Shortness of Breath

Read here about shortness of breath or breathlessness, causes and treatment.

Shortness of breath is characterized by having trouble breathing and not being able to get enough air with each respiration. The shortness of breath causes can be many.

Shortness of breath or air hunger can appear as a result of a chronic respiratory disease, such us asthma, pneumonia, COPD… affecting the breathing passages and lungs, but can also be a cause of heart and blood vessels diseases, as well as psychogenic. A psychogenic cause originates from the mind, usually due to emotional or mental stress and no organic problem is found.


A research study at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center indicates that shortness of breath may be the only warning sign for heart disease, in people without lung disease. 

Shortness of breath is also referred to as dyspnea and can occur either at rest or related with physical activity and exercise. People suffering of dyspnea can have rapid breathing that leads to hyperventilation.

Shortness of breath can be accompanied by other symptoms such as wheezingcoughing, chest pressure.  Wheezing is a whistle like sound that occurs during expiration, when the air is exhaled from the lungs. This is because the airways are inflamed and narrowed. The inflammation of the airways can occur due to a respiratory infection or allergic reaction. In wheezing, the bronchospasm is also common, when the muscles around the bronchial tubes tighten, constricting the airways. This is happening due to hyperventilation, or overbreathing, that causes abnormal levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, triggering the smooth muscles around the bronchial tubes to constrict. As someone can notice, shortness of breath, wheezing and hyperventilation are all interconnected.      

The following complementary approaches can help you to breath better, if breathing difficulty is related to an airways disease or lung disease:

  • know and avoid your allergens
  •  use home salt therapy to clean airways and reduce inflammation, for at least 7-8 hours daily 
  •  clean indoor air using air filters
  •  slow breathing technique using abdomen muscles and regularize breathing to 14-18 breaths per minute
  •  include Turmeric in your diet to help in reducing inflammation due to its compound named curcumin