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Asthma and chest tightness
thjay posted:

I am a 35 year old female. I have been an asthmatic for 15 years now and i have well controlled it using inhalers twice a day. I have been using Advair 250/50 twice a day for past 3 years. Earlier i was using the same medication and dosage in the inhaler form. I am also doing breathing exercise (yoga) atleast 5 times a week. My breathing feels a lot better with yoga. But i feel my chest tightness has not improved over the years. I was hoping that breathing exercises may help to release tightness in the chest. Does anyone have any suggestions or remedies for this? Am I missing anything?
cmcjcc2468 responded:
I am a 15 year old with severe asthma (being hospitalized multiple times a year, and out of school) and i agree yoga is the bomb! but when i am feeling tight, i use exercises that make sure my vocal folds arent contributing. Sometimes your vocal cords dont stay open as you are trying to breathe making me either tight or wheezy.
When this happens, (i can now differentiate between asthma and vocal problems, but when i first learned i had this, it was very hard to tell.) I do these 3 exercises:
  1. Sniff 3 times (not little ones big obnoxious ones.)
  2. Take 5 deep breaths through pursed lips (like drinking a milk shake) and out through the nose
  3. Labored breathing, Take a breath, and then as exhaling go Puff Puff Puff (dont actually say puff, but break the exhale into 3 parts like you are in labor)

I usually find this helps if it is there. And if not, i then go for the nebulizer.

I hope this helps a little. Much luck!
abbymay16 responded:
If you are still experiencing chest tightness you may not be taking a high enough dose of the inhaler steroid. Advair comes in a 500/50 dosage. Might be time to talk with your doctor. Chest tightness is an indicator your asthma is not well controlled.

Vive Bene, Spesso L'Amore, Di Risata Molto (live well, love much, laugh often)
thjay replied to cmcjcc2468's response:
Thanks for your reply. It's interesting to know that vocal cords have play a role in asthma. I did not know about it. I will try the excersies that you suggested. I do practise labored breathing, for 20 counts each time and I also understand from my yoga teacher that it is very effective. I'm glad you suggested the same thing.

Nebulizer is a good alternative too. I have one at home. I probbaly should use it during winter times.
Gregory M Metz, MD responded:
Dear thjay, hope your breathing symptoms are doing better. I recommend that you visit your doctor to discuss your symptoms. If they are caused by asthma, then perhaps a medication adjustment is needed. Your doctor can also investigate other potential contributions. Vocal cord dynsfunction can mimick asthma as discussed below. Do you have acid reflux or heartburn symptoms? Are you taking any medications for heartburn? Do you get any relief from your rescue inhaler? Do you have post nasal drip?

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