Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I still experience shortness of breath over a year after recovering from Swine Flu?"
I am a 28 year old with a history of asthma. I smoked until I contrated Swine Flu, for which I was hospitalized for a week. I don't smoke anymore, but I still feel short of breath after very mild physical activity.
The fact that you are still having shortness of breath this long after overcoming a serious illness that required hospitalization suggests that you are in need of continued follow up with your physician. Hospitalization is a very difficult thing on the body, as remaining in the hospital bed all day, every day in and of itself can lead to significant muscle loss. This deconditioning that occurs can then compromise your recovery, and make you feel that you are not quite back to your normal self. In these cases, working with a physical therapist or personal trainer, after getting the ok from your primary care doctor, can help you to return to your pre-illness form and stamina. Other things that can cause you to feel short of breath are numerous, and include obstruction of your airway from scar tissue, although this is much less likely. Alternatively, other medical issues can also lead to shortness of breath. For that reason, you should speak to your primary care doctor about all of your symptoms and concerns, and develop a plan, possibly including further testing or increased physical activity/therapy, that will help you make sure there is nothing more causing your symptoms, and that you recover fully.
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