Everyone experiences shortness of breath once in a while, especially during intense physical activities such as sports. However, conditions such as heart disease may cause dyspnea, making it vital for you to seek medical help if you experience the tightening feeling in your chest while at rest. If you are concerned about shortness of breath – Midwood, it is best to visit your specialist at New York Medical and Vascular Care for a comprehensive evaluation to determine the underlying cause.
What should you know about the shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath, medically known as dyspnea, refers to an intense feeling of suffocation, tightening in your chest, air hunger, and difficulty breathing. Shortness of breath may be a familiar sensation if you exercise a lot, but you may need immediate medical attention outside of that. Dyspnea can last for hours or days, depending on the cause.
Other causes of shortness of breath are anxiety, allergic reactions, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, pulmonary hypertension, and COVID 19. Being overweight can also cause dyspnea.
Other non-medical circumstances that may lead to shortness of breath include temperature extremes, poor air quality, and high altitudes. This frightening symptom may occur intermittently or continuously. You may experience this tightening feeling even while at rest due to poor posture.
How can you know that you are experiencing shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath is a subjective sensation, but your doctor may measure other symptoms resulting from shortness of breath, such as blood oxygen levels. A low blood oxygen level indicates an inadequate supply of oxygen which can be life-threatening if too low.
Shortness of breath may feel like you are running out of oxygen, and you find it challenging to inhale and exhale comfortably. The following symptoms may also indicate that you have dyspnea:
- Feeling the need to breathe more quickly and more often
- A feeling of tightness in your chest
- Difficulty catching your breath fully
- A burning sensation in your lungs
Shortness of breath may occur suddenly, but in some cases, the symptoms may begin mild and worsen over time. You may need urgent medical help if you experience pressure or pain in your chest, a wheezing sound when you breathe, high body temperature, fainting, and nausea.
How can you treat shortness of breath?
Your provider may first conduct several tests to determine the underlying cause of your dyspnea. The specialists at New York Medical and Vascular Care create individualized treatment plans depending on the underlying cause of your health condition. They focus on addressing the root problem while alleviating your symptoms to ensure that the discomfort does not reoccur.
The team may recommend regular exercise to strengthen your heart and lungs and improve physical fitness. They may also recommend oxygen therapy to ensure that you receive extra oxygen to help raise your blood oxygen level and prevent other complications that may jeopardize your life. If you have COPD or asthma, your doctor may recommend bronchodilators to relax your airways.
Lifestyle adjustments include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding extreme physical activities during intense temperatures.
For more tips on how you can prevent dyspnea, call the New York Medical and Vascular Care or visit their website to schedule your appointment.