This woman’s labored breathing alarmed her friends. Doctors were startled to find the cause
During a routine appointment in July 2011, 40-year-old Dianne Hull’s primary-care doctor remarked that she seemed slightly short of breath. The doctor did not detect wheezing. He suggested using inhalers and an antihistamine before exercising. She tried the medicines but noticed no difference. She did not smoke. She swam regularly and noticed that increasingly she felt winded even when she exerted herself only mildly. In July 2012, a chest X-ray and lung function tests were normal. Several months later, her breathing had worsened dramatically. She cleared her throat continuously, coughed frequently and struggled through exercise classes; her breathing sounded like a high-pitched whistle. Her primary-care doctor told her she had stridor, an abnormal high-pitched sound that typically indicates a partially blocked airway. The doctor suggested allergy testing. The allergist agreed that something was seriously wrong with her breathing and sent her down the hall for another round of lung function tests, which were normal. Can you tell what was causing this condition?
Option 1: Exercise-induced asthma
Option 2: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Option 3: Subglottic tracheal stenosis
Option 4: Paradoxical vocal cords