The feeling that you can’t draw enough air into your lungs is known as dyspnea. It’s a common symptom linked to conditions like asthma and lung disease, but sometimes, it’s nothing to worry about. Whatever the case, it’s always advisable to see your doctor whenever you cannot breathe properly.
There are many reasons for dyspnea, and they can be treated. Of course, you may need to carry out some diagnostic tests and physical examinations to pinpoint the cause.
What Does Shortness of Breath Feel Like?
Dyspnea is typically described as an inability to draw air adequately into your lungs. You might feel like you’re suffocating or like breathing is more difficult than usual. Some people also report feeling as though there’s a tightness in their chests.
Breathlessness can develop suddenly within minutes or hours. It can also develop gradually for days, weeks, months, or even years.
It is important to note that shortness of breath may or may not affect your average respiratory rate, depending on your condition.
What Causes Shortness of Breath?
Exercise often causes dyspnea. After vigorous exercise, your body may have trouble absorbing oxygen, but a few minutes of relaxation will have you breathing regularly again.
Higher elevation dyspnea can occur if you aren’t acclimated to the lower oxygen levels. So, talk to an expert climber before taking a high-altitude trip.
In addition, dyspnea can be caused by a wide variety of medical conditions. If you find yourself suddenly unable to breathe, call 911 immediately.
Short-term dyspnea can be brought on by many things, including sudden heart failure, pneumonia, low blood pressure, blood clot in the lungs, carbon monoxide poisoning, pneumothorax, stress or worry, severe allergic reaction, and extreme temperatures.
In addition to a lung injury or rapid blood loss, choking on food or another object can cause dyspnea.
Moderate episodes of difficulty breathing are more likely than severe ones. Chronic dyspnea may be the cause if symptoms persist for more than a month.
Several conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer, obesity, interstitial lung disease (lung scarring), pulmonary hypertension, pleural effusion (chest fluid), asthma, and heart disease, can lead to chronic dyspnea.
Whether you can use an inhaler when an attack occurs depends on how severe your condition is. In terms of severity, asthma can be either acute or chronic. You should discuss your condition and preventative measures with your doctor if you have asthma.
How Do You Diagnose Shortness of Breath?
Even if you know what’s happening, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor. When you do, your doctor will carry out a medical history and physical examination. When that’s over, a clinical diagnosis can be made, and treatment can begin.
How Do You Treat Shortness of Breath?
First, you must ensure that your tissues get enough oxygen before tackling the underlying cause of shortness of breath. This is known as “the ABCs,” which stands for “airway, breathing, and circulation.” A doctor usually carries out this process.