Shortness of Breath: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

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What are the Causes For Shortness of Breath?

Shortness of breath, also known as breathlessness, can be extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous for some if not treated correctly. This feeling of discomfort is characterized by having a hard time breathing and trouble catching your breath.

There could be a lot of reasons why a person may suffer from shortness of breath, sometimes referred to as dyspnea. Most of its causes can be traced to conditions relating to our heart and lungs. Our heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to our bodies as well as removing carbon dioxide. Our breathing is affected when one of these processes are interrupted.

Being overweight as well as having unhealthy habits like smoking could also cause shortness of breath. It could also be a sign of a panic attack so one should be careful in dealing with this condition.

Shortness of breath could also be a sign of a far more serious problem like having a lung disease such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary hypertension, and pneumonia.

Shortness of breath can also occur after performing a certain activity that exhausts the body, like exercising. It can occur gradually or all of a sudden, and you should inform your doctor immediately if you tend to experience it several times a day.

What are the Signs and Symptoms For Shortness of Breath?

How can someone tell if he or she is having shortness of breath? Here are some of the symptoms for the condition:

  • Shallow breaths
  • Labored breathing
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Inability to breathe altogether
  • Flaring nostrils
  • Anxious and distressed facial expression
  • Gasping for air
  • Pale face

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should immediately seek medical attention to help you ease the pain.

What are the Treatments for Shortness of Breath?

The treatments for shortness of breath depend on the cause of the condition. If you are having trouble breathing because of exercising, then you should build up your physical endurance.

You can also take medication if asthma is the cause of your shortness of breath. Medicines like steroids can help to alleviate some of the pain. If your condition is caused by anxiety or panic disorder, then cognitive behavioral therapy might be a solution.

When serious problems or illnesses are causing your dyspnea like COPD, then breathing techniques or oxygen supplementation might be the key in treating or lessening the symptoms for shortness of breath. It is important to consult your doctor about the treatments available for the condition so that no complications will occur while treating it.

For the nearest allergy clinic in the south central Texas region, Brazos Valley Allergy & Asthma Clinics can provide you accurate, affordable diagnosis and the best treatment and care for your allergies.

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REFERENCES:

Doc’s Opinion
MedicineNet
NHS
Verywell

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