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When you're short of breath, it's hard or uncomfortable for you to take in the oxygen your body needs. You may feel as if you're not getting enough air. Sometimes you can have mild breathing problems because of a stuffy nose or intense exercise. But shortness of breath can also be a sign of a serious disease.

Many conditions can make you feel short of breath:

If you often have trouble breathing, it is important to find out the cause.

Symptoms of Breathing Problems

The following features are indicative of Breathing Problems:
  • noisy breathing
  • shallow breaths
  • wheezing
  • chest pain
  • anxiety
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • troubled breathing
  • elevated pulse rate
  • pale skin
  • cough
  • sweating
It is possible that Breathing Problems shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.
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Common Causes of Breathing Problems

The following are the most common causes of Breathing Problems:
  • anemia
  • chest infection
  • heart diseases
  • blockage in blood vessels

Risk Factors for Breathing Problems

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Breathing Problems:
  • lung cancer
  • mesothelioma

Prevention of Breathing Problems

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Breathing Problems. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid smoking
  • maintain healthy body weight

Occurrence of Breathing Problems

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Breathing Problems cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Breathing Problems can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Breathing Problems can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Breathing Problems

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Breathing Problems:
  • Blood gases test: To evaluate the lung function and acid/base balance
  • Chest computed tomography scan: To determine the cause of lung symptoms
  • Chest X-ray: To diagnose and monitor conditions around the chest
  • Pulmonary function tests: To detect the functioning of the lungs and measure the effect of chronic diseases
  • Spirometry: To evaluate the working of the lungs and diagnose the breathing problems

Doctor for Diagnosis of Breathing Problems

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Breathing Problems:
  • Pulmonologist
  • Physical therapists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Exercise specialists
  • Dietitians

Complications of Breathing Problems if untreated

Yes, Breathing Problems causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Breathing Problems is left untreated:
  • respiratory functions may becomes affected
  • weakness of the ventilatory muscles can occur
  • swallowing abnormalities
  • pneumonia

Procedures for Treatment of Breathing Problems

The following procedures are used to treat Breathing Problems:
  • Allergy shots: Reduces the immune system reaction to specific allergens
  • Bronchial thermoplasty: Reduces the smooth muscle inside the airways by heating up insides of the airways
  • Lung volume reduction surgery: To remove small wedges of damaged lung tissue
  • Lung transplant: To treat severe lung damage
  • Supplemental oxygen therapy: To treat severe emphysema

Self-care for Breathing Problems

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Breathing Problems:
  • Use air conditioner: Reduces the amount of airborne pollens
  • Prevent mold spores: Keep mold spores from developing
  • Keep your home clean
  • Cover the nose and mouth if it's cold out
  • Get regular exercise: Prevents from asthma attacks
  • Quit smoking: Helps in maintaining overall health
  • Exercise regularly: Helps protecting against further complications

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Breathing Problems

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Breathing Problems:
  • Breathing exercises: Improves the asthma symptoms
  • Use herbal and natural remedies: Herbal and natural remedies like black seed, caffeine, choline and pycnogenol may help improve asthma symptoms

Patient Support for Treatment of Breathing Problems

The following actions may help Breathing Problems patients:
  • Pace yourself: Take breaks between the tasks and avoid activities that make the symptoms worse
  • Talk to others with your condition: Connect with people facing similar challenges
  • Child having asthma: Pay attention on the things your child can do
  • Join a rehabilitation program: Helps to reduce breathlessness and improves the ability to exercise
  • Join a support group: Helps in providing coping strategies

Time for Treatment of Breathing Problems

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Breathing Problems to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Breathing Problems.

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