Shortness of breath-causes

Shortness of breath causes can be attributed to many disorders and diseases, some of them acute; others chronic. Here are the possible causes of shortness of breath, medically termed as dyspnea.

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1. Shortness of breath and pale look: This may imply anemia; this is when the individual gets tired easily and looks pale. Anemia is a condition in which the red blood cells are deficient and the body does not get enough oxygen. Here are types of anemia and causes.

2. Shortness of breath with coughing and wheezing This is when the person has episodes of shortness of breath, along with wheezing and coughing. This can be either an asthma or infection that leads to narrowing of the bronchial tubes. In case, the symptoms are complex, then one should go to the doctor immediately. If asthma has been diagnosed, then keep a quick relief inhaler handy and take the asthma medication. Infections can be treated with decongestant and over-the-counter cold medicines. If the symptoms do not work, see a doctor.

3. Shortness of breath with fever and blood in mucus– This can mean ether an infection, pulmonary embolism or lung cancer. If there is blood in the mucus, see a doctor rightaway.

4. Shortness of breath with chest pain, dry cough and fever– This may hint at histoplasmosis, an infection triggered by fungus.

5. Shortness of breath, fever and cough with pus type material– This may mean there is a lung abscess caused by an infection

6. Shortness of breath, rapid breathing and numbness in hand: Feeling tingling in your hand, numbness in mouth and hands, can mean that you may be having hyperventilation, overbreathing caused due to exercise or stress. In this case, breathe as if you are blowing a candle, keep lips pursed. You an also try cover one of your nostrils and mouth and breathe through the other nostril. If symptoms do not improve, then you can go to the doctor.

7. Shortness in breath that gets worse, chest pain after physical work or activity: If you have shortness of breath and are always tired with chest pain after doing physical activity, it can mean interstitial lung disease or sacroidosis that can cause scrarring to the lungs It can also mean pulmonary hypertension which is narrowing of the arteries that carry blood to the lungs. You should seek medical attention immediately in this case.

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8. Shortness of breath, swollen ankles and feet: If your ankles and feet get swollen and you find it difficult to breath when you lie down flat, it means that you may have congestive heart failure, which can cause fluid to build up in the feet, knees and lungs.

9. Shortness of breath in polluted atmosphere: It is normal to experience breating problems in fumes, cigarette smoke but if you have been in this environment in many occasions and the symptoms are getting progressively worse, then you may be having chronic obstructive pulmonary disease(COPD), chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

10. Shortness of breath with chest pain and tightness in chest– This means you may be having heart attack or pulmonary embolism in which the blood clot may move from leg to lungs or pneumothorax in which the air gets trapped between lungs and chest level. This can also be a symptom of collapsed lung called atelectasis.

11. Kidney failure: Shortness of breath is another symptom of kidney failure when the kidneys cannot cope up with rapildly rising acid levels in the body and the person tends to breath rapidly as the lungs try to balance the acidity by expelling carbon dioxide.

12. Monkeypox: The first symptoms of monkeypox include fever, sweating, malaise, and some patients can also get cough, nausea, and shortness of breath. Two or four days later after fever develops, there are rashes with papules and pistules on the face, chest and later in other parts of the body.

13. Obesity: People who are obese tend to breathe quickly when there is a physical activity beyond their tolerance level.

14. Plague: Plague also includes shortness of breath, blood in sputum and chest pain as symptoms.

15. Pulmonary Hypertension: Shortness of breath that worsens with physical activity, cough, dizziness and lethargy, chest pain can also mean pulmonary hypertension.;

16. Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS): Before shortness of breath in SARS, there is mild cough and fever that resembles influenza.

17. Scoliosis-One of the biggest symptoms of scoliosis is the unusual curvature of the spine. There is shortness of breath and chest pain because the chest and lungs may not be able to work properly.

18. Hodgkin Lymphoma This is a cancer that starts off in the cells of the immune system. Some of the symptoms include swollen lymph nodes that do not hurt in the neck, groin and under-arms. There is fever that does not go away, weight loss, night sweat, itchy skin, coughing, chest pain , weakness, lethargy and shortness of breath

19. Swine Flu: Shortness of breath is a symptom in Swine flu H1N1 as well

20. Panic attack- Anxiety due to stress and depression can also make a person get short breaths. This may be in some cases like stage-fright etc. These are preventable by counseling and deep breathing exercises.

21. Other causes of shortness of breath

This can include severe diabetes mellitus, acidosis, tuberculosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, muscular dystrophy, muscular dystrophy, polymyositis, dermatomyositis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, multiple sclerosis, paralysis and stroke.

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1 Comment

  1. Shortness of breath and coughing up very thick green mucous (a bit of brown). Breathing is easier in late afternoon and evening after coughing up the mucous. Using an inhaler that doesn’t help much. Smoker and I have gotten down to 2 cigs a day without aids.

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