Shortness of Breath
What is Shortness of Breath?
Shortness of breath is a condition that makes it difficult for a person to breathe properly. It is also known as dyspnea. It usually occurs suddenly with an intense tightening of the chest along with the feeling of suffocation.
Though shortness of breath is normal when people perform exercise, but if it occurs in an unexpected situation, it can be due to an underlying health condition.
Shortness of Breath Symptoms
As the name suggests, one of the common symptoms of this condition is shortness of breath.
Some other shortness of breath symptoms are:
- Feeling of intense tightening in the chest
- Rapid breathing
- Feeling of not getting enough oxygen
You should immediately seek medical attention if you experience the following symptoms along with shortness of breath:
- High fever with cough and chills
- Swelling in feet
Who is at Risk?
Shortness of breath risk factors can be different from person to person. It is not just a medical condition that can increase your risk to shortness of breath but other physical and lifestyle factors. You can experience dyspnea if:
- You are a smoker
- You have weak muscles, especially those involved in breathing
- You have low levels of hemoglobin
- You have asthma or any other chronic respiratory disease
- You are anxious
Shortness of Breath Causes
There are multiple reasons for shortness of breath varying from mental health problems to physical conditions. If it is sudden shortness of breath, it can happen due to anxiety or panic attacks.
In some cases, dyspnea can be because of circumstances such as:
- High-intensity workout
- Extreme temperature
- High altitude
- Poor air quality
Other shortness of breath causes can include medical conditions such as:
- Congestive Heart Failure
- Heart Attack
- Lung Disease
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Pulmonary Embolism
If shortness of breath is persistent and affecting your day-to-day activities, seek emergency care to avoid any complication.
How is Shortness of Breath diagnosed?
While shortness of breath diagnosis is self-explanatory, you should visit a doctor to ensure proper treatment. Below are some of the things that you can expect during your diagnosis:
- First, the doctor will ask you about the symptoms. Make sure you provide correct information.
- The doctors will also analyze your medical history along with a physical examination to evaluate the possible reasons for dyspnea.
- In some cases, the doctors also conduct additional tests to diagnose the problem. Some of the tests may include chest imaging, blood test, echocardiogram, allergy tests, and lung function tests.
How is Shortness of Breath treated?
Once the diagnosis is done, the doctors will begin the shortness of breath treatment as per the cause. For instance, if dyspnea is due to anemia, the doctor will prescribe iron supplements. Similarly, the doctor may ask for therapy if the cause is an anxiety disorder.
Other than the treatment, the doctor may also recommend a few measures:
- Quitting smoking
- Medicine for shortness of breath
- Regular exercise
- Using oxygen
In the case where the shortness of breath is due to a serious medical condition, the doctor will recommend different treatment options accordingly.
To find the best shortness of breath cure, visit one of the best pulmonologists. They are specialized in respiratory diseases and can provide effective treatment.
We, at Care.Fit, have a dedicated team of doctors and health professionals who can find the best possible treatment for dyspnea. In case you need immediate care, you can also book your appointment through our website or app and connect online with the specialists. We also offer online therapy consultation for mental health issues.
How can Shortness of Breath be prevented?
To keep a tab on dyspnea, you can also take prevention measures. This not only helps you in avoiding the condition but also in gradual treatment at home. Here are some of the common yet effective shortness of breath prevention tips:
- Avoiding tobacco and stop smoking to ensure a healthy heart and lungs
- Staying away from pollutants, environmental toxins, and allergens
- Taking proper medications for chronic conditions
- Keeping away from triggers that lead to shortness of breath
- Following health routine with proper diet, enough sleep, and regular exercise
- Avoiding strenuous activity at elevations at high altitudes
- Taking therapy sessions if dealing with anxiety disorders