Shortness of breath or dyspnea is a discomforting condition where people face difficulty with their breathing. Heart and lung disorders can inhibit the air from getting fully into the lungs and cause trouble breathing. The problem of dyspnea varies from person to person and the duration of this condition can last for about a few hours to a few days and sometimes to about a few weeks.
Most of the times shortness of breath occurs as a side effect of another medical emergency. Aside from heart and lung disorders shortness of breath can occur as a result of anemia, as a result of hyperventilation or because of smoking habits or pollutants in the air that cause irritation. Dyspnea can also occur as a result of chronic conditions such as pneumonia, bronchitis and pulmonary fibrosis.
If you experience these symptoms it is advised that you seek help from your healthcare provider right away, then on consultation with him/her you notify the doctor of your medical history. Avoid smoking and environmental pollutants, do not share eating utensils with anyone and take warms baths.
Shortness of breath or dyspnea can be treated either with medications or without it. If you are opting for a treatment that does not involve drugs then you would have to go for a ‘pulmonary rehabilitation’ treatment method. This method uses an exercise program that is well-structured. The method also uses in combination therapies, such as making the breathing muscles go through a training process where it will learn new breathing techniques. This rehabilitation method is very helpful because it treats the dyspnea condition even in a situation where the actual underlying disease cannot be cured.
Treatments that involve taking drugs include bronchodilators such as atrovent, albuterol, spiriva and serevent. The bronchodilator medications are effective for shortness of breath when a shrinking of the muscles happens and causes narrowing of the lungs. People who suffer from Asthma and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease) are often prescribed to take these drugs. Anti-inflammatory medications are given to people suffering from COPD, asthma and interstitial lung problems where there is swelling of the lung airways and as a consequence there is a contraction of the passage. These medications work slowly overtime to reduce the swelling.
People who experience shortness of breath are generally heard to complain that while this condition occurs they feel a lack of oxygen within themselves. In such a situation giving the patient supplementary oxygen support reduces their condition of shortness of breath. Doctors may also prescribe taking corticosteroids, anti-coagulant and diuretics.
All those who are experiencing dyspnea or shortness of breath are eligible to go for this treatment. Also, patients who are experiencing dyspnesa as a side effect to a treatment of another disease are also eligible.
People who are allergic to any of the ingredients contained within the medications mentioned above are generally not eligible for this treatment and should consult with their doctor regarding alternative methods.
Patients who have been prescribed bronchodilator medications such as beta-2 agonists are likely to experience side effects such as muscle aches, headaches, trembling sensations, sudden palpitations and nervous tension. Anticholinergics can produce side effects such as constipation, dryness of mouth, headaches, trouble swallowing, heartburn and throat irritation. Theophylline, another bronchodilator can produce side effects such as vomiting, nausea, diarrhoea, palpitations and insomnia.
Side effects of corticosteroids if used for long can cause side effects such as high blood pressure, weight gain, diabetes, easy bruising, osteoporosis, mood swings, muscle weakness and eye disorders.
In order to prevent any future attack of dyspnea you need to adhere to certain post-treatment guidelines such as quitting the habit of smoking both first-hand and second-hand and losing weight (as that reduces stress on the lungs and heart). Also, it is advised that you try to take precaution against inhaling environmental pollutants.
The results of this treatment can be permanent if the patients adhere to the post-treatment guidelines well. Environmental triggers and other lung infections can once again lead to dyspnea.
Some alternative treatment methods include yoga and homeopathy. The homeopathic medications for dyspnea includes Arsenic album for people suffering from asthma, Antimonium Tart and Ipecac homeopathic medication for shortness of breath that is experienced during coughing, Ammonium Carb and Stannum Met homeopathic medications for shortness of breath experienced by people during walking, Carbo veg and Silicea homeopathic medication for the aged and Lachesis and Grindelia medication for dyspnea experienced by people during the process of sleep.
Living with asthma can be tough, but not necessarily unmanageable to the point that it interferes living your life to the fullest. It all boils down to being aware of the triggers, signs and all the other relevant details and taking the necessary precautions to keep the asthma attack at arm’s length.
Here is an insight.
Apart from the preventive measures mentioned above, regular exercises and yoga will strengthen the capacity of lungs and help you fight asthma with ease. A healthy diet and stress-free lifestyle is the key to keep this problem at miles away from you!
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.
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
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.
When you experience shortness of breath for no reason, you might wonder if there is something to worry. Breathing difficulty (dyspnea) affects around 1 in every 10 adults. The causes are varied, and just like other health problems like dizziness, fatigue, and abdominal pain, shortness of breath too has several causes. While a few are harmless, a few may be the signs of a possible complication. Though a common complaint in adults, it is a tough diagnostic challenge. Being aware of the symptoms will take you a step further in deciding whether or not the breathing difficulty is a cause of concern.
Should you worry or not?
Ensuring safety first
If you are wondering about whether your condition is serious or not, it is advised to tell your doctor about any persisting symptom. If you have developed any new symptoms such as a chronic wheeze or a cough, fatigue and pale appearance, dry, painful cough and shortness of breath during physical activity, then these are slow and sneaky indicators of an onset of some serious medical problem.
Thus, breathing difficulty occurring often is a reason to worry, and you must seek medical advice at the earliest.
Are you suffering from chronic bronchitis and are looking for ideal treatment measures? Bronchitis occurs when your windpipe or trachea and your large and small bronchitis within your lungs get inflamed because of infections and several other causes. The condition is considered to be chronic when your cough with mucus is persistent for at least three months. Chronic bronchitis is a condition that falls under the group of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Smoking, inhaled irritants, secondhand smoke, inhaled fumes, and certain viruses are primary causes of chronic bronchitis.
The symptoms and characteristics of chronic bronchitis are as follows:
The treatment of chronic bronchitis depends on the cause. There is no specific cure for the condition, and its treatment aims at improving your lung function and reducing the symptoms.
Shortness of breath, medically known as dyspnea, is the sensation of tightening of chest accompanied by a feeling of suffocation. Most of us would have experienced this while doing intensive exercise, while in extreme temperature or high altitude to a certain extent. But when the breathlessness is severe, it is due to a lung or heart ailment. The lungs and the heart play the most important role in transporting oxygen to our tissues and removes carbon dioxide. And so, any kind of problem in either of the organs can affect our breathing.
Numerous underlying conditions can lead to a shortness of breath. An insight into the most common causes are enumerated below.
Apart from these conditions, others such as bronchitis, pneumonia, lung cancer, COPD, arrhythmia, hypertension, and many other lung and heart ailments can result in shortness of breath and can lead to dire consequences in certain cases. Thus, it becomes paramount to consult a pulmonologist when you frequently experience such breathing difficulty.