Sudden difficulty in breathing paired with an uncomfortable sensation is often termed as breathlessness. It is commonly recognized as dyspnoea in medical terms. Anyone can experience breathlessness after heavy physical activity such as running after the bus. However, when it comes on unexpectedly without a sign it is usually an indication of a serious underlying problem.
Below is a detailed guide to help you identify the possible reasons for your breathlessness. Caution: This article is to generate awareness, do not use it for self-diagnoses and treatment.
Reasons for experiencing sudden breathlessness:
Sometimes the only indication of a silent heart attack is shortness of breath. Not all heart attacks will have the most obvious symptoms such as anxiety and chest pain. This life-threatening condition occurs when the heart is unable to pump the required amount of blood in the body, usually due stiff or weak heart muscles. Immediate medical attention that involves medicine and/or surgery makes the heart healthier and prevent breathlessness.
Sudden breathlessness can occur because of an asthma attack. The airways of your lungs become narrow and produce more phlegm causing you to cough and wheeze. Asthma is an incurable disease that can be kept under control through the right asthma treatment plan. Pneumonia and COPD are other diseases of the lungs where the patient might only experience breathlessness as a symptom.
At times a panic attack or anxiety can cause you to feel shortness of breath. This can be corrected without medical help by breathing slowly or through a paper bag. However, don’t wait too long before calling a doctor if the patient is unable to breathe at all.
Reasons for experiencing long-term breathlessness
Poor and unhealthy food choices along with little or no activity can make a person obese. It is not only difficult to perform tasks with an overweight body but it can also expose your body to a number of diseases.
The main culprit of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is smoking. It permanently damages the lungs of those who have been continuously smoking for years.
Anaemia occurs when the level of oxygen in the body lowers usually due to lack of red blood cells or haemoglobin. Common symptoms include fatigue and breathlessness.
While you cannot avoid breathlessness, you can try to prevent it by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Quit smoking as smokers are more likely to get affected by issues related to breathlessness. Regular exercise and maintaining the right body weight can also keep breathing problems away.