The human body can survive for over 6 weeks without food, 4 days without water, but only a few minutes without air. Experiencing shortness of breath can be a frightening experience. The inability to consume enough oxygen creates panic in anyone and if you’ve ever had a shortness of breath, then you can understand the emotional fear of not being able to breathe correctly.
Shortness of breath, medically termed dyspnea, is one of the most common complaints received by physicians across all genders, races, and age groups. The symptoms of dyspnea vary widely, from chronic to acute. Patients describe symptoms as a tightening of the chest or a feeling of a weight placed on their chest making it difficult to breathe normally.
The causes of dyspnea vary as much as the symptoms. High-altitudes, extreme temperature, and strenuous exercise are all common causes of the disorder. However, if you experience shortness of breath and lead a sedentary lifestyle with a poor diet and little to no exercise, shortness of breath is a sign of a more severe underlying health issue.
Here are 10 causes for shortness of breath, if you experience any of them, seek the immediate attention of a medical professional.
This chronic lung disease creates an intermittent narrowing and inflammation of the airways, obstructing normal breathing function. Excess mucus is produced resulting in a wet cough. Bronchoconstriction occurs when the muscles encircling the airways tighten and constrict the ability to pass air to the lungs.
Medical professionals grade asthma by its severity of symptoms ranging from severe persistent, moderate persistent, mild persistent, or intermittent. Depending on the category of asthmatic attack, an individual may be diagnosed as severely asthmatic, mildly asthmatic or intermittently asthmatic. People who have severe asthma receive debilitating attacks that require immediate treatment with inhaler medications.
Flare-ups of the condition can occur for no apparent reason, and symptoms include; shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, a tight chest, and shortness of breath. If you think you may be asthmatic, visit your medical professional for a diagnosis using a bronchodilator test. If diagnosed asthmatic, your condition can be managed with medication.