Causes and Symptoms of Shortness of Breath

Causes of shortness of breath

Symptoms of shortness of breath vary from person to person and can be caused by a variety of things. In this article, we will discuss some of the more common causes. We will also look at how to treat them, as well as some of the medications that are available to combat these symptoms.

Common causes

Among the most common causes of shortness of breath are heart and lung diseases. These conditions can affect the heart’s ability to pump blood and lungs’ ability to remove carbon dioxide.

The heart and lungs work together to carry oxygen to the rest of the body. The heart’s rate of breathing increases during exercise and other activities. A healthy adult breathes about 20 times a minute.


Symptoms of inflammation are usually mild to severe, but can lead to a bout of asthma. It is important to know that inflammatory diseases can affect the entire body, not just the lungs. Inflammation of the lungs, or COPD, is often treated with drugs, such as corticosteroids, which make it easier for air to get into the lungs. Using short-acting corticosteroids may be harmful to the heart.


Getting an injury to your chest can be pretty debilitating, especially if the damage is extensive. Not only can it cause respiratory problems, but it can also result in more serious medical conditions. For example, a severe blow to the chest can result in a pulmonary contusion, a pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, or rib fractures.

The best way to determine what is going on with your breathing is to get your doctor to take a close look. He or she can also order tests to determine the degree of fluid in your lungs. You may also require mechanical ventilation to help you breathe.


Often, people who have cancer will experience breathlessness, also known as dyspnea. This condition is often uncomfortable, debilitating, and emotionally distressing. The good news is that there are treatment options for dyspnea.

There are many factors that contribute to breathlessness. One of these is emotional anxiety. If you are anxious, your breathlessness can get worse. Managing your anxiety can help you cope with your condition.


Medications for shortness of breath can be helpful for a variety of reasons. They may help to relieve symptoms, or they may be a part of a more comprehensive treatment. If you are experiencing shortness of breath, consult a doctor if symptoms persist. If your symptoms are severe, you may need supplemental oxygen.

When your doctor prescribes medications for shortness of breath, you will need to follow instructions carefully. You may also need to get additional oxygen in your home, or supplemental oxygen may be given to you by doctors in the hospital.

Treatment options

Whether you have asthma or COPD, there are treatment options for shortness of breath. Your doctor can diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and prescribe the appropriate treatment.

If you are able to control your shortness of breath through lifestyle changes, you can feel better. You may also need additional medications. These medications can include anxiolytics (Xanax, Lorazepam), diuretics (water pills), and corticosteroids (prednisone).

If you experience shortness of breath on a regular basis, your doctor may recommend breathing exercises. These exercises can strengthen your respiratory muscles and improve your ability to breathe deeply.