Is Your Breathing Difficulty with Inhale, Exhale or Both?

The reason I'm asking this question: "Is Your Breathing Difficulty with Inhale, Exhale or Both?", is because online search I've done regarding asthma at some sources, states that with asthma the breathing difficulty is with "exhaling" not with inhaling.

Some sources also state that if difficulty comes with inhaling, it is likely as restrictive rather than obstructive lung problem. I'm not sure I agree and this doesn't come from my thinking I have as much knowledge as a medical pro (far from it) but I've seen people having asthma attacks who definitely had difficulty taking in breaths as well as with breathing out.

In my case I feel difficulty with both but more-so with one than the other, at different given times.

Which affects you?

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5 replies. Join the discussion

with me it's definitely worse on inhale. rarely do i have an exhale problem:)

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It just used to feel like someone had their hands around my neck 24/7 putting enough pressure so I'd feel as if I was breathing through a straw ,much better since my meds and thyroid out but still happens with reactions inhaling is worse

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Thank you both for your replies. I would say that my inhale is slightly worse during asthmatic spells as well. As far as my exhale; the trouble I have with it at times, is feeling like I can't fully get my lungs fully deflated after taking in a breath.

I've made this type remark before in forum posts but... I'm amazed at how a certain medical idea is latched onto and repeated on many online sources -- even the most reputable ones, that don't even make common sense. This is not actually a complaint because I'm thankful beyond words for med info sources but I see so many contradictions between them that it's sometimes disturbing and I don't just mean regarding asthma but also thyroid issues (I'm an autoimmune hypothyroid patient), among other health subjects.

Anyway, it would seem to me from a logical point of view that chest tightness/bronchospasm and mucous/chest congestion is going to obviously make both inhalation and exhalation difficult for people with asthma, especially the persistent type. The way some of the sources I elude-to above state it -- they say that if a person has problems with inhaling, this points to a restrictive lung problem, which includes fibrotic diseases. I can just imagine the number of people reading these statements and thinking "Oh my God, this isn't asthma after all (my doctor is wrong) it's a restrictive lung disease!" Don't get me wrong, I know there is definite truth to this symptom being indicative if restrictive lung disease but I think it's far from being excusive to it, which should be made clear by some of these info-sources.

It's funny that I immediately had a couple of fellow asthma patients reply, saying they have difficulty with inhaling because I knew that would be the case.

BTW: marcij, I have Hashimoto's thyroiditis but yours was likely Graves' disease, since you had thyroid removal. Still, I feel my thyroid is slightly enlarged and it feels very firm. I feel it's possible that removal of my gland would help with my breathing but getting a doctor to agree to removing it, is another story, with my not having difficult-to-treat hyperthyroidism but rather having hypothyroidism (underactive), that seems to be well-treated.

{Let me also add that I've seen souces state that "difficulty breathing when lying down flat (orthopnea), indicates heart failure in most cases (some say in 95%)" however, I've seen boocoos of posts on other forums by asthma patients saying they CAN'T lay down when their asthma is flaring -- which is also the case with me, unless I lay on my stomach. Some studies also show that things like GERD and thyroid goiter, can also cause orthopnea (tens of millions of people have these disorders).}

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Hi James63,
thank you for the post, I can certainly attest having both problems.
sometimes I find myself sitting up to sleep.. a real nuisance.
I'm still in the middle of an asthma flare are you doing ?

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Thank you for asking how my asthma is doing. Mine fluctuates alot from mild to fairly severe during this time of year. Mine also has a great deal of GERD involvement, so my fluctuations also have to do with my daily meals. I actually need to be on a very strict/bland diet and my asthma would likely improve a great deal. I hope your flare subsides for you soon!

Thanks also for replying to this symptom-question -- you're another asthma patient who has trouble breathing in the supine position. I actually found medical studies on this subject as well -- here's a quote from one of them:

"These observations suggest that the supine posture, in conjunction with the reduction in lung volume associated with sleep, may contribute to the nocturnal worsening of asthma." (American Thoracic Society)

I had a Dr. at another forum reply to me, saying that it was not typical for asthma to worsen or to flare with laying flat but I immediately was in-question with that reply because I believe the supine position can most definitely aggravate an asthma flare and maybe even contribute to triggering one.

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