Dyspnea is the medical term for shortness of breath, sometimes described as “air hunger.”
Shortness of breath can range from mild and temporary to serious and long-lasting. It is sometimes difficult to diagnose and treat dyspnea because there can be many different causes.
SYMPTOMS OF DYSPNEA
If dyspnea occurs suddenly or if symptoms are severe, it may be a sign of a serious medical condition.
CAUSES OF DYSPNEA
An episode of dyspnea is not always directly related to an individual’s health. A person can feel short of breath after intense exercise, when traveling to a high altitude, or going through major temperature changes.
However, dyspnea usually relates to health problems. Sometimes, it is just a case of being out of shape, and exercise can improve symptoms. But dyspnea can be a sign of a serious health issue.
If shortness of breath starts suddenly, it is called an acute case of dyspnea.
Acute dyspnea could be due to:
- Choking on or inhaling something that blocks breathing passageways
- Allergic reactions
- Serious loss of blood, resulting in anemia
- Exposure to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide
- Heart failure
- Hypotension, which is low blood pressure
- Pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in an artery to the lung
- Collapsed lung
- Hiatal hernia
Dyspnea is also common among people with a terminal illness.
If a person experiences shortness of breath for over a month, the condition is called chronic dyspnea.
Chronic dyspnea could be due to:
- Heart problems
- Interstitial pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that causes scarring of the lung tissue
Some additional lung conditions may also cause shortness of breath.
- Traumatic lung injury
- Lung cancer
- Pleurisy, an inflammation in the tissues surrounding the lungs
- Pulmonary edema, when too much fluid collects in the lungs
- Pulmonary hypertension, when the blood pressure in the arteries to the lungs rises
- Sarcoidosis, when clusters of inflammatory cells grow in the lungs
Shortness of breath has also been linked to the following heart problems:
- Cardiomyopathy, a range of diseases affecting the heart muscle
- Heart rhythm problems
- Heart failure
- Pericarditis, when the tissue that surrounds the heart becomes inflamed
- Dyspnea is a symptom of asthma.
- Environmental pollutants such as chemicals, fumes, dust, and smoke can make it more difficult for people with dyspnea to breathe.
- People with asthma may find that exposure to allergens such as pollen or mold may trigger episodes of dyspnea.
- Some pollutants, such as tobacco smoking, are self-administered and preventable.
- COPD refers to different obstructive lung diseases. These include emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
- All these conditions make breathing much more difficult.
COMPLICATIONS OF DYSPNOEA
Dyspnea can be associated with hypoxia or hypoxemia, which is a low blood oxygen levels. This can lead to a decreased level of consciousness and other severe symptoms.
HOMEOPATHIC MEDICINE FOR DYSPNEA
ARSENIC ALBUM : Very useful medicine for dyspnea for a patient with asthma.Given when there is difficulty in breathing along with wheezing and constricted air passages.There is suffocating attacks which aggravate at night. Recommended when patient is unable to lie down at night because of the fear of suffocation.
ANTIM TART :
Useful medicines for dyspnea accompanied by cough.Useful for shortness of breath with a cough with rattling of mucus in the chest.There is a feeling of suffocation along with gasping of breath.
IPECAC : Useful for dyspnoea with sudden and intense cough.Given when Vomiting may accompany with cough. Recommended when person turns stiff and blue because of the shortness of breath.There is suffocating and strangling feeling with a cough.
AMMON CARB :
Useful for dyspnea experienced while walking even a few steps.There is bloody expectoration along with dyspnoea
STANNUM MET : Useful for shortness of breath with a constriction in the chest while walking. There is Dyspnea on exertion.Also given when there is weakness or sharp pains in the chest.Also expectoration with a sweet or salty taste.
Useful for shortness of breath when there is difficulty in breathing in a warm room.Very useful for dyspnea that occurs during sleep.Useful when a person has difficulty in breathing while sleeping.Recommended when the patient wakes up from sleep and rushes to open a window to breathe.Recommended when tight clothing is unbearable around the chest and throat.