pnigo-, pnig-, pnigmato-, pnigmat-

(Greek: choke, smother, suffocate; prevent breathing)

pnigeraphobia (nigh" uhr uh FOH bee uh), pnigerophobia (nigh" uhr uh FOH bee uh) (s) (noun); pnigeraphobias, pnigerophobias (pl)
1. An excessive fear of smothering or choking, especially during sleep: As a very young mother and suffering from pnigeraphobia, Barbara was frightened that her first baby would suffocate during the night, so she didn't let her baby slumber with a blanket, but in a very small blanket bag which didn't go over her head.
2. A pathologic fear of being smothered: Marie certainly didn't have pnigeraphobia because she let her cat sleep in her bed with her, and it slept right on her chest and sometimes across her neck!
pnigeraphobic (nigh" uhr FOH bik) (s) (noun), pnigeraphobics (pl)
Some pnigeraphobics feel that their air supply will be cut off when they are in a closed, crowded space; such as, when they are in an elevator in which they dread that there may not be enough air for everyone to breathe. Such individuals may also abhor having their faces covered with blankets, masks for anesthesia, or anything that they perceive which might interfere with their breathing.
pnigma (NIG muh) (s) (noun), pnigmas (pl)
Strangulation or a condition in which a person is choking.
pnigomortia (nigh" oh MOHR shia) (s) (noun), pnigomortias (pl)
Death by choking or the choking to death.
pnigophobia (nigh" oh FOH bee uh) (s) (noun), pnigophobias (pl)
1. Morbid fear of choking: Greg's father had an angina pectoris or a heart condition marked by a sudden uncontrollable attack of chest pain as a result of reduced oxygen to the heart, and Greg was terrified that he himself could suffer from pnigophobia.
2. An abnormal fear of suffocating: When Susan, afflicted by pnigophobia, had a bad cold and couldn't breathe through her nose, she used nose drops to make sure she wouldn't be short of air and would be able to breathe easily during the night.
3. Etymology: from Greek pnigos, "choking" + phobos, "fear, dread".