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You are here : AllRefer.com > Health > Medical Symptoms > Breathing difficulty

Breathing difficulty

Alternate Names : Shortness of breath, Breathlessness, Difficulty breathing, Dyspnea


Definition

Breathing difficulty involves a sensation of difficult or uncomfortable breathing or a feeling of not getting enough air.

See also: Difficulty breathing - first aid

Overview & Considerations

No standard definition exists for difficulty breathing. Some people may feel breathless with only mild exercise (for example, climbing stairs), even though they do not have a specific disorder. Others may have advanced lung disease but never feel short of breath.

Wheezing is one form of breathing difficulty.

See also:

Common Causes

Shortness of breath has many different causes.

  • A blockage of the air passages in your nose, mouth, or throat may lead to difficulty breathing.
  • Heart disease can cause breathlessness if your heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply oxygen to your body. If your brain, muscles, or other body organs do not receive enough oxygen, a sense of breathlessness may occur.
  • Sometimes emotional distress, such as anxiety, can lead to difficulty breathing.

The following problems may cause breathing difficulty:

Problems with the lungs

Problems with the airways leading to the lungs

Problems with the heart

Other problems

  • Rapid ascent to high altitudes, where there is less oxygen in the air
  • A large amount of dust in the environment
  • Allergies (such as to mold, dander, or pollen)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity
  • Compression of the chest wall
  • Panic attacks
  • Hiatial hernia
Pictures & Images

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Emphysema
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Review Date : 6/12/2009
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.



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