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Dyspnea, or shortness of breath: Causes and treatment


Dyspnea is shortness of breath. It’s a very
common symptom in a lot of illnesses and conditions. People think of COPD or interstitial lung
disease or pulmonary hypertension, but it can also go along with conditions like heart
failure and cancers. And really there can be so much suffering that goes along with
the shortness of breath. It causes anxiety and depression, and dependence on others for
help around the house and doing errands and and it just can make people feel so terrible.
What amazes me about a lot of patients I meet with advanced lung disease is how accustomed
many of them become to the limitations of their breathing. Some of them become very
used to walking ten feet and stopping and resting. And it they at least tell me sometimes
that it doesn’t bother them and some people it does bother. So really it’s taking a very
personal, very patient-focused approach to how does it affect them and how do we help
make it better?

27 thoughts on “Dyspnea, or shortness of breath: Causes and treatment

  1. in my case it is caused by {tuberculosis + fibrosis } and my doctor says that it can not be cured at all ..the big things is that on my one side of chest that squeeze and not response to my breath

  2. I suffer from daily dyspnea due to my wegeners granulomatosis and this seriously just explained what I have been feeling for the past year….. I've never smoked cigarettes I never harm my body ! It just sucks so bad to not be able to fully breathe in air without having to think about it

  3. I need help. I'm at the end of my metaphorical rope.

    ALL of my life (37 now) have had on and off shortness of breath. no matter how hard I try to breathe it feels like it's not reaching my lungs. I am not in any apparent danger of suffocation, but it just feels like I'm only getting 5% of my breath. Every once in a while I will take in a whole deep breath (Damn it feels good when that happens…) And lately, it's being accompanied by minor lightheadedness.

    No doctor I have yet talked to has been able to diagnose anything, I've tried breathing machines, inhalers, and anti-anxiety medications and they do not seem to have any real benefit.

  4. I don't smoke but I don't know what problem I have but every time I talk it's quite an effort and I can't yell, or talk loud , I think it might be to do with my chest. I do have shortness of breath and have acid reflux but I don't think that's a lot to do with it. would love to know what it is. it effects me everyday and it'd hard to keep a good conversation going. especially saying any 'h ' words or 'a' and 'o' words without kinda stuttering. oh and it feels like there's a rock in my stomach.

  5. I've had shortness of breath for about 2-1/2 weeks now, and went to the hospital emergency to get help. They took a blood test showing that my potassium level was 3.0, below the normal 3.6. According to the internet, low potassium can cause shortness of breath. I'm taking potassium supplements now, and I will let you know if they work.
    However, I don't quite think this is the cause.

  6. I been having this a lot lately more then normal …..i used to have some kind of heart problem when I was younger

  7. I am 35. I can´t breathe. Four doctors have no idea why. I never smoked. I have only light asthma and many allergies. No pathology found. No cardio problems, rentgen was OK, spirometry OK, blood results OK. Every move cause problem. I can only sit still and not move. At all. Staircase is like Everest. I have problems even during slow walking. I can´t do anything. I have also depression and anxiety. I suffer this for four months and it gets worse and worse. I take pills for sleeping so I don´t know, if I have sleeping apnoe.

  8. I'm just skinny, anemic, and prone to dust smoke because my father smoke a lot even inside our house and I just read somewhere else that it maybe the cause of it of my shortness of breath I just hope that it isn't that serious I pray to God.

  9. My dad passed away January 24, 2018 from shortness of breath. He got a blood transfusion but it didn't work so we lost him. I miss my dad and think about him all the time

  10. I have shortness of breath when I lie down. The only history I have was being born very early at 24 weeks, after released from NICU, I had Bradycardia . I'd stop breathing and was hooked up to a machine so everytime I would stop breathing it would sound an alarm. I'm a young adult now

  11. I suffer this
    And I am crying right now because I always think that I’m going to die

    1 like= 1 pray that I would not have heart failure

  12. I'm 13 and my throat always feels like it's tightened and when I try to take a deep breath it just feels like the air won't go through, other than this I am also suffering with anxiety and dpdr.

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