Dyspnea literally means difficulty in breathing. Â Some medical experts also refer to dyspnea as shortness of breath. Â Under normal conditions, breathing is considered automatic and relaxed. Â For people with dyspnea, breathing becomes labored and uncomfortable. Â The situation is that people seemed to be gasping for air all the time. Â For many patients, the feeling is like there is not enough oxygen to breathe in when they have dyspnea.
The shortness of breath in dyspnea is a symptom of varied conditions. People with heart problems for example may experience difficulty in breathing because of irregular heartbeat or rhythm. The heart basically acts as the main regulator of breathing and whenever it has concerns of its own, labored breathing may occur. Â Dyspnea is also common for patients that have lung diseases such as asthma, pneumonia, and pulmonary hypertension among many others. With the lungs unable to expand fully and function efficiently, the processing of air will also get affected and this will ultimately affect the quality of breathing. Other conditions that may result to dyspnea include trauma in the chest area, allergic reactions to food and other substances, and panic attacks among many others.
People who experience dyspnea often must be assessed by doctors to determine the underlying cause. Â Under normal conditions, dyspnea is expected for those who exercise vigorously. When the shortness of breath happens at rest, then it signals immediate consultation with medical professionals. Some patients will get very serious shortage of air and they become cyanotic during labored and audible breathing. Â Treatment and management will be based on what causes dyspnea. Â Asthma patients for example will be advised on avoiding possible allergens or be given specialized medications during shortness of breath attacks. Some patients will also benefit from physical therapy in the form of coughing and breathing exercises. Â There are also cases that will get better through medication or even behavioral therapy.