What causes shortness of breath? Symptoms of shortness of breath

By | 15 May 2021

What causes shortness of breath? Symptoms of shortness of breath

Shortness of breath, which is defined as dyspnea in medicine, is defined as the inability of the person to breathe sufficiently. When the person feels that they cannot fill their lung capacity with air; Unlike it normally does, it feels every moment of breathing. Shortness of breath; In addition to complaints such as insufficient breath, air hunger, breathlessness, it manifests itself with symptoms such as being breathless when climbing stairs that can be easily climbed before, not being as fast as others when walking on a flat surface, feeling the need to rest and breathe frequently. In addition, chest tightness that occurs suddenly at rest and the need to breathe deeply is among the symptoms of this discomfort. Complaints of shortness of breath often increase during the hot summer months. This situation may be caused by an increase in the load on the heart or may be caused by lung diseases. In some cases, even if the person breathes enough, he may feel that he cannot breathe comfortably. Complaints of shortness of breath, which can also be experienced due to psychological reasons, are a multi-faceted disorder.

What is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath, also known as shortness of breath, is discomfort that prevents a person from doing daily activities and reduces the quality of life. This situation, which can occur for many different reasons, is characterized by the feeling of breathing and difficulty in performing this action. In some cases, shortness of breath due to the lung can be seen due to heart problems or purely psychological reasons. Therefore, shortness of breath is evaluated in two separate statuses as lung-related and extrapulmonary causes. While the main source of sudden shortness of breath problems is mostly due to the heart and lungs, the causes that emerge gradually within days are considered as subacute and chronic causes. The causes of shortness of breath are generally listed in this way. Regardless of the reason, people with shortness of breath should take this into consideration and consult a physician as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath, which prevents a person’s quality of life and daily life, should be taken seriously and the causes of this condition should be investigated. Common symptoms of shortness of breath are listed as follows:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • A feeling of not being able to breathe enough
  • Fatigue and constant weakness
  • The feeling of stuffiness or suffocation
  • Chest pain
  • Bloody sputum
  • Chronic and sudden cough
  • Difficulty in activities that are normally performed easily
  • Waking up at night feeling unable to breathe
  • Difficulty breathing during rest
  • Impaired consciousness
  • Heart palpitations
  • Weight loss
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Swelling in the ankles and legs

What causes shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath, which is defined as difficulty in breathing and inability to breathe sufficiently, is examined under two separate headings as lung-related causes and non-lung-related causes. Causes of shortness of breath are mostly seen due to the pathology present in the lung. The question of causing shortness of breath that is not related to the lung is answered as being visible due to heart problems and psychological reasons. The discomfort that makes it difficult to breathe may cause the heart, lungs, and other vital tissues to be oxygenated insufficiently and carbon dioxide to accumulate in the body. Lung cancer, obesity, Guillain barre syndrome, myasthenia gravis, tuberculosis, panic attack, and anxiety disorders are among the causes that cause shortness of breath. Acute or, in other words, sudden shortness of breath causes are listed as follows:

  • Asthma
  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory obstructions and presence of foreign body
  • Pneumonia defined as pneumonia
  • Pneumothorax, known as a sunken lung
  • Pulmonary embolism was seen as a result of sudden blood clotting in the lung arteries
  • Blood loss

The causes of chronic shortness of breath are as follows:

  • Obesity
  • Interstitial lung diseases (rheumatic diseases, exposure to dust and gases)
  • Obstructive lung diseases (smoking, COPD)
  • Restrictive lung diseases (heart failure, anemia)
  • Senile
  • Asthma

Shortness of breath due to the lungs

Asthma, which causes a decrease in lung capacity, is one of the complaints of shortness of breath that develops due to the lung. Asthma, which causes narrowing of the airways, causes a feeling of constriction in the chest and complaints of not being able to breathe sufficiently. It is usually characterized by a wheezing and whistling sound in the lungs. Other factors that cause narrowing of the airways and thus shortness of breath include causes such as heavy exercise, colds, flu, and allergies. The presence of foreign bodies in the airways also causes shortness of breath. This situation, which is especially seen in young children, causes sudden breathing difficulties and requires urgent intervention. Breathing poisonous gas for a long time also causes similar complaints. Especially during cleaning with hot water, chemical-containing steam from the detergent, gas, stove, and natural gas poisoning caused by mixing different detergents can cause complaints of hunger. In case of deflation of all or a part of the lung defined as pneumothorax, intense pain in the lung area and shortness of breath may be seen. Pulmonary embolism is known as partial or complete cessation of blood circulation as a result of coagulation in blood vessels in the lungs; is a disease that causes severe chest pain, bloody saliva, fainting, and shortness of breath. Chronic bronchitis, smoking, COPD, environmental and air pollution, living very close to the industrial zone, exposure to harmful chemicals are also among the factors that cause shortness of breath due to the lungs.

Heart-related shortness of breath

Complaints of shortness of breath caused by the heart do not occur suddenly. In this situation, where the complaints continue to increase over time, the patient tolerates shortness of breath for a long time and does not notice the complaints. Heart attack, which is characterized by severe chest pain, may cause shortness of breath in the early period. Heart palpitations can sometimes cause the person not to breathe sufficiently. Edema formation may occur due to diseases such as high blood pressure and heart failure. Pulmonary edema, especially caused by the heart, is a disease that is accompanied by shortness of breath and requires urgent intervention.

How is shortness of breath diagnosed?

After the history of the patient is listened to in detail by the specialist physician, a detailed physical examination is performed. When deemed necessary, the physician requests different radiological and laboratory tests such as chest radiography, blood tests, respiratory function tests, tomography, bronchoscopy, coronary angiography. According to the result report obtained with the psychological evaluation, the situation causing shortness of breath is clarified and appropriate treatment is arranged.

How does shortness of breath go?

After the cause of shortness of breath is determined, the complaints of shortness of breath are eliminated by arranging the appropriate treatment by the physician. To answer the frequently asked question of what is good for shortness of breath, it should be investigated in detail what causes shortness of breath. With the treatment of the underlying disease, the complaint of shortness of breath also disappears. However, avoiding smoking, not breathing polluted air for a long time, not mixing, and not breathing chemical cleaning products help prevent possible shortness of breath complaints. For a better life, do not neglect to have your checkups regularly.


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