Severe Shortness of Breath
Although it isn’t unusual to experience shortness of breath with exercise, if you find your breathlessness is worse than previously or it now occurs at rest, this suggests that there is a medical cause behind your symptoms. If you have other symptoms besides feeling breathless, it is especially important that you get a check-up, as if you do have a condition that affects your heart or lungs, the sooner you are diagnosed the better. Early management of cardiac and pulmonary conditions helps to prevent their progression and the complications that come with the later stages of these diseases, so receiving treatment promptly and making changes to your health-related habits can offer you a better outcome.
Shortness of Breath Symptoms
Whether your breathing difficulties come on with exercise, at rest or you become short of breath after eating, this points to a possible cause. However, your other symptoms are also crucial in aiding diagnosis. For instance, in addition to feeling breathless, you may experience chest pain and this may be worse when you take a deep breath. Alternatively, you may have a cough, with which you may bring up colored mucus or blood. However, sometimes people also have symptoms that seem unrelated to their breathing, but which are actually relevant. This is the case if you feel dizzy, extremely tired, have palpitations or a fever, lose weight without trying to or have difficulty eating, as these can be signs of a respiratory or heart problem.
What Can Cause Shortness of Breath
If you struggle to breathe when you exercise, this is sometimes just a sign that you are unfit, but when it becomes severe, this suggests a more serious cause. For example, when combined with central or left-sided chest pain, being short of breath signals possible angina. However, difficulty breathing on exercise commonly occurs with asthma and COPD, though lung cancer or another respiratory disease may also show with this symptom. With advanced lung disease or unstable angina, you may even find that you suffer from shortness of breath at rest, which makes day-to-day activities difficult. Sometimes anemia or panic attacks can cause severe breathlessness, but your doctor will take into account your full range of symptoms to make an accurate diagnosis.
Besides knowing the condition that causes you to become out of breath, it is also useful to know the possible trigger, as this allows you to control any factors that may make your breathing worse. For example, if you have a health problem that affects your airways, certain irritants can worsen your shortness of breath. These irritants can include allergens, chemicals used around the home and air pollution, but if you smoke, this is another major source of irritation for your lungs and airways. Smoking also makes your arteries more likely to narrow, reducing blood flow to your heart and lungs, so cigarettes can interfere with breathing in several ways.
While cutting out tobacco products won’t see your problems with breathing disappear instantly, once you ditch your cigarettes you will start to breathe easier and notice an improvement in your symptoms with time. Within a matter of weeks you will no longer be gasping for breath on physical activity and as the months go by your lung function will begin to get better, as parts of your lungs start to repair. As smoking is also the leading cause of lung cancer, quitting smoking during treatment can increase your chances of a good response to treatment and prolong your survival. Although a habit so ingrained as smoking can be difficult to overcome, it needn’t be when you use Chantix. This stop smoking medication is designed to enhance your changes of successfully quitting smoking for the long-term, so offers the best treatment option if you want to quit for good. Take an online consult today to start benefiting from Chantix.