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Q. I wake up after sleeping with high heart rate and breathing problems. Is it normal?

Answered by
Dr. Vivek Chail
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 22, 2019

Hello doctor,

I nearly wake up every night two to three hours after I go to bed. Symptoms are high heart rate (150 to 170) and breathing problems. My heart has been diagnosed and today I got an X-ray of my lung. What I think is strange. I only wake up, when I lie on my right side. I never woke up with these symptoms, when I lay on the left body side. I got the X-ray CD, but the diagnosis I will get in a few days. Could you please diagnose the uploaded DICOM files?

Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiodiagnosis Radiology


Welcome to

I have viewed your X-ray images (attachment removed to protect patient identity). X-ray chest PA view and X-ray chest lateral view. The lung markings are mildly prominent and it can be a normal finding in many individuals and some people with hyperactive airways due to mild flu or if they are smokers. There is a small area of haziness in the left lower zone along the lower part of the left heart border in the PA view but no significant abnormality is visualized in the lateral view. Therefore this might be an artefactual appearance due to fat in the area.

There is no pleural effusion (no fluid in the chest cavity) and is a normal finding. The cardia is normal in size. Both the domes of the diaphragm are normal. The bones of the thoracic cage are normal. There is no serious abnormality in your chest X-ray.

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Hi doctor,

Thank you for your X-ray diagnosis. Do you have any clue what the arousals at night could be? I was also at a sleeping laboratory, where I had only two little apneas the whole night.

Dr. Vivek Chail

Radiodiagnosis Radiology


Welcome back to

Sleep apneas can be due to decreased air flow through the upper airway, in the nasopharynx area. I am not sure if you are having any condition which limits air entry in the nasopharynx area which is at the posterior of the nose and is continuing inferiorly to the oral cavity. You might like to discuss the above with your doctors.

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