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Breathing Problem - Common Causes Behind It!

Dr. Dushyant Rana 92% (16 ratings)
MBBS, MD - General Medicine
General Physician, Gurgaon  •  20 years experience
Breathing Problem - Common Causes Behind It!

Breathing is life, without breathig, there is no life. Who knows this better than an asthmatic or someone with breathing problems like wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath 24/7? If you have breathing problems, read on about possible causes and treatments for them

Causes

  • There can be a number of causes of breathing problems. They can happen due to colds, acute sinusitis or inflammation of sinuses. This usually subsides in a week or two with the inflammation going down and the sinuses draining out.
  • But if you are still experiencing breathing problems, you could be in more dangerous territory.
  • Breathing difficulties can happen in a case of asthma, allergies, and infections of the lungs, bronchitis and even heart problems especially if you feel a shortness of breath during exertion. These can all be long-term problems that need proper management.

Symptoms
Chronic issues that cause breathing problems, especially asthma and allergies have a number of symptoms like

  1. Nasal and chest congestion
  2. Runny nose
  3. Itchy or watery eyes
  4. Cough
  5. Wheezing
  6. Laboured and/or shallow breathing.

A number of virus and allergens like pollen reach the lungs via the nasal passage. Any inflammation in the nasal passage due to an allergy is a major cause for concern because the number one trigger for asthma is allergies. If left undiagnosed and untreated, these can make life hell for you.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis, also causes breathing problems. Breathing issues can also stem from other serious diseases like lung cancer, tuberculosis, and pneumonia. Most of these can be diagnosed by a specialist.


How are breathing problems treated?

  1. Breathing problems caused due to asthma and allergies are usually treated by avoiding allergy triggers like air pollutants, pollen, dog hair, dust, mites or dander.
  2. Wearing masks, avoiding peak traffic, staying indoors during low air quality days, all make a significant difference to allergy and asthma sufferers.
  3. Medications are another way to treat breathing problems due to asthma and allergies. Allergy drugs such as antihistamines and decongestants can make it easy to breathe for some.
  4. Inhaled steroids are also given to people with chronic allergies and sinusitis for reducing inflammation in the airways. Allergy shots to reduce sensitivity to allergens are another option.
  5. Asthma is treated with inhaled or oral drugs that help open nasal airways and reduce inflammation. These cut down on breathing difficulties because the airways are cleared of excess mucus and inflammation.
  6. If you have more serious issues like cancers, heart disease and lung diseases, the medication will vary according to your diagnosis. Your specialist will diagnose the problem first and set you on a proper course of medication.

The last piece of advice before we go, don’t ignore breathing difficulties especially if they persist beyond 2-3 weeks, get yourself a doctor’s appointment.

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