Breathless is a sensation of uncomfortable breathing. It can feel different from person to person, and it can vary in intensity. People may feel out of breath or as if breathing takes more effort than usual. Dyspnea can beTrusted Source acute or chronic. Acute dyspnea lasts from a few hours to a few days, whereas chronic dyspnea lasts for more than 4–8 weeks. Shortness of breath is when the body does not get enough air to breathe in. In this case, the person tends to breathe harder and faster but is unable to provide sufficient air inside. Literally the person gasps for air even.
The medical term for shortness of breath is dyspnea.
The situation can be best described when a non-runner runs for some time and then pants for air.
Shortness of breath is a problem when you experience it even after doing minor physical works like walking stairs or walking normally on an even surface.
Anxiety is a commonTrusted Source mental health condition that can cause shortness of breath, along with many other symptoms, such as:
a rapid heartbeat
a sense of dread or panic
a feeling of not being in control
People with anxiety may feel persistently on edge, which may lead to regularly feeling tired or short of breath.
People with anxiety oftenTrusted Source respond to mental health treatment, which can improve their quality of life. This may involve:
talk therapies, which can help people understand the reasons for their anxiety and how to manage their emotions
medications, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
activities such as mindfulness
There are a number of medical and non-medical reasons behind shortness of breath. One can experience breathlessness while being at high altitudes, or when the air quality is at a dangerous level, or when the temperature is too high or even after doing a heavy workout.
There are several medical conditions that trigger breathlessness in an individual. Issues like allergies, asthma, heart problems, pulmonary disease, pneumonia, obesity, tuberculosis also cause dyspnea.
Recently, COVID is also said to be affecting the breathing ability of patients. Many people who have typical COVID symptoms like sore throat, runny nose have also experienced breathing problems during the infection.
Asthma is a common conditionTrusted Source that has varying levels of severity. For some people, it causes mild, occasional symptoms that only occur in response to certain triggers. In other cases, exercise is a trigger, which may mean people will experience symptoms while walking.
Symptoms of asthma include:
shortness of breath
mild chest pain
coughing during sleep
People with asthma often also have hay fever or eczema.
Not all asthma requires medical treatment. Some people may be able to manage their symptoms by avoiding things that trigger their symptoms, such as tobacco, dust mites, animals, or pollen. If a person has obesity and asthma, reaching a moderate weight may reduce symptoms.
If a person needs medical treatment, a doctor will often prescribe bronchodilators or anti-inflammatory medication.
As mentioned above, a number of reasons can affect the breathing capacity of an individual. “The medical condition depends upon the cause of breathlessness as it can be due to lung, heart, kidney or muscle problem. So if unaddressed, it may lead to major diseases of the lung, kidney, heart or any muscular system. Mainly in lung can lead to irreversible changes if neglected or not diagnosed during the early course of disease.