Shortness of Breath

This article talks about shortness of breath or breathlessness, about causes and treatment.

What is Shortness of breath?

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

Shortness of breath or air hunger can appear as a result of a chronic respiratory disease, such us asthma, pneumonia, COPD. It affects the breathing passages and lungs. It 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. In this case no organic problem is found.

asthma and shortness of breath

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

How does breathlessness manifest?

Shortness of breath can be accompanied by other symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, 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. The muscles around the bronchial tubes tighten, constricting the airways. This is happening due to hyperventilation, or over-breathing, causing abnormal levels of carbon dioxide in the blood.  At this point, the smooth muscles around the bronchial tubes will start to constrict. As someone can notice, shortness of breath, wheezing and hyperventilation are all interconnected.

The following complementary approaches can help you improve your breathing (if breathing difficulty is related to an airways disease or lung disease):

  • find your allergens and try to avoid them
  •  use home salt therapy to clean airways and reduce inflammation, for at least 7-8 hours daily
  •  use a sinus rinse nasal wash to clear pathogens and allergens from nasal passages
  •  clean indoor air using high quality air filters
  •  slow breathing technique using abdomen muscles and regularize breathing to 14-18 breaths per minute
  •  include Turmeric in your diet to help reducing inflammation due to its compound named curcumin