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Having trouble breathing at times.

Every now and then the past few days it feels like my left lung is being knotted and it hurts to breathe regularly. If I breathe small breathes then it doesn't hurt, but if I try and breathe deeply then it hurts. I've found that if I try to breathe in deeply and quickly, the tension pops kind of and I can breathe regularly again. Please help.

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I get those sometimes. Those are like little "pinches" you get between your ribs, they hurt when you breathe deeply and go away after a while, I'm not sure what they are called though or even what causes them. Sorry I couldn't be of more help.

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go to a doctor

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to be on the safe side, see a doctor

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You could have fluid in your lung. Or your lung is constricted because of an infection. You may have a little COPD in that lung. There are so many things, but the fact that you have to breathe shallow means you will not get enough oxygen into your bloodstream, causing your other organs not to receive the oxygen they need to function properly . If it's that distressing, go to the ER. Breathing problems also cause heart problems because the proper heartbeat of the heart can be affected. But since you said it hurts when you breathe deeply, that is a warning sign from your body that it needs help. Get to doctor please!

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I'm going to the doctors after Christmas, but what are the chances that it's pneumonia? My mom died from double pneumonia a few years ago.
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I don't know about it being pneumonia . There is a very resistant strain of it that your mother must have had, the one that the actress Elizabeth Taylor had, and you would know by now if you had that because it causes a real high fever. You wouldn't be able to talk or move if you had that strain. Your doctor will have you on medicine and rest until the rattle is cleared up. He will do x-rays (well he should) and if there is fluid it will show up. Then there is a test to see if it's bacterial or something environmental (like breathing in cleaning products while doing housework) and then will make his decision for treatment from there. If it is something else besides fluid, like adult onset asthma, he can tell that too. Just tell him every single symptom (write them all down) that you can think of-write them down daily before your doctor visit.
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