If you've struggled with your breathing for a while, don't ignore it.
Search Harvard Health Publishing
See your GP as it's likely you have a long-term condition, such as obesity , asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease COPD , which needs to be managed properly. Feeling like you can't get enough air can be terrifying, but doctors are well trained in managing this. You may be given extra oxygen to breathe if this is needed.
Sudden and unexpected breathlessness is most likely to be caused by one of the following health conditions. Click on the references at the end for more information about these conditions. Sudden breathlessness could be an asthma attack. This means your airways have narrowed and you'll produce more phlegm sticky mucus , which causes you to wheeze and cough.
You'll feel breathless because it's difficult to move air in and out of your airways. Your GP may advise you to use a spacer device with your asthma inhaler. This delivers more medicine to your lungs, helping to relieve your breathlessness.
Pneumonia lung inflammation may also cause shortness of breath and a cough. It's usually caused by an infection, so you'll need to take antibiotics. If you have COPD, it's likely your breathlessness is a sign this condition has suddenly got worse. It's possible to have a "silent" heart attack without experiencing all the obvious symptoms, such as chest pain and overwhelming anxiety.
STEP 4: Practice Your Breathing Skills
In this case, shortness of breath may be the only warning sign you're having a heart attack. If you or your GP think this is the case, they'll give you aspirin and admit you to hospital straight away. Heart failure can also cause breathing difficulties. This life-threatening condition means your heart is having trouble pumping enough blood around your body, usually because the heart muscle has become too weak or stiff to work properly.
Call or go to the emergency room if you are breathing rapidly and you have:. The health care provider will do a thorough exam of your heart, lungs, abdomen, and head and neck. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause of the rapid breathing. Treatment may include oxygen if your oxygen level is too low and nebulized respiratory treatments if you are having an asthma attack. Kraft M. Approach to the patient with respiratory diseases. In: Goldman L, Schafer Al, eds.
Goldman's Cecil Medicine. When to Call Your Doctor If you experience frequent breathlessness, are awakened at night by shortness of breath, or experience wheezing or tightness in the throat, contact your physician for further evaluation. Symptoms Whether it is sudden or long term, difficulty breathing should always be taken seriously.
Shortness of Breath or Dyspnea | xijejakusipa.tk
If you experience shortness of breath, be sure to take note of when it occurs, how often it occurs and other related symptomatic information to assist your doctor in reviewing your case. If breathlessness is sudden and severe, it may be the result of air around the lung or a blood clot in the lung—both emergency conditions that require urgent and immediate medical attention. Causes There are many causes for shortness of breath, from the benign and temporary to the more serious that may include:.
When breathlessness is accompanied by chest pressure, tingling in the hands or around the mouth, the cause may be hyperventilation, an episode of over breathing from exercise or emotional stress. Hyperventilation can be brought under control by breathing into a paper bag until the episode passes, usually in less than 15 minutes.
Prevention recommendations are based on the cause of the condition. Your physician will be able to suggest techniques or lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet and regular exercise, which may help control the occurrence of breathlessness. Diagnosis In order to uncover the reason you may be experiencing shortness of breath, your doctor may request one or more of the following diagnostic tests:. Treatment Treatment plans for shortness of breath will vary based on the cause of the symptom and the condition of the patient.
Cardiology: Cardiac Surgery: Vascular: