The inability to breathe properly is a worrying and frustrating experience for many individuals. It typically consists of a tightening sensation in your chest, being unable to get sufficient air or feeling like you are suffocating.
Breathing problems can arise from various factors that include rigorous exercise, excessive weight and extreme weather conditions. Aside from these factors, shortness of breath can also be an indication of an underlying medical condition.
Everyone is susceptible to feeling breathless when they overexert themselves but when this occurs often or suddenly, the cause needs to be identified by a qualified physician. If you are constantly struggling to breathe or get air, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Breathing difficulties may be sudden or gradual. You become breathless when your body requires more oxygen than it is able to get. This causes you to breathe more rapidly in order for you to be able to increase the amount of oxygen in your lungs. Oxygen moves from the lungs to the bloodstream and the heart is responsible for pumping it around the body.
Who is at Risk of Developing Breathing Problems?
The sudden inability to breathe properly is among the common reasons why people seek emergency treatment. It can affect anyone but unexpected tightness in the chest or pain when breathing requires timely medical attention.
Conditions such as pneumonia and asthma afflict both young children and adults, including the elderly. Lifestyle habits such as smoking can also contribute to heart and lung problems. Sudden or chronic lack of breath may affect anyone regardless of age or gender and should be treated before it gets worse.
Medical Tests and Examinations
The level of breathlessness can be measured to determine how severe it is. Doctors typically need to find out what happened before you became breathless. They need to know whether or not it was sudden or has been developing gradually.
It is important to establish what triggers the breathing problem. Details such as when it gets worse, fever, productive cough, weight loss and fitness levels enable to the doctor to diagnose a patient. The doctor carries out a thorough examination that is used to observe your lungs, heart and blood pressure. Various tests are performed to check your lungs and heart.
Acute and Chronic Breathing Difficulties
Acute breathing difficulties may be caused by medical conditions such as pneumonia, asthma and COPD. They can also be attributed to heart disease that inhibits the ability of the heart to pump efficiently. Other causes include anemia, pulmonary embolism that adversely affects the lungs, stress and chronic pain.
Chronic breathing difficulties are those that occur for an extensive period of time and may be worsening. They are commonly caused by being overweight or obese, lung disease or COPD, hear disease, asthma an anemia.
The type of treatment you receive will be determined by what causes the shortness of breath. Smokers are encouraged to quit smoking and you will need to consult a specialist who can identify the underlying cause of your breathing problem.
Many medical situations that involve shortness of breath can be effectively managed by a doctor. In severe cases, further tests may be necessary. Make sure you get treatment for sudden or severe breathing difficulties that last for a substantial amount of time.
Author’s Bio: Shirley Simpson is a writer and researcher. Her focus is on health and general lifestyle topics. She has posted many health related articles in her blog. Find out more at www.breathefree.com.