When breathing, the lung takes in oxygen and excretes carbon dioxide from the body. Every cell needs oxygen to function properly and grow. The breathing system may be infected, and this results in difficulty when breathing. People experiencing difficulty in breathing feel like they can’t draw a complete breath. Shortness of breath signals may signal a severe problem that might require immediate medical attention. This article will discuss different causes of breathing problems.
This is a common cause of breathing problems. It can affect people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. Sinuses may block due to an infection known as Sinusitis. This infection causes the inflammation and swelling of the tissues that form the sinuses linings. Sinusitis makes the sinuses which are typically hollow spaces and filled with air accumulate fluids. This condition may be caused by;
- The common cold
- Nasal polyps
- A shift in the nasal cavity
Acute Sinusitis may last for 2-4 weeks. Patients develop stuffy, runny noses. This condition makes it difficult to breathe through the nostrils. Sub-acute Sinusitis may last for up to 12 weeks, while chronic Sinusitis persists beyond the 12th week. Sinusitis may reoccur several times in a year.
Other symptoms of Sinusitis include loss of smell, coughing or throat congestion, fever, and dental pain. In children, the infections may result from pacifiers and allergies. Although acute Sinusitis typically resolves without medication, it is wise to seek medical treatment. Sinuses produce mucus that warms the air and traps dust and other allergens. If they are infected, effective breathing will be impaired.
It is an inflammatory disease that affects the lungs and the airways. The condition is marked by swelling of bronchial tubes, and the body tends to secret sticky mucus in these that cause blockage. People suffering from it may experience difficulty in breathing and experience challenges executing some physical activities.
In the United States, it is approximated that over 25 million people suffer from this condition. It is prevalent in children and affects 1 child out of 12 American children. People with this disease only experience symptoms when the airways swell and fill with mucus secretions. This condition leads to airway irritability, and this is a condition where the bronchitis tubes become oversensitive and overreact when they come into contact with non-lethal triggers. These problems lead to symptoms such as:
- Cough that occurs mainly in the morning, at night or during exercise.
- Asthmatic people experience wheezing while breathing; this is a result of constricted airways.
- There is shortness of breath as the body is unable to draw in enough oxygen.
- Air sacks walls in the lungs swell, and this cause tightness and pain in the chest.
With proper treatment, people can live comfortably with this condition. It is also advisable to know the allergens that trigger the situation and avoid them.
Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection that affects one or both lungs. This infection causes the alveoli to fill with pus or fluid, making breathing difficult and limiting oxygen intake in the body. It is a fatal disease that is known to cause mass deaths to children worldwide. The condition is also known to affect people older than 65 years and those with weakened immunity. It is more prevalent in Subsaharan Africa and south Asia. It is caused by several infectious microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses. The most common method of transmission in this infection is through airborne droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person. Several signs and symptoms characterize this disease these include:
- Shortness of breath.
Chest pain, which occurs when breathing or coughing due to the fluid filling the air sacs is also a common symptom. In older people, the condition is known to cause changed mental awareness and confusion. Several prevention methods include getting vaccinated, practicing good hygiene, quitting smoking, improving the immune system, and ensuring children have their vaccination at the right time.
This is a life-threatening immune response to allergens. The condition occurs within minutes or seconds after exposure to allergens. It causes the body to release a large amount of biochemical that may cause the patient to shock. If a person experiences an anaphylactic reaction, they need a shot of epinephrine. This shot is known to reverse the condition within minutes. If there are no changes observed, the patient should get a second shot after half an hour. Someone should call for emergency medical help because if the condition is left untreated can be deadly.
People having this condition should not take antihistamine because it may worsen the situation. This disease is sporadic, and most people recover from it. People need to tell their doctors about any drug allergies they have before medical treatments. It is also advisable to wear a medical alert bracelet or pendant, or a card containing information about your allergic problem. This ailment’s signs and symptoms start as a normal allergic reaction with a runny nose and skin rash. Other signs include:
- Low blood pressure
- Dizziness and fainting
- Abdominal pain
- Swelling of the mouth and throat
- Difficulty in breathing
This condition is prevented by avoiding allergens that trigger the immune system. Doctors may also advise their clients to carry adrenaline medication to counter the reaction. This medication is provided in a ready to use injectable version stored in a device known as an auto-injector.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is another ailment that leads to breathing difficulties. COPD is used to collectively refer to illnesses that cause blockage and damage of the lungs and lead to breathing problems. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis may cause this condition. People may also experience this condition after eating since the stomach bulges out and squeezes the diaphragm.
The common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough producing a lot of mucus
- Chest tightness
- Frequent infections of the respiratory systems
If COPD damages the lungs, it is tough to reverse the condition. Thickening and inflammation of the lungs due also destroy Oxygen exchange tissues.