HomeAnswersGeneral Medicinechest congestionI am facing symptoms like chest tightness, shortness of breath and throat irritation. Please help.

I have chest tightness with shortness of breath and throat irritation. What is the problem?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Vinodhini J.

Published At May 28, 2020
Reviewed AtAugust 30, 2023

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am suffering from chest tightness and at times turns into pain. I feel like I am breathing into a tight chest with constricted chest wall muscles along with shortness of breath and throat tightness. The doctor said I have mild asthma and nothing he is giving me is working (Albuterol, Dulera, Oral Prednisone). I even tried Gerd therapy to see if it will help and it is not. I am suffering a lot. Please help. I have been tested for Coronavirus three times and it came back negative. My chest x-ray and echocardiogram has been normal as well.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Since when your suffering from chest tightness? Is it aggravating at night or early morning?

Possible causes are like:

1. Episodic asthma in which you may feel repeated episodes of chest tightness and breathing difficulty.

2. GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) in which lower esophageal sphincter lead to acid reflux which may enter into to larynx cause asthmatic episode.

3. Diffuse esophageal spasm: This is esophageal motility disorder that lead to painful spasm of esophageal musculature. On barium swallow it appears as a string of beads.

4. Panic attacks lead to chest wall muscle tightness regarding this attack.

5. Postnasal discharge.

6. Neuromuscular disorders, etc.

Until examination is done it is difficult to say what it is. So please get it done spirometry, 24-hour pH monitoring, esophageal manometry may useful, serum IgE levels, barium swallow chest x-ray, and absolute eosinophil count. Avoid spicy food at night, elevate the head end of the bed. In case of allergic asthma use tablet Montelukast and Levocetirizine once a day (night) may be useful.

Use tablet Deriphylline (Etofylline + Theophylline) twice a day for five days. Avoid allergens that trigger the episode. Common allergens like household dust, molds, mites, and pollen. If no improvement please consult with your physician or Pulmonologist he will examine and treat you accordingly.

Patient's Query

Thank you doctor,

I sleep on my stomach to help provide me relief but they occur throughout the day. I have been suffering with this for almost three weeks but it is not getting any better. Every time I go to the emergency room they do chest x-ray and EKG and cardiac enzyme and say it is not life-threatening and send me home. What kind of neuromuscular disorders and how are those tested for? What does the 24-hour ph monitoring diagnose and is that urine or blood test? Do I need to be hospitalized for that kind of testing?


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

24-hour pH monitoring is nothing but esophageal pH monitoring through a sensor inserted through the nose. Yes, you may need to stay for one day at the hospital.

NM disorders like muscular dystrophy, myasthenia gravis, Lambert Eaton syndrome, and Charcot Marie disease, etc. In this disorder respiratory muscle dysfunction lead to breathing difficulty. To diagnose the disorder I need proper history and examination. Investigations like muscle biopsy, serum CPK levels, nerve stimulation test, etc.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Penchilaprasad Kandikattu
Dr. Penchilaprasad Kandikattu

Internal Medicine

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