How To Manage Shortness Of Breath

Shortness of Breath or Dyspnea is one of the most frequently occurring problems among masses these days. It has several causes affecting the lungs, breathing passages, heart or blood vessels. On average, a 150-pound person breathes at an average rate of 14 breaths per minute when at rest. Thus, excess breathing acts as a problem named hyperventilation. It is also called Dyspnea.

Doctors further classify it as to whether it occurs at rest or is a condition associated with an activity, exertion, or performing some exercises. They enquire from the person if the shortness of breath occurs to them gradually or pops up all of a sudden. Swelling in feet and ankles, high fever, chills or cough, trouble breathing while lying down flat, fingertips or lips turning blue, wheezing, stridor and breathlessness that lasts longer than 30 minutes.

Each of the following symptoms helps in determining the doctor about the type of shortness of breath and how can one get rid of it.

In this article, we discuss more regarding the shortness of breath, its causes, symptoms, rash factors, medications, and everything you need to know about the shortness of breath or Dyspnea. 


Lungs and heart are among the organs that majorly contribute to transport oxygen to the entire body and removal of carbon dioxide from the body. If any of these parts get affected, the breathing process is concerned.

Leading causes of shortness of breath include:

  • Asthma 
  • COPD(chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) flaring
  • Allergic reactions on the body
  • Poisoning of Carbon Monoxide
  • Heart Attacks
  • Anemia
  • Low BP
  • Pneumonia
  • Failure of heart
  • Enlargement of heart
  • Blockage in the throat
  • Chocking of breath 
  • The abnormal beating of the heart
  • Inhaling some foreign object into the lungs
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Myasthenia Gravis
  • Blood Clotting in the lungs(pulmonary embolism)
  • Abnormal functioning of the heart
  • Obesity
  • Sudden blood loss
  • Pleural Effusion
  • Broken Ribs
  • Choking
  • Epiglottis
  • Kyphoscoliosis
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Heart Failure
  • Pericarditis
  • Lung Diseases like
  • Croup(common among young children)
  • Lung Cancer
  • Pleurisy
  • Pulmonary Edema
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis
  • Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Tuberculosis
  • Sarcoidosis



Noticeable symptoms in the person suffering from shortness of breath may include:

  • Anxiousness
  • Bloody Sputum
  • Chest Pain
  • Injury of Chest
  • Cough
  • Dizziness
  • Chest Tightness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Labored breathing
  • Pain while respiration
  • Neck pain 
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid, shallow breathing


If any of the conditions exist in the body of a person, chances are he might be suffering from shortness of breath. And the problem may increase if the situation is left as it is. The risk factors include prior lung diseases, low hemoglobin, severe obesity, exposure to asthma triggers continuously.

Smoking is a significant risk factor for the causing of shortness of breath among people. Smoking has a direct effect on the lungs of the human body and can be harmful to the people in surroundings as well. 


The doctors perform several tests before prescribing medicines or coming to a conclusion. After your Doctor has provided you the prescription of medicines, don’t forget to track your medicines.

The tests include:

Chest X-Ray: The doctor can see the signs of conditions like pneumonia, which exists or other lung or heart problems using this mechanism. The X-Ray gives the doctor a detailed view of the organs on the chest of a person so that he can examine the person effectively.

Oxygen Test: It is also known as pulse oximetry. It facilitates the working of doctor by enabling him to know about the oxygen levels in the body of a person. A sensor works when it is put on the finger and looks similar to a clothespin. Then the light is used to detect the oxygen in the blood of the person.

Electrocardiology (EKG): In this test, the technician attaches small electrodes to the chest using a gel or a tap, and then the machine measures the electrical impulses of the heartbeat. Results of the test are taken by the doctor to determine if the blood flow within the heart is correct, or it is improper due to some reasons.

Lung Function Test: This test is done by the doctor to determine how well the lungs of a person are working. They check if there is some blockage or obstacle that is hindering the flow of air properly into the lungs. It also shows how oxygen is transported to the body using oxygen. There are several ways of doing these tests.

Spirometry: One such is spirometry. The person exhales over the mouthpiece, which is attached to a machine. It measures the capacity of the lung and also airflow. A method called plethysmography is also used to measure the same, where the doctor has a stand in the box that checks the lung capacity. Disorders like asthma, emphysema, COPD can all be diagnosed using lung function tests. 

BLOOD TEST: It is used to determine conditions like anemia, heart failure that may be leading to shortness of breath. It is a common and simple method where the needle is used to take blood from an arm, and then the lab performs the tests on it.

Several home remedies are also available to get relief from shortness of breath over some time. But in case the problem is critical, it is advisable to always go for a doctor rather than trying the luck by relying on the homely remedial measures.

The patients these days are using the technology of the Treatment Tracker. It helps in managing chronic conditions and keeping a record of the symptoms. Care Clinic is one such well-known provider of Treatment Tracker. From tracking symptoms to medication methods during the treatment, Treatment Trackers act as supporting pillar to a patient.

From tracking the physical activity to keeping a record of daily vitals, including weight, sleep, blood pressure, nutrition, etc. can all be done using the application.

Louise Author