Shortness of breath or dyspnea is the feeling where you may be grasping for air due to absence of oxygen in the blood. When you are experiencing this due to some strenuous exercise you should not worry, because that is normal and should not be a cause to worry. But when it is due to some illness, then shortness of breath should be an issue worthy of your immediate consideration.
Dyspnea is a common symptom experienced by patients with terminal cancer. However, even those not experiencing cancer may find themselves suffering from shortness of breath. These other causes include lung or heart disease, blood clots in the lungs, fluid surrounding the heart or the lungs, low red blood cell counts, tiredness and anxiety. Whatever the cause, the factor causing the shortness of breath must be pinpointed in order to curtail the further aggravation of the patients plight.
There are a number of known measures to treat shortness of breath, such as but not limited to the following methods:
- Medicine for red blood cell production. Take medicines that encourage the formation of red blood cells. This will help you in overcoming your problem with shortness of breath. More red blood cells mean more agents to transport oxygen in your system.
- Red blood transfusions. This is the faster remedy compared to taking medicines designed to increase the production of red blood cells. Be careful, however, when receiving blood from other individuals. Make sure that you are getting blood from a reliable source; otherwise, further complications could take place, such as when you acquire the disease of someone who donated unclean blood.
- Medicine to relieve pain. This medicine can help you prevent or overcome the shortness of breath incidents. Before taking these medicines, check the proper dosage, and as much as possible make prior consultation with your doctor.
- Oxygen. Your doctor may advise you to use oxygen to help you on occasions wherein you experience difficulty or shortness in breathing. Use the oxygen as prescribed by your doctor.
- Physical therapy. Look for a physical therapist, because you need to revive and strengthen your weakened muscles. By so doing, you will alleviate your current agony. It is also one way of receiving some form of relaxation that would allow your body to function better.
- Respiratory therapy. Seek advice or instructions on how to breathe properly, and learn techniques on how to deal with breathing during attacks of dyspnea.
In most instances, individuals suffering from shortness of breath would just ignore this issue, believing that it will merely pass by. This complication may lead to aggravation or complication of the current situation even leading to death. It is essential therefore that if you are experiencing shortness of breath or dyspnea you seek medical attention.
You must avail yourself of medical help, especially when you notice chest pains accompanying the difficulty in breathing, trouble when sleeping lying down, sputum discolored or accompanied with blood, high fever, rapid breathing and inflammation of your ankles or calves.