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Respiratory Therapist/Breathing difficulty in teens


Ok so I have been to several doctors now and they say it is nothin to be concerned about, why? Because I showed them my X-ray of my chest which showed nothing out of the ordinary. It was taken last May 2014. It was when I had an acid reflux and my breath began to short out. At first it was regarded as an effect of heartburn associated with my reflux but then it continued for months up until now.

If you ask me what I do well for one, I lift weights which leads me to a guess that this might be the cause. Truth be told, I do not know how to PROPERLY lift. Another is that my school bag is so heavy because its filled with books. (I had a traumatizing experience with a locker and lets not talk about that now) I walk home from school carrying those heavy books.
Also I have anxiety which just exacerbates the condition amd not be the cause.

I feel fine, even with this breathing problem, I can perform well. I can walk/run distances, I joined a speech choir, I went on a class trip, I went to a robotics contest and done physical activities and I have a large appetite. Maybe because I don't notice my breath under all the excitement.

So may I please know what I kind of disease do I have.
Is this asthma? COPD? Tuberculosis? Early lung cancer sign?

Hello Lanz,

Thank you for reaching out to me regarding your breathing problems! My first inclination is to say that I will not be able to tell you whether or not your physicians are right or wrong, because I am not a physician myself and cannot claim to know more than them. I CAN however, tell you my opinion strictly based on what you have told me thus far, and it sounds to me like you may suffer from some sort of anxiety that exacerbates your breathing. This is fairly common in those with anxiety issues. If your xray was clear, odds are is is not TB/COPD/Cancer, etc. A good xray would give physicians an idea if any of these diseases are present. The acid reflux can certainly cause breathing issues as the acid in the back of the throat can reach as high as the trachea (wind pipe) and cause coughing fits, shortness of breath, etc. If you have an actual acid reflux diagnosis, I would recommend taking medications to keep that under control.

I sincerely hope this helps.


Larry, RRT

Respiratory Therapist

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Larry W. Wical, BA-RRT


I CAN answer: ALL questions and queries related to the following topics... - Oxygen - Asthma - COPD - Bronchitis - Emphysema - Pneumonia (Viral/Bacterial) - Tuberculosis (TB) - SARS - Influenza (Flu) - Vaccines - Pulmonary Embolism - Pleural Effusion - Atelectasis - Inhalation injuries (burns, chemicals, etc.) - PFTs - Cardiovascular health - Sleep Apnea - BiPap/CPAP - Ventilators ("Respirators") - Aspiration injuries - Thoracic injuries - Lung contusions - Tracheal injuries - Artificial Tracheostomy - Secretions - Prolotherapy/Regenerative Injection Therapy (RIT): A patient's experience/perspective - General health and fitness I CANNOT answer: Questions that vary too far from my primary scope of pulmonary and cardiovascular care and fitness. I promise to be open and honest about my knowledge of submitted topics, and will always openly provide my personal as well as professional feedback as it relates.


Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT, RCP) since 2005. I have worked primarily in the acute care, critical care, burn care and home care settings.

NBRC - National Board of Respiratory Care AARC - American Association of Respiratory Care

-All About Kids Magazine -The Clermont Sun -Cincy Sports & Fitness Magazine -Many online Fitness and Health blogs and "webazines"

- B.A. in Communication (1997) - A.A.S. in Respiratory Science (2005) - RRT license (state of OH, KY and IN) - Basic Life Saving (BLS) - Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support (ACLS) - Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS)

Past/Present Clients
Currently work in the city's largest academic/research hospital.

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