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I have been experiencing a strange phenomenon for I'd say a year. What happens is when I turn my head to the side and keep it there for more than, say, ten seconds, I get a sensation like I'm not getting enough oxygen and find myself wanting to take deep breaths. I first noticed it because I had been given some stretching exercises to do for my neck, which was stiff and poorly aligned, according to my physiotherapist.  The physiotherapist had no idea why this symptom could be occurring, so I spoke to my doctor, who listened to my carotid arteries with a stethoscope and told me he heard no evidence of any kind of blockage. I have very good cholesterol levels and low/normal blood pressure, so there is no suspicion of any arterial problem. This happens much more when I turn my head to the right than when I turn it to the left.

My doctor did not think the sensation was anything to worry about, so I have been basically ignoring it, though it is annoying when you feel short of breath when your husband gives you a hug and your head has to turn sideways against his chest -- not to mention during stretching or yoga!

Last night, however, I started to feel this problem very distinctly as I was falling asleep if my head was dropping to the side on my pillow. Actually woke me up several times during the night, as well -- woke up with my head to the side and felt like I couldn't breath normally.

Another strange symptom I have -- which may or may not be related at all -- is that if I get overheated (very easy around here, as it is incredibly hot all summer long in this area), I start "hearing my blood", like a loud, squishing, heat-beat sound, in my right ear. That's been happening for a couple of years now. It also happened once when I had a bad head cold and I tilted my head down to read. Never had it happen other than heat-related other than that one time.

I would appreciate any insights on shortness of breath as my doctor says I'm perfectly fine and there is nothing to worry about. Well, this is not normal, so something is going on. I have no idea whatsoever what it could be -- hopefully, someone here will have an idea! Thank you.

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Hi there. I too get the same problem! I have very similar history to you. I have neck stiffness and pain and have started stretching exercises. I noticed when I stretch my neck to the left, I get out of breath. I checked my blood pressure and pulse and it appears my blood pressure elevates slightly and my pulse drops a bit when my head is turned. I am 38, healthy, active, not overweight, and do cardiovascular exercise 4 times a week. I have low cholesterol and low bp. I also have issues with my ears. Ringing, rushing sound and dizzines and vertigo. I've been dealing with the vertigo issues for 10 years now. Though I've had every test in the book, I've never found any answers until now. I finally found a doctor that has every confidence I have myofascial dysfunction. I have just started trigger point needle therapy and am seeing amazing results with my dizziness. I am going to ask him about this out of breath feeling tomorrow and see if he has any answers on that. I will let u know. Have you found any answers?

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Me too. When i put my head down I feel Like my breath stops. specially when i fall asleep, But I'm breathing!!
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Any answers from the doctor?
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I have the same problem during neck stretches when I pull my head toward my right shoulder - googled and found this thread. Would love to know if you had any ideas from your doctor. Will ask mine next visit.
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Hi All. I asked my ENT and he said it's likely coming from the stretching of my scalene muscles. Nothing to worry about. I didn't really get more of an explanation. He seemed like he hadn't really heard of it much. But I still have the issue. I think it has to do with the scalene muscles pressing against some of the major veins in the area myself. I've been doing neck stretching religiously for a couple months now and I feel like it has improved a little bit with the increase flexibility. But I can only hold a stretch to the left side for about 15 to 20 seconds before I get light headed and out of breath. Its the strangest thing!
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Wow, I've been quite worried because I get exactly the same symptoms. Physio gave me neck stretching exercises and it stated shortly after
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Research Thoracic outlet syndrome
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