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Common Breathing Problems - How To Treat Them?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Nikhil Modi 92% (222 ratings)
Pulmonologist, Delhi  •  13 years experience
Common Breathing Problems - How To Treat Them?

We rarely take the time to think about the way we breathe. After all, breathing is an involuntary action that begins when we are born and never stops until the moment we die. However, some people find it harder to breathe than others. There are many different kinds of breathing problems that can affect the old and young and thankfully, most of them can be treated and controlled.

  • Some breathing problems are short-term and dictated by seasons while others are chronic and long-term.
  • Having difficulty breathing when you have a cold and a stuffy nose is considered a breathing problem.
  • At the same time, shortness of breath caused by asthma is also a breathing problem.
  • Other breathing problems include sinusitis, allergies and nasal congestion caused by diseases like chronic bronchitis or f chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
  • Breathing problems can also be a result of diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, lung cancer and pneumonia.

Ways it can be treated

To treat a breathing problem, one must first understand and identify the factors triggering it. Avoiding these triggers can effectively reduce the frequency and intensity of breathing problems. For example, not allowing pets into your bedroom can help treat breathing problems caused by an allergy to pet dander. Similarly, wearing a nose mask when outdoors, can reduce breathing problems caused by dust and pollution.

Medication can also help treat breathing problems

  • Antihistamines and decongestants are common medications used to treat such problems.
  • These may be prescribed as tablets to be taken orally or in the form of nasal sprays. In some cases, steroids may also be prescribed.
  • This is usually in the case of sinusitis and chronic allergies. These drugs are intended to be inhaled so as to clear the airways.
  • For people suffering from long-term breathing problems that are triggered by seasonal changes, taking a flu shot can help.
  • These injections reduce the body’s sensitivity to allergens and provide relief in cases of breathing problems.

However, it is important to note that when it comes to breathing problems, one should never self-medicate. What works well for one person may be ineffective for another. This is because unless the medication addresses the cause of the problem, it will not be of any use. Hence, it is important to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and understanding of your problem. It is also advisable to consult a doctor in the early stages of having a breathing problem rather than waiting for it to escalate.

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