about 2 weeks ago now - he put an oxymeter on my fingers and said it showed normal oxygen level, and listened to my lungs. I was given a peak flow meter to monitor this - and it's often showing up as normal.

    So I don't quite know what to make of this.... Could it be anxiety? Can anxiety really cause breathing to be impacted on an ongoing basis like this?

    Of course right now what I am worried is that I've had some strain of Covid-19 which has impaired my lungs and left me with ongoing breathing troubles which have not been picked up by the basic tests i had done.

    Would really appreciate if anyone else has suffered with this to share their story. Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2013
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Quote Originally Posted by anxious_dan View Post
    Could it be anxiety? Can anxiety really cause breathing to be impacted on an ongoing basis like this?
    READ THIS.

    Positive thoughts
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  3. #3
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    Apr 2018
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Hello, i have felt the exact same.. i also thought maybe i had a strain of covid but now... if i try and change my mindset i realise this does go for. a moment and then im concentrating back on breathing again and i almost feel asif its hard to breath, or like im tensing up and its makinng ne kind of hold my breath feeling. Although i feel alot better today from yesterday im still overwhelmed and anxious but im guessing its anxiety myself becasue i also dont have any other symptoms related to covid. Its just a all round crap time for everyone i suppose.. so your not alone.

    Hope you feel better soon

  4. #4
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Quote Originally Posted by xleax View Post
    Hello, i have felt the exact same.. i also thought maybe i had a strain of covid but now... if i try and change my mindset i realise this does go for. a moment and then im concentrating back on breathing again and i almost feel asif its hard to breath, or like im tensing up and its makinng ne kind of hold my breath feeling. Although i feel alot better today from yesterday im still overwhelmed and anxious but im guessing its anxiety myself becasue i also dont have any other symptoms related to covid. Its just a all round crap time for everyone i suppose.. so your not alone.

    Hope you feel better soon
    Thanks very much for your reply, and if I'm honest I feel a bit selfish for making the post because I know lots of people are going through a rough time right now not just me, and no doubt there are other posts about this same topic.

    The issue has just been particularly bad today as I did not sleep last night , and the entire day today I've had this suffocation type feeling, which is so so uncomfortable.
    I don't really have any other symptoms... no fast heart rate... no typical anxiety stuff. So who knows?

    I'm very sorry to hear you're going through this also! You're right it's an extremely difficult time and no doubt we're all suffering a lot of background stress.

  5. #5
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmanpa View Post
    READ THIS.

    Positive thoughts
    Thank you. Perhaps I should've checked out that page first. It's just a very frightening symptom and difficult to conceptualise it as anxiety I guess!

  6. #6
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    Apr 2018
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Do not feel selfish, regardless of how many others feel the same your feelings are stiol valid, your allowed to feel this way!!!
    Yesterday was the worst day ive had in a long time regarding the breathing feelings :( but i had a long soak with a boook and did some meditation/ breathing exercises and surprisingly i slept better then prior nights although not the best but nonetheless it was an inprovment, im still having difficulty today myself but im just trying to get through it day by day and hope for the best, i havent felt this bad in a while and im hoping it goes. Feel free to message me if needed im on and off throughout the day/night anyway!

  7. #7

    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Iím
    Exactly the same ... feel like I canít get my top breath and then start panicking that Iím suffocating ... then breathing returns to normalish .. also think I may have had Covid although no other symptoms other than throat and chest feel dry but I think thatís from where I am gasping for breath

  8. #8
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    Mar 2020
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdragon View Post
    I’m
    Exactly the same ... feel like I can’t get my top breath and then start panicking that I’m suffocating ... then breathing returns to normalish .. also think I may have had Covid although no other symptoms other than throat and chest feel dry but I think that’s from where I am gasping for breath
    Sorry to hear this! I think the problem is with covid it's been on the news 24/7 now for months so we're all naturally very worried about it. I feel much the same as you - I went through a spell of having throat problems and also chest pain, so my worry is "What if i had covid, but it's now left me with lung problems".

    Out of interest - how long does your breathing problem last for would you say? Is it just a brief episode? Or are we talking hours here?
    For me it can last for many hours.

  9. #9
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    Apr 2018
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Wow I totally relate to some of this, feeling like breathing is ďunsatisfyingĒ/air hunger describes what I experience with my anxiety sometimes too.

    I totally get how frustrating and scary this can feel but I can 100% reassure you this can be a symptom of anxiety, Iíve experienced this long before COVID-19 was a thing and itís always happened when Iím tense/anxious or if I start to focus on my breathing too closely oftentimes when Iím able to distract myself the sensation will subside.

    Are there certain simple things you enjoy doing that might help to distract from the feeling? Maybe a game you enjoy or reading a chapter of a book before bed etc?

  10. #10
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    Re: Continual air hunger / breathing feels weird

    Quote Originally Posted by textsfromthemoon View Post
    Wow I totally relate to some of this, feeling like breathing is “unsatisfying”/air hunger describes what I experience with my anxiety sometimes too.

    I totally get how frustrating and scary this can feel but I can 100% reassure you this can be a symptom of anxiety, I’ve experienced this long before COVID-19 was a thing and it’s always happened when I’m tense/anxious or if I start to focus on my breathing too closely oftentimes when I’m able to distract myself the sensation will subside.

    Are there certain simple things you enjoy doing that might help to distract from the feeling? Maybe a game you enjoy or reading a chapter of a book before bed etc?
    Thanks for your re-assurances! And I'm sorry to hear you've had similar problems.

    The thing which has made this breathing issue unique is that for years now the answer to anxiety has been "Controlled breathing" - and yet unfortunately, with this particular symptom, I found that attempting controlled breathing made the problem significantly worse (I would start feeling dizzy and faint).

    Now some might wonder if I wasn't doing the controlled breathing properly, but honestly the more I focus on consciously breathing- the worse it gets, to a point where I start feeling like I'm suffocating.

    The only thing that's helped, honestly, is just trying to stay as distracted as possible. And even then I can sometimes feel it.

    It's gone away for the most part over the past few days. So let's just hope that the "coming and going" of the symptom is actually positive, meaning hopefully it's more likely anxiety than some kind of underlying lung condition. Also it's unaffected by exercise - ie. it doesn't get worse from exercise... so perhaps as you say, this is just a horrible anxiety symptom.

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