Shortness of breath is a common experience characterized by short quick breaths or panting. It usually arises due to sudden exertion such as an unexpected dash or sprint. In most cases, this condition disappears after a short while if you take some time to rest, however in some people, it is a persistent problem.
If you have been panting excessively and are finding it difficult to breathe all the time, this article is for you. Read on to discover some reasons why you may be feeling breathless on a regular basis.
Incase if choking, respiratory problems may arise due to obstruction of the airways. If you usually find it hard to breath when eating, be sure to chew your food properly in order to prevent choking. You can also avoid talking during meals as this may also cause a sudden blockage of the airways when food travels down the trachea. This form of obstruction can usually be overcome by performing the Heimlich maneuver or drinking some water to assist the food to pass.
- Lung-related diseases and infections
Certain respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia can cause difficulty in breathing. Pneumonia is a bacterial infection that causes lung-inflammation due to fluid build-up. Once fluid accumulates in the air sacs, your body lacks adequate oxygen thereby causing you to take short quick breathes so as to accumulate more oxygen.
Another common condition that causes shortness of breath is asthma. This is an inflammation of the airways which causes limited passage of air. The narrow air channels will make it difficult for you to inhale and exhale, thereby resulting in wheezing and coughing accompanied by breathlessness. If you suspect that you have a lung-related condition, be sure to visit a doctor immediately so as to determine and effectively tackle the cause of your breathing difficulty.
- Heart-related conditions
Shortness of breath is a common symptom experienced during heart failure. Other heart conditions such as arrhythmia and angina could also bring about breathing difficulties. This is because the circulatory system (controlled by the heart) and the respiratory system (controlled by the lungs) are usually interdependent.
When your heart is unable to effectively pump blood to the body tissues and organs, your cells begin to lack oxygen because gases are not being efficiently transported by the blood. This oxygen-deficiency will soon result in rapid breathing as the body is trying to collect more oxygen to compensate for the shortage. It is important to consult a doctor in order to properly manage heart conditions.
- Allergic reactions
If you have an allergy to pollen, dust, strong scents or even certain foods, coming into contact with these allergens may trigger off a hypersensitive reaction. Allergens are substances which the body falsely recognizes as a threat and thereby resulting in the production of histamines. Histamines will in turn cause the inflammation of the airways and this leads to breathing difficulties. In order to avoid an allergic reaction, it is important for you to do an allergy test so as to determine which allergens affect you.
Dr. Andrew Matthews is a pulmonary expert who has gained a large amount of experience and knowledge in treating various respiratory conditions. He has committed his life to helping people overcome breathlessness and other symptoms of lung infection.