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Monday, April 21, 2014
I am a non-smoker, active, thin 53 year old woman. I have been diagnosed with pleurisy and bronchial pneumonia. After 3 months of various test and medicines, I am still experiencing the same symptoms I started with: tightness in chest, pains, shortness of breath, heavy breathing, light headed, shaking. It seems unlikely that I would still be recovering from pneumonia after 3 months. I have been on prednisone and a QVAR inhaler. I had bad side effects from both. Could I have asthma and if so, is there something I could take that I might be able to tolerate?
Asthma has many symptoms, and several of those you are experiencing certainly could be due to asthma but they could also be caused by several other diseases. Testing for possible asthma would include a CXR and pulmonary function testing which can be done by your primary care provider, or you could request to be seen by a pulmonary specialist.I would discuss your concerns with your primary care provider to determine the best next steps.
John G Mastronarde, MD
Clinical Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University