At one time or another, most of us have experienced difficulty breathing. There is no easy definition for this condition because your breathing difficulties may stem from a variety of causes. For example, breathing hard while just climbing the stairs may indicate no disorder at all. While shortness of breath may be caused by a stuffy nose or may be a sign of a more serious illness. There is no easy definition for breathing difficulties. It is always a good idea to see your doctor to determine the cause and receive any necessary treatment.
Our doctor performs diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of breathing difficulties for patients in our region.
What causes breathing difficulties?
General causes of shortness of breath are:
- Obstruction of the air passages of the throat, mouth or nose
- The muscles, body organs or brain do not receive enough oxygen
- Heart disease
- Emotional distress such as anxiety
Specific causes include the following:
- Rapid ascent to high altitudes, with less oxygen in the air
- Dust-laden environment
- Airway obstruction
- Inhalation of a foreign object
- Allergies (such as to mold, dander, or pollen)
- Lack of exercise
- Heart arrhythmias
- Compression of the chest wall
- Interstitial lung disease
- Lung disease
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Hiatal hernia
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Panic attacks
How are breathing difficulties diagnosed?
Whether sudden or long term, you should always take your breathing difficulty seriously. Our doctor performs a detailed medical history, a physical examination, and diagnostic tests to evaluate and diagnose your condition.
What are the treatments for breathing difficulties?
Treatments range depending on the severity of your condition.