About Dyspnea

in Breath

Dyspnea in its simplest of terms means shortness of breath. It refers to those who for a variety of reasons may experience trouble catching their breath, feeling like they are suffocating or not being able to get air into their lungs.

Dyspnea can be caused by many factors; however, if you experience Dyspnea you should call 911 or get to an emergency room immediately. Dyspnea may be a sign of a heart attack, pulmonary edema and more. This is nothing to take lightly. While other causes are less serious, unless you know for certain what is causing the shortness of breath, you should contact a physician immediately.

Most likely Dyspnea is caused by a problem with the lungs or with the heart. It is the job of both of these organs to transport oxygen to the body and remove carbon dioxide from the body. If either one of these organs malfunctions, the results can be serious.

Several factors may trigger Dyspnea in individuals. The first is over-exertion. This is most likely to happen in people who have not exercised in a long time, who decide to push themselves through an exercise regime, hiking, biking or more. While Dyspnea may affect healthy people exercising as well, it is most commonly seen in overweight or obese people. Therefore it is important to start exercise programs slowly to build up strength first.

Going from a moderate temperature to a freezing cold one, such as jumping from a hot tub into an icy river, or going from room temperature into a sauna can also cause shortness of breath as the body attempts to regulate temperatures.

High altitude or going from sea level to a mountain, or even climbing several thousand feet without acclimating can lead to shortness of breath, dizziness and more.

Several factors may contribute to this condition and include asthma, bronchitis, smoking related issues, hyperventilation, lung cancer, pulmonary edema and more. Shortness of breath can also be an indication of a heart attack, heart failure or heart arrhythmias. Less severe triggers include broken or cracked ribs as well as attacks of anxiety or panic. If Dyspnea is accompanied by flu or cold-like symptoms, go to the emergency room.

Most people can be helped by a visit to the emergency room. The sooner you get help, the better your chances of resuming normal breathing. Depending on the condition, physicians may prescribe various treatments, including quitting smoking and incorporating an exercise regime into your life.  

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Jerry Knight has 1 articles online

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This article was published on 2010/10/30