Shortness of breath is nowadays very common among people, which is also known as Dyspnea. In addition to heavy pollution and our current lifestyles, shortness of breath is contributed by various other factors that cause difficulty in breathing. When such complications are left untreated, it will lead to death. The heart and lungs play a vital role in breathing. These organs help to remove the carbon-di-oxide from the body and involves transporting oxygen to all parts of the body. Specifically, if there is a problem in this process, eventually it will tend to difficulty in breathing. In this article, we are going to explore the different types of breathing problems and symptoms and causes of shortness of breath
Shortness of Breath or Dyspnea
When there is insufficient air supply to your hearts or lungs, you will start to suffocate and will eventually experience the difficulty in breathing. This can be normally seen when you are in high altitudes, during or after very arduous exercise, even obesity also can cause difficulty in breathing. Even people who are suffering from chronic disease in the lungs or heart will get breathing problems. Sometimes, fever and common cold will also get the symptoms of shortness of breath.
Symptoms of Shortness of Breath
The main symptoms of shortness of breath or dyspnea are having breathing problems. The other following list is the symptoms of dyspnea.
- Swallowed / rapid breathing
- Chest pain & chest tightness
Risk complications of Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath or Dyspnea has a chance to associate with hypoxia. Hypoxia is a starving condition of the oxygen to the tissues. It will low the level of blood oxygen in the body. So this will tend to worsening and triggering of other medical complications.
Causes of Shortness of Breath
In general, when a person is suffering difficulty in breathing without any reason, it is a concerning scenario to be taken care of immediately. For example, shortness of breath can be easily experienced by a person when doing some hefty physical work or afterwards. On the other hand, if shortness of breath exists when sitting idle or for climbing a small staircase, then those are signs of some health problems that can show up eventually.
- Low blood pressure
- Carbon-monoxide poisoning
- Heart attack
- Flare-up of asthma
- A blood clot in the lungs or pulmonary embolism
- Panic attack
There are some chronic conditions where the shortness of breath will withstand bear 4 weeks or longer days. The following are the list of the chronic condition of shortness of breath or dyspnea.
- Heart dysfunction
- Inflammation of heart
- Interstitial lung disease
- Chronic lung diseases like pulmonary hypertension, COPD.
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Lung cancer
- Lung injury
- Physical deconditioning
Apart from excruciating pain, heart problems will have more symptoms, and eventually, it also causes shortness of breath. Heart problems will lead to difficulty in pumping the oxygen-rich blood and Later, will lead to more difficulty in supplying it throughout the body. The dangerous causes to get heart disease include damages occurring in heart valves or if the heart muscles have inflammations or blood clots in blood vessels in the heart or irregular heart breath will be more dangerous to lead the life. Above all, heart diseases like coronary artery disease, congenital heart disease, arrhythmias, congestive heart failures, pericarditis, cardiomyopathy, etc. are examples of heart disease which will cause shortness of breath. In this article, we are going to explore a few examples of heart diseases.
Symptoms and causes
In the case of cardiomyopathy, the heart muscles will become so weak, that it will be harder to pump the blood and eventually, will cease to supply the blood throughout the body. In conclusion, cardiomyopathy will slowly lead to heart failure. The symptoms of cardiomyopathy include fatigue, rapid heartbeats, dizziness, chest pressure, etc. The main symptoms are shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing which can worsen the condition as the day passes. Causes of cardiomyopathy are over intake of alcohol & smoking, pregnancy complications, high blood pressure for a long period, problems in the heart valve, obesity, metabolic disorders, intake of certain steroids. Also, certain infections that cause inflammation in the heart also lead to cardiomyopathy.
Treatment & prevention
Based on the damage of the heart, doctors will prescribe the treatment to the patient. Heart transplantation, surgical implant devices like VAD (ventricular assist device) defibrillators, pacemakers, and surgery like septal myectomy can help to get rid of this cardiomyopathy. Then medications will be given individually to tackle various symptoms and problems. Certain medicines will help to reduce the high blood pressure, to reduce the inflammation in the heart, to prevent the blood clot. Likewise, other types of drugs prescribed will improve the ability of the heart to pump efficiently, for removing excess fluid from the body, for increasing blood flow, and also furthermore, to reduce breathing problems. Similarly, the main and easiest way to uphold the prevention of such illness is to lead a healthy lifestyle with natural remedies. Regular exercise (doctor’s guidance) and having balanced diet food will help to prevent this disease.
2. Heart Failure
Symptoms and causes
Heart failure arises as a result of the heart not being able to pump blood properly. On the whole, the entire system is affected without proper blood flow and the organ system is also affected, unable to maintain homeostasis. The reasons for heart failure range from a range of diseases such as AIDS to hormonal issues to simple issues, such as abuse of alcohol and tobacco. Eventually, other complications including kidney damage, liver damage, and blood vessel problems, also arise as a result.
Treatment and prevention
Medicines will be given to the patients, for improving the ability of the heart to pump the blood, to reduce the blood clots and cholesterol levels, to remove the excess of sodium, and will replenish the potassium levels. Beta-blockers, ACE or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, Angiotensin II receptor blockers, Inotropes, diuretics, etc., can help to recover from heart failures. Surgeries like coronary bypass surgery, angioplasty, pacemakers, defibrillators, ventricular assist devices, heart transplantation will help to cure the heart failures. The best method of prevention is to lead a healthy lifestyle by following a balanced food, doing regular exercise, meditation, etc. Simultaneously, avoiding other habits such as smoking and drinking will add more benefits to the cause. Interestingly, controlling diabetes and blood sugar will help to prevent heart failure.
Symptoms and causes
Pericarditis is the inflammation of the pericardium, which is a thin sack-like membrane surrounding the heart. Other conditions like endocarditis, myopericarditis, and myocarditis will cause inflammation in the heart. The main symptom is shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing and the other symptoms are cough, leg and abdominal swelling, chest pain, fever, fatigue, Heart palpitations, pericardial effusion, etc. The causes of pericarditis are viral or bacterial or fungal infections, radiation treatment, metabolic disorders, certain medications, trauma or injury in the heart, systemic inflammatory disorders like rheumatoid arthritis & lupus, kidney failure, AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer.
Medications will be given to reduce the inflammation in the heart. Medicines like corticosteroids, pain relievers, colchicine, etc. For bacterial infections, antibiotics will be given. However, surgery is done in most cases where a pericardiectomy, which involves the removal of pericardium from the heart is involved. In addition, one more surgical method called pericardiocentesis is involved where it involves the removal of excess fluid from the cavity of the pericardium. Try to avoid strenuous activity, because it will trigger the pericarditis. In the meantime, following the doctor’s instructions can help you to avoid unnecessary complications.
Lung disorders can affect an individual in both acute and chronic diseases. In this article, we are going to explore a few of the lung disorders, in particular, that can cause difficulty in breathing. The majority of lung diseases are caused by various factors, namely, viral infections, bacterial infections, fungal infections. In addition, genetic factors, inhalation of toxins, overdosage of drugs, smoking, alcohol, overexposure to radiation and chemicals, connective tissue disease also contribute to lung diseases. Likewise, it can be easily spread by cancer and by other conditions too.
Symptoms and causes
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of disease which leads to poor function of the lungs. The most common conditions in COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is a condition where it will destroy the air sacs in the lungs and will interfere and block the airflow in the lungs. Chronic bronchitis is a condition where, it will cause the inflammation and will narrow the bronchial tubes, so this will tend to allow the mucus build-up in the tube. Further, one of the main symptoms is shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing, mucus accumulation, wheezing, swelling in the anklet or legs, fatigue, sudden weight loss, lack of energy, severe continuous cough, lack of energy, etc.
In general, CPOD patients have a high risk to develop lung cancer, heart disease, etc. On the whole, the causes of COPD are majorly smoking and exposure to polluted air having dangerous pollutants. Risk factors also include exposure to tobacco smoking, exposure to heavy chemicals and dust, asthma, genetics, etc. In addition to general complications, COPD can also include other dangerous complications like heart problems, cancer, high blood pressure in arteries in the lungs, lung cancer, and respiratory infections.
Treatment & Prevention
Common medications prescribed involve using substances like bronchodilators which helps to relax the muscles in the airway. Fortunately, It can be easily used via an inhaler or nebulizer. Corticosteroids can help to reduce airway inflammation. Oral steroids, theophylline, phosphodiester-4 inhibitors are a few examples of medicines that help to treat the COPD. Other treatments like oxygen therapy, surgeries like bullectomy, and in extreme cases; a lung transplant will help to cure the COPD. Try to quit smoking and avoid overexposing to chemicals and dust. With this in mind, a stress-free mode of living via a balanced diet food, exercise (doctor’s guidance), meditations, and yoga will help to improve the recovery and will most certainly, help to prevent the disease too.
2. Pulmonary edema
Symptoms and causes
Pulmonary edema conditions will cause an excess of fluid in the lungs. The fluid will be get collected in air-sac in the lungs, which will cause difficulty in breathing. Symptoms of pulmonary edema are wheezing, fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid weight gain, fever, and cough. The main causes are congestive heart failure, which causes the backup pressure in the blood vessels in the lungs and it will tend to leak the fluid from the vessels in the lungs. High altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE) can occur to the person who is traveling in the high altitudes.
The cause for the HAPE is breathing problems, fever, fatigue, cough, sputum with blood, headache, and chest pain. The medical conditions like heart attack, pneumonia, kidney failure, cardiomyopathy, sudden high blood pressure, sepsis, damaged heart valves are the other causes. The external factors include trauma or injury, over usage of drugs, inhalation of toxins, etc. will cause the pulmonary edema.
Treatment and prevention
Pulmonary requires quick treatment and proper oxygen supply will be the first-line treatment. However, based on the extent of the medical condition the doctor may give further medications. Sometimes doctors will prescribe the diuretics, morphine, heart-related medications, and blood pressure-related medications that can help to cure the disease. The flu vaccine will help prevent pulmonary edema. Leading a good and healthy life by following a properly balanced diet will help to reduce the occurrence of shortness of breath. Likewise, doing the exercise (doctor’s guidance), in addition to mediation and yoga will help to prevent breathing problems and disease. Specifically, quitting smoking will drastically improve the recovery and prevention of breathing problems. In addition to all the above, avoiding high altitudes with shortness of breath is a must for those who are afflicted with the condition.
3. Pulmonary fibrosis
Symptoms and causes
Pulmonary fibrosis will cause scarred and damage to the lung’s tissue. Furthermore, these tissues will become stiffer and make it difficult to work for the lungs. Furthermore, this will prevent the oxygen in the lungs and it will lead to many respiratory problems, heart failures, etc. Moreover, shortness of breath will be more intense and difficult in the case of pulmonary fibrosis. The damage of the lungs which is caused by pulmonary fibrosis is difficult to repair, however, with the proper medications and therapies, one can reduce the complications and improve the quality of life.
One of the main symptoms is shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing and the other symptoms like fatigue, cough, sudden weight loss, wheezing, chest pain, weakness. The main causes of these diseases are infections, autoimmune diseases, genetics, idiopathic, certain medications, environmental exposure like dust, animal droppings, and coal dust. Complications can include pulmonary hypertension, lung cancer, respiratory failure, etc.
Treatment and prevention
Medications and therapies cannot reverse the lung damage, nevertheless, it can still improve the quality of life. Medication like pirfenidone & nintedanib help to prevent from the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Many medicines are available in the market, but their common goal is to improve the condition of the lungs and to prevent further damage. Oxygen therapy will be given to prevent complications from low blood oxygen levels and also help to breathe easier. Pulmonary rehabilitation will be focused on nutritional counseling, easier breathier techniques, and exercise which will improve the lung’s efficiency, but it is in the patient’s hands to cooperate with the physician to improve the overall quality of recovery.
Lung transparent can help to lead a long life, but it should be done very carefully because it is prone to complications like infections. In addition, there is also a high-risk factor for rejection. Leading a good healthy lifestyle by following a balanced food diet, proper exercise (doctor’s guidance), mediations, yoga will help to prevent breathing problems and other associated diseases. At the same time, quitting smoking habits will give better results. Try to take adequate rest and sleep well, as this can help to get rid of the difficulty in breathing.
Apart from the heart and lung disorder, there are more diseases which will cause shortness of breath. They are anemia, broken ribs, choking, myasthenia gravis, epiglottitis, metabolic acidosis, hyperventilation syndrome, etc. So, the cause of shortness of breath can be associated with the other diseases and it will be more risk to lead life. But, early detection is most important in almost all cases. Moreover, If these diseases are untreated the situation will get worsen and so early detection will help to cure further complications.
General treatment to prevent the shortness of breath
- Leading a proper healthy lifestyle can help to avoid unwanted complications in the body. Hence, try to follow the proper healthy balanced diet food with proper regular exercise, mediations and yoga are in your day-to-day life. Having proper immune rich foods with doctors guidance can help you to improve the immunity power in your body. Moreover, by following this, your breathing capacity will be increased and you can avoid difficulty in breathing.
- Quitting of smoking and alcohol consumption will enhance recovery during respiratory diseases.
- Obesity is the major cause of most of the heart and lungs disorder. In relation to that, avoid junk foods as much as possible and especially focus on reducing your weight. Moreover, this will help to prevent further more complications.
- Pregnant ladies should be more careful because it will directly affect their infants.
- If you are noticing any symptoms as mentioned in this article, then definitely go to the doctor and in case if you are diagnosed with any disease, start the treatment immediately.
- Early diagnosis and treatment can help to cure the disorders easily. Furthermore don’t try self-medication, as it is important to consult the doctor and have the prescribed medicines.
- Follow the precautionary steps when you are working in the chemical and wood industries because it will elevate more breathing problems, as fine particles may enter the breathing ducts.
- Try to avoid going to high altitude, exposing to allergens, because this will trigger the pulmonary diseases, as it would be difficult to breathe under such distress conditions.
- Avoid strenuous activities, unguided workouts, and also exposure to pollutants, because this will also cause breathing problems very quickly.
- There are many home-based remedies treatment to cure shortness of breath. But consulting such remedies with the doctor and then doing it will reduce any chances of complications.
FAQs regarding on Shortness of breath
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a group of disease which leads to poor function in the lungs. The most common conditions in COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Pulmonary edema conditions will cause an excess of fluid in the lungs. Moreover, the fluid will be get collected in air-sac in the lungs, which will cause difficulty in breathing.
In this case, the heart muscles will become so weaker, which will be harder to pump the blood and very difficult to supply the blood throughout the body. Furthermore, cardiomyopathy can lead to heart failure.
Editor’s note | Shortness of breath
In this pandemic situation, try to avoid traveling, and also you should follow the social distancing. Because the COVID-19 virus is more prone to pulmonary and heart problems. Very easily and quickly the virus will infect the patients and there also might lead to death. If it is mandatory, then you go out, but make sure the place you visit should follow the CDC recommended rules. That is they sanitize well and also they should check the temperature of the people. The person who is suffering from shortness of breath sometimes will prone to low immunity health, so they should be more careful during the pandemic situation.