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Shortness of Breath Tips

Shortness Of Breath After Eating - What Causes It?

Multi Speciality, Guwahati
Shortness Of Breath After Eating -  What Causes It?

The shortness of breathing after eating is common among people who are facing problems like heart disease, digestive trouble or anxiety disorder. It is also referred to as dyspnea which is referred to the uncomfortable respiratory sensations. There are many factors which may lead to shortness of breathing after eating. Some patients also face conditions like chest pain and elevated heartbeat along with shortness of breath.

Causes

The cause of dyspnea is not confined to some symptoms and a particular disease. Several conditions can cause it. However, it highly suggested checking with a doctor if you are facing the problem of dyspnea for a long time. Some of the common causes of dyspnea are:

● Respiratory infections

● Heartburn

● Chest pain

Heart failure

Pregnancy

● Allergic reactions

● A blood clot in the lungs

● Choking

Some of the causes of chronic dyspnea are:

Asthma

Obesity

Overeating

● Full stomach eating

High blood pressure

Emphysema

Lung disease

Over Eating

Overeating is one of the most common causes of dyspnea. The patient having a habit of eating food that causes gas and bloating may face dyspnea in the long run. Since the food consumed is attached to the diaphragm, it can cause shortness of breath accompanied by bloating. When you are full and tight, the diaphragm connected to your food pipe may feel narrow as it is unable to take air for functioning. This results in difficulty in breathing when you eat too much food.

Feeling of Suffocation After Eating

Some people who are prone to food allergies may feel suffocated after eating food. This condition should not be ignored and should be consulted with your doctor. Generally, it leads to the problem of anaphylaxis.

Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening condition, and its first symptom is shortness of breath after eating. Difficulty in breathing can happen within minutes or 2 hours of eating. The leading cause of Anaphylaxis is a food allergy. If you have known food allergy and if you suspect that you have Anaphylaxis attack, you must use your auto-injector Epi-pen for instant relief. Remedies for Shortness of Breath If you face a problem of shortness of breath after eating, your doctor will explain to you some simple ways in which you can relax your breathing in case of attack. Home remedies are useful but should not be substituted with the doctor consultation.

Pout Lips Breathing Technique

It's a fundamental and simple way to relax your breathing. You must relax your neck muscles and inhale for two counts through your nose. Now slowly exhale through the mouth with pursed lips. It helps you to take a deep breath and regulate the breathing pattern.

Sitting Forward

Rest in a chair and lean forward and try breathing slowly and gently. Try to relax by keeping your hands on your knees and give it time.

Give your Posture a Support

No matter if you are sitting or standing. If you are having trouble breathing, it is suggested that you give your posture support so that you maintain the balance and relax. Take Away The remedies mentioned above should be tried and practised. But if you are feeling the severe attack, it is advisable to call an ambulance and visit near the hospital.

3269 people found this helpful

Respiratory Problems - Know Forms Of It!

Dr. C. E Prasad 96% (1093 ratings)
M.D - Respiratory Medicine
Pulmonologist, Hyderabad
Respiratory Problems - Know Forms Of It!

The respiratory system, through which air enters the body, is prone to disorders, and most of them are infections. Micro-organisms thrive in the air around us and can gain easy access to the system through the air that we inhale. Therefore, respiratory issues are very common, but also not always a cause for concern. Most respiratory disorders would have common symptoms including coughing, chest pain, sputum production with varying features, shortness of breath, wheezing, etc.

Read on to know the symptoms of common respiratory disorders, so you are equipped to handle them.

  1. Asthma: Asthma is one of the most common respiratory issues. The trigger could be extreme cold, excessive pollen in the air, stress, etc.
  2. Common cold: This is a common disorder of the upper respiratory tract. This could be due to allergy or infection. There is difficulty breathing, labored breathing, runny nose, and extreme lethargy. The throat is also sore and there is a scratchy, itchy feeling at the back of the throat.
  3. Bronchitis: The bronchi are the further branches through which air flows, and these when inflamed cause bronchitis. Often caused as an infection, this produces a cough that can throw up a lot of sputum.
  4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: This often occurs with ageing and also due to smoking. This produces chronic coughing, difficulty to throw out air easily without effort. There could also be phlegm, which can be colorless (unlike an infection)
  5. Tuberculosis: This is a bacterial infection of the lung tissue, and there is shortness of breath, a cough which persists for more than 5 weeks, and greenish-yellowish sputum. The person also would have very low energy levels, and sometimes blood in the sputum too.
  6. Pneumonia: Pneumonia again is an infection of the lung and can be caused by bacteria or virus. This again causes chest pain, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and greenish sputum.
  7. Lung cancer: With smoking and environmental pollution on the rise, the instances of lung cancer have also been on the rise. This is usually diagnosed in the later stages as the symptoms are confused with any common respiratory disorders and ignored. Chest pain, chronic cough, difficulty breathing, and voice changes are some common symptoms of cancer.
  8. Emphysema: Caused predominantly by smoking, this causes breathing difficulties and reduces the amount of air available for exchange in the lungs. There is no cure, but quitting smoking can reduce the severity of the condition.

Know that prolonged problems with respiratory tract require further investigation and should not be ignored as just another attack of cold and cough.

1033 people found this helpful

Psychogenic Breathlessness - How To Tackle Them?

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (36927 ratings)
MD - Pulmonary, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Psychogenic Breathlessness - How To Tackle Them?

Psychogenic breathlessness or pseudo-dyspnea is a condition where the patient suffers from shortness of breath. This disease is often confused with a similar breathing disorder called Chronic Dyspnea. While there are a lot of factors involved in chronic dyspnea, like allergens and pulmonary diseases, psychogenic breathlessness has more to do with the current state of mind.

One of the most challenging factors is the diagnosis and differentiation between both conditions. Sometimes, the psychogenic breathlessness is so concentrated that there is no way to differentiate between the two.

Procedure of Diagnosis of Psychogenic Breathlessness:

Here are the steps that doctors typically follow to diagnose Psychogenic Breathlessness

  • To differentiate between the two diseases (Chronic Dyspnea and Psychogenic Breathlessness), the doctor will ask the patient to try breathing harder. A patient with chronic dyspnea will find it even harder to take a breath when he or she tries to. However, a person with psychogenic dyspnea will show improved conditions when they try to breathe harder

  • A thorough examination of the chest will be done

  • Blood tests and lung function test (spirometry) will also be conducted to rule out pulmonary diseases

Causes of Chronic dyspnea:

Allergens causing allergic bronchitis (also known as asthma) is the main reason behind Chronic Dyspnea. Other common causes of true or chronic dyspnea are heart diseases, COPD which occurs because of smoking. Then there are rare disorders like ILD (sarcoidosis), neuromuscular diseases, infections, anemia, obesity/deconditioning.

Causes of Psychogenic dyspnea or psychogenic breathlessness:

  • Acid reflux: Acid reflux can cause a certain sensation on the inner lining of the esophagus (esophagitis). The esophagus has several nerve endings on the inner linings, when the acidic reflux touches these nerve endings, a temporary breathlessness occurs.

  • Anxiety: People with anxiety can also develop breathlessness. Though exercises help for a short period of time, a patient needs to see a psychiatrist for this condition.

  • Panic Attacks: These are also a cause for breathlessness. The temporary feeling of choking is common in people who experience panic attacks.

Treatment:

  • Medication: Medicine for acidity is prescribed to patients having Pseudo-Dyspnea, due to acid reflux.

  • Anxiety pills and Talking therapy: People suffering from anxiety are recommended to see a psychiatrist for better evaluation of their problem. Medications (anxiety pills) prescribed by the psychaitrist may help in controlling the breathing pattern in a person. Psychological therapies (Talking therapy) have been effective for people suffering from breathlessness due to anxiety.

  • Placebo: If the problem remains unsolved and unknown, sometimes doctor prescribes placebo medication, for example, sweetened aerosol. Doctors believe that if the patient thinks he/she is taking a real medication, his/her condition can be controlled by eluding the mind.

It is important to remember that Psychogenic Breathlessness is as real as chronic breathlessness and patient doesn’t pretend to have this condition. When the first symptoms of it start appearing, a specialist doctor (pulmonologist) should be consulted who after confirming the diagnosis of psychogenic breathlessness, may refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for further treatment.

3600 people found this helpful

Asthma Treatment & Homeopathy!

Dr. Archna Jain 89% (52 ratings)
BHMS, N.D.D.Y., P.G.D.H.A., Diploma in Nutrition and Health Education (DNHE)
Homeopathy Doctor, Gurgaon
Asthma Treatment & Homeopathy!

Asthma is a condition that severely affects the lungs. The airways become narrow and the lungs become inflamed. Its characteristic features include bronchospasm, reversible airflow obstruction and variable and recurring symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and chest tightness. This might be caused up to 2 to 3 times a day.

Causes:

  1. Daily use of Paracetamol
  2. Vaccines
  3. Daily use of antibiotics
  4. Cesarean sections
  5. Asthma in family

Asthma is usually triggered by:

  1. Tobacco Smoke
  2. Exercise
  3. Polluted or Poor air
  4. Cold Air
  5. Emotional Stress
  6. Allergies

Homeopathy is a system of medicine which tries to ‘cure’ this disease, instead of trying to provide symptomatic relief. While dealing with a case of asthma, a homeopath not only records the symptoms of the disease but also studies the medical history, family history, physical and psychological characteristics of a person. This helps to find the cause, the precipitating factors, and the hereditary tendency, etc. Of special interest to a homeopath is the history of suppression of skin disease. Homeopaths believe that when there is a tendency or predisposition for a disease – it first manifests on the less vital organs, towards the periphery (like skin). If this manifestation is suppressed than the disease shifts inwards, towards the more vital organs (like lungs, heart, brain, etc).

The fact that in children asthma is often preceded by eczema is observed by the allopaths also. This fact is written in all their textbooks of medicine. They say that children often ‘move-out’ of eczema and ‘move-into’ asthma. But they are unable to make a correlation. Homeopaths believe that the suppression of eczema with topical preparations, does not cure the disease/sensitivity of the person, it merely drives it inwards.

Now after ascertaining the symptoms and the cause, the homeopath tries to find a medicine which matches the symptoms as well as the general characteristics of the person. The medicine so selected is administered to the patient.

When a right medicine is given, asthma disappears but old eczema or skin rash reappears for some time, before finally disappearing itself. This reappearance of old symptoms is seen as a reversal of the disease process and is considered a very good prognostic sign by homeopaths.

MEDICINES – There are lots of medicines in homeopathy for asthma symptoms and it is not possible to list them all here. Some of the common medicines are ars- alb, ipecac, lachesis, pulsatilla, spongia, sulphur, ignatia, antim-tart, hepar-sulph, nat-sulph, tuberculinum, etc. The selection of medicine varies from patient to patient. Therefore, it is always recommended to consult a specialized homeopath for treating your individual case.

1819 people found this helpful

Cardiomyopathy - Know Reasons Behind It!

Dr. Vivek Baliga B 92% (50 ratings)
MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore
Cardiomyopathy - Know Reasons Behind It!

Cardiomyopathy is a heart muscle disease that makes it difficult for your heart to supply blood to the rest of the body. This disease affects the heart’s size, shape and structure, hence resulting in heart failure. Some of the common types of cardiomyopathies are

The disease is generally inherited and some family members might get more affected than others, while others may not suffer at all or come across any symptoms.

Symptoms

Early stages of the disease may not see any symptom but with the advancement of the condition, certain signs and symptoms tend to appear, which are mentioned below as follows:

  • There might be breathlessness due to exertion or even when your body is at rest.
  • You might notice symptoms as in swelling of the legs, ankles and feet.
  • Excess fluid gets accumulated which leads to bloating of the abdomen.
  • You might start to cough while lying down.
  • Rapid, fluttering heartbeats.
  • You might face discomfort in the chest.
  • A tinge of dizziness might be felt or you might also faint from time to time.
  • These signs and symptoms worsen over time, if left untreated.

Causes of Cardiomyopathy

The actual cause behind cardiomyopathy is not known. People might acquire this disease from another condition or some may inherit from one of his or her parents. Factors which lead to the acquiring of cardiomyopathy are:

  • Suffering from high blood pressure for a long time.
  • Heart attack which leads to damaging of the heart tissue.
  • Rapid heartbeat rate.
  • Certain metabolic disorders like obesity, diabetes or thyroid problem.
  • Deficiency of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals, like thiamine.
  • Complications while conceiving a baby.
  • Consuming too much alcohol for a long period of time.
  • Use of cocaine or anabolic steroids also results in causing cardiomyopathy.
  • Drugs while undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy to treat cancer could also lead to the problem of cardiomyopathy.
  • Certain kinds of infections, especially the ones which lead to inflammation of the heart can also this problem.
  • Any disorder which might allow the abnormal proteins to build up.
  • Sarcoidosis, which is a condition that causes inflammation and can lead to the growth of lumps of cells in the heart and other organs.

Treatment for Cardiomyopathy

The treatment for this particular disease mainly aims to manage the signs and symptoms, acts as a preventive measure from letting the condition go from bad to worse and also reduce the risk of complications. Treatment procedures vary as per the type of cardiomyopathy:

  • Medications: Medications prescribed by doctors generally aim to improve the heart’s ability to pump, which in turn would improve blood flow, lower down the level of blood pressure, remove excess fluid from the body and also prevent blood clots from forming.
  • Surgically Implanted Devices: Doctors might look to place in the heart several types of devices and help the heart to improve it’s working condition, thus relieving symptoms. The devices generally implanted are, Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD), Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) and Pacemaker.
1510 people found this helpful

Respiratory Problems - Know Forms Of Them!

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (36927 ratings)
MD - Pulmonary, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
Respiratory Problems - Know Forms Of Them!

The respiratory system, through which air enters the body, is prone to disorders, and most of them are infections. Micro-organisms thrive in the air around us, and can gain easy access to the system through the air that we inhale. Therefore, respiratory issues are very common, but also not always a cause for concern. Most respiratory disorders would have common symptoms including coughing, chest pain, sputum production with varying features, shortness of breath, wheezing, etc.

Read on to know the symptoms of common respiratory disorders, so you are equipped to handle them.

  1. Asthma: Asthma is one of the most common respiratory issues. The trigger could be extreme cold, excessive pollen in the air, stress, etc.
  2. Common cold: This is a common disorder of the upper respiratory tract. This could be due to allergy or infection. There is difficulty breathing, labored breathing, runny nose, and extreme lethargy. The throat is also sore and there is a scratchy, itchy feeling at the back of the throat.
  3. Bronchitis: The bronchi are the further branches through which air flows, and these when inflamed cause bronchitis. Often caused as an infection, this produces a cough that can throw up a lot of sputum.
  4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: This often occurs with ageing and also due to smoking. This produces chronic coughing, difficulty to throw out air easily without effort. There could also be phlegm, which can be colorless (unlike an infection)
  5. Tuberculosis: This is a bacterial infection of the lung tissue, and there is shortness of breath, a cough which persists for more than 5 weeks, and greenish-yellowish sputum. The person also would have very low energy levels, and sometimes blood in the sputum too.
  6. Pneumonia: Pneumonia again is an infection of the lung and can be caused by bacteria or virus. This again causes chest pain, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and greenish sputum.
  7. Lung cancer: With smoking and environmental pollution on the rise, the instances of lung cancer have also been on the rise. This is usually diagnosed in the later stages as the symptoms are confused with any common respiratory disorders and ignored. Chest pain, chronic cough, difficulty breathing, and voice changes are some common symptoms of cancer.
  8. Emphysema: Caused predominantly by smoking, this causes breathing difficulties and reduces the amount of air available for exchange in the lungs. There is no cure, but quitting smoking can reduce the severity of the condition.

Know that prolonged problems with respiratory tract require further investigation and should not be ignored as just another attack of cold and cough.

3577 people found this helpful

Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome - Know More About It!

Dr. Mahavir M Modi 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Tuberculosis & Respiratory Diseases/Medicine, DNB (Chest), Fellowship in Interventional Pulmonology
Pulmonologist, Pune
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome - Know More About It!

If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing or rapid breathing, shortness of breath and low blood pressure, you might have been affected with acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS. This is a fatal lung condition in which the supply of oxygen to the lungs and into the blood gets prevented. The symptoms of this syndrome develop within two days of the illness.

Here are 10 important facts about ARDS you should know about:

  1. Because of the low level of oxygen in the blood, the organs of the body may not function properly. The kidneys and brain require constant oxygen-rich blood supply and there are chances of organ failure due to ARDS.

  2. Commonly, people who get ARDS are already in the hospital for some other health problem. People who are not hospitalised may get ARDS because of conditions such as pneumonia.

  3. In ARDS, the tiny blood vessels of the lungs leak more fluid than usual into the air sacs of the lungs. This happens because of infections, injuries or some other condition. The lungs cannot get filled up with air and sufficient oxygen is prevented from getting pumped into the bloodstream.

  4. Several factors also lead to ARDS. These include sepsis, severe bleeding due to any injury on the head or chest, breathing in harmful smoke, or inhaling vomited content of the stomach from the mouth.

  5. People who are prone to ARDS have some condition that may injure their lungs directly or indirectly.

  6. The initial symptoms of ARDS include a feeling of not getting sufficient air in the lungs, low oxygen levels in the blood and rapid breathing. The diagnosis of ARDS depends on your medical history and the results from several tests and physical examinations.

  7. The treatment of ARDS is undertaken by the oxygen therapy, medicines and fluids. A patient with ARDS is likely to develop some other health condition while in the hospital, such as lung scarring, blood clots, infections and pneumothorax.

  8. Many people recover from ARDS completely while others keep on facing certain health problems, such as shortness of breath, muscle weakness, depression and fatigue. Problems related to memory and clear thinking are also indicated.

  9. By improving your quality of life, you can recover from ARDS. You need the support and encouragement of your family and friends. You must avoid smoking and keep away from any kind of lung irritant.

  10. The treatment for ARDS has showed progress in recent years. Hence, more people are recovering from this condition. New treatment procedures are being researched on.
928 people found this helpful

Aortic Valve Stenosis - How To Diagnose It?

Fellowship in Electrophysiology, DM - Cardiology, MD - Medicine
Cardiologist, Bhubaneswar
Aortic Valve Stenosis - How To Diagnose It?

Aortic valve stenosis is a heart condition in which the valve to the biggest artery- the one which provides oxygen-rich blood to our body, called aorta, is narrowed. This prevents the valve from opening fully, obstructing the blood flow from your heart into your body.

When the aortic valve doesn’t open, your heart needs to work harder to pump blood to your body making the heart muscle weak. If left undiagnosed aortic stenosis is fatal.

Symptoms

These symptoms should spur you on to seek medical care right away:

  1. Chest pain or tightness

  2. Feeling faint with exertion

  3. Shortness of breath

  4. Fatigue after increased activity

  5. Heart palpitations — rapid, fluttering heartbeat

  6. Heart murmur

The disorder doesn’t produce symptoms right away and is usually diagnosed during routine physical exams when your doctor listens to your heart with a stethoscope. He usually hears a heart murmur resulting from turbulent blood flow through the narrowed aortic valve.

Diagnostic Tests

There are other ways to diagnose aortic valve stenosis and gauge the severity of the problem, like:

  1. Echocardiogram – This produces an image of your heart using sound. It is the primary test to diagnose a heart valve problem. Sound waves are directed at your heart here and these bounce off your heart and are processed electronically to provide images of your heart. This test helps your doctor check diagnose aortic valve stenosis and its severity plus chalk out a treatment plan.

  2. Electrocardiogram (ECG) –  In this test, patches with electrodes are attached to your chest to measure electrical impulses given out by your heart. These are then recorded as waves on a monitor and printed on paper. Though this can’t diagnose aortic stenosis directly, it can tell you that the left ventricle in your heart is thickened which normally happens due to aortic stenosis.

  3. Chest X-ray This allows the doctor to see the shape and size of your heart directly. If the left ventricle is thickened, it points to aortic stenosis. It also helps doctor check the lungs. Aortic stenosis leads to fluid and blood in the lungs, causing congestion.

  4. Exercise Tests – Exercise is used to increase your heart rate and make your heart work harder. This test is done to see how your heart reacts to exertion.

  5. Computerised Tomography (CT) Scan –  This means a series of X-rays to create images of your heart and observes the heart valves. It is also used to measure the size of aorta and the aortic valve.

  6. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) –  This uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create images of your heart and valves.

Once aortic valve stenosis is confirmed, you may have to go in for monitoring or heart valve surgery according to your doctor’s advice.

1486 people found this helpful

Respiratory Problems - Know Forms Of Them!

MBBS, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy & Sleep Disorders, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Navi Mumbai
Respiratory Problems - Know Forms Of Them!

Pulmonology is the branch of science dealing with respiratory problems and related medicines. Respiratory Problems have become very common among people with increased pollution and dust particles in the air. Some of the most common lung diseases are:

1. Asthma:
It is a very common disease nowadays with many people suffering from it. In this condition, people have inflamed bronchial tubes which become sensitive, causing difficulty in breathing. The problem gets aggravated by smoking, air pollution, and chemical sprays. People suffering from it, complain of a dry cough, wheezing, and chest tightening.
The condition may also be triggered by allergies and dust particles. Doctors generally recommend taking an inhaler to asthma patients. It generally develops during childhood and progresses with age.

2. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
It is a disease used to denote multiple respiratory problems including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. It generally affects the bronchial tubes and causes inflammation of the airways that lead to the production of sputum (excess mucus). Other symptoms include shortness of breath and coughing. The generation of mucus also leaves people more prone to having infections.

According to doctors, it is difficult to identify COPD because the symptoms are associated with old age and a general decline in health. People generally develop COPD as early as 30 to 40 years of age. Moreover, the condition is aggravated due to excessive smoking.

Treatments include quitting smoking, bronchodilator therapy and pulmonary rehabilitation. It is a very serious disease and is not reversible like asthma. It generally worsens with time.

3. Chronic Bronchitis
It is one of the types of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and is generally associated with the formation of excess mucus in the lungs. This results in severe coughing. It is treated the same way as COPD. However, people also may develop acute bronchitis which is an infection caused by too much mucus in airways and subsides with medications.

4. Emphysema
It is a serious respiratory illness that is one of the types of COPD and is caused by smoking. Smoking damages the lungs to the point where the patient may have difficulty in exhaling air. They may need the help of an oxygen mask to help them in breathing.

5. Lung Cancer
One of the worst respiratory problems to have and is caused by irregular cell growth that results in tumors that interferes with the functioning of the lungs. The problem is aggravated by excessive smoking and air pollution. Symptoms include coughing up of blood, change in voices, vigorous breathing.

6. Influenza and Pneumonia
These are very common lung problems occurring among people. Influenza is a viral infection that causes damages to the lungs. Pneumonia is an infection in the lungs caused by a bacteria or virus. In cases of pneumonia, there is an accumulation of mucus or fluid in the lungs that prevent air from reaching the blood. Symptoms may include coughing, fever, shaking and difficulty in breathing. Both these diseases are curable with the help of medicines but people who smoke excessively may suffer more than others.

These were some of the most common respiratory problems that can be seen among people. The first step towards treatment and prevention is to go to a doctor and consult him with the symptoms you are experiencing.

1393 people found this helpful

Shortness Of Breath - Is There A Danger Knocking At Your Door?

Fellowship in Electrophysiology, DM - Cardiology, MD - Medicine
Cardiologist, Bhubaneswar
Shortness Of Breath - Is There A Danger Knocking At Your Door?

There are different types of heart problems like coronary artery disease, congenital heart failure and cardiomyopathy, but their warning signs are the same i.e. shortness of breath. This is the reason why shortness of breath should never be taken lightly and should always be investigated for heart diseases.

Why does shortness of breath happen?
You may not be able to get in enough air while experiencing shortness of breath. Known medically as dyspnea, shortness of breath is often described as an intense tightening in the chest and a feeling of suffocation. This is one of the most frightening conditions experienced by a patient. You can experience dyspnea without any serious medical problems in these conditions

  1. After strenuous exercise
  2. In extreme temperatures
  3. Due to obesity and
  4. In high altitudes

But if you are not in any of these conditions, then shortness of breath is a sign of a serious medical problem usually involving your heart or lungs. These two vital organs transport oxygen to the rest of your body and remove carbon dioxide; hence problems with either of these organs can affect your breathing. Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly called acute, can be due to other causes too like:

  1. Asthma
  2. Excess fluid around the heart
  3. Low BP
  4. Heart failure
  5. Blood clot in an artery in the lung
  6. Collapsed lung
  7. Pneumonia

If you have had shortness of breath that has lasted for weeks, then we call it chronic and its causes can be various diseases of the heart apart from asthma and COPD. There is no doubt that your heart may be in trouble, if you have chronic shortness of breath. You may be suffering from these heart conditions:

  1. Cardiomyopathy or problems with the heart muscle cause symptoms like shortness of breath after physical exertion as well as fatigue, and swelling of legs and abdomen. Patients suffering from cardiomyopathy are at risk of sudden death due to cardiac arrest.
  2. Heart arrhythmias is also called irregular heartbeat, and can cause slow or fast heartbeats. These also have symptoms like shortness of breath. Arrhythmias can cause strokes, heart failure and cardiac arrest.
  3. Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to pump blood efficiently to meet the needs of the body. This is a potentially fatal condition. One of the most common symptom is shortness of breath with exercise and while lying down. Fatigue is another common symptom.
  4. Pericarditis or swelling of membranes around the heart is also characterised by shortness of breath.

Treatment of breathlessness can start after you are referred to a heart specialist for further tests to confirm the likely cause.
 

3102 people found this helpful
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