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Breathing Difficulties and Edema



I am 21 years old and for about the last 4 weeks, I have had reoccuring problems where I feel like the back of my throat is swelling shut and I can`t breathe. It happens mainly at night, but it is now starting to occur when I eat. I feel like I can`t swallow my food without choking. I can`t sleep at night because I am focusing on the fact that i can`t breathe. I gasp for air and have trouble swallowing. I feel like there is something in my throat blocking the air and I start to panic making it harder to breathe. I do not have acid reflux, I do not have asthma. What could be causing this? Please help, this is destroying my life!


You may be experiencing edema of your voicebox or lower breathing tube. Since this is persistent and getting worse, you should consult your physician ASAP so he can arrange ways to make the proper diagnosis and thus prevent these episodes.

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Go to the Asthma health topic, where you can:

Response by:

I Leonard Bernstein, MD I Leonard Bernstein, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati