Shortness of breath can be caused by many things, and it’s one of those symptoms that should never be ignored. Shortness of breath could be a sign of a serious health problem.
It’s perfectly normal to feel out of breath after exercising, but if you feel like it’s hard to draw a full breath normally, that is a cause for concern. Many people also experience a tightness in the chest, or a feeling that they need to breathe more quickly because they are not getting enough oxygen. You might notice this all of the time, at random intervals, or after moderate exertion (walking up the stairs, for example).
It can be scary if you experience shortness of breath; you might assume that there is something seriously wrong with you. In some cases, your symptoms could be caused by a serious condition. However, there may also be a simpler explanation, so there’s no need to panic. If the symptoms persist, it’s best to see a doctor. You should also consider your lifestyle and see whether you can identify any potential causes. These are some of the most common reasons why people experience shortness of breath:
Most people assume that their shortness of breath is a physical problem but, in many cases, it is mental. People that suffer from anxiety often find it difficult to breathe and this can develop into a panic attack. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, you may experience occasional tightness in your chest or you may have regular panic attacks and feel as though you can barely breathe at all.
If you are aware that you have an issue with anxiety and you notice that your shortness of breath is triggered by stressful, anxiety inducing situations. It’s important that you find ways to manage it. You can speak to your doctor about managing the underlying anxiety issues, but there are also ways to manage shortness of breath. Simple deep breathing exercises can help to slow your breathing and encourage you to take long, deep breaths instead of short, sharp ones. Start by breathing in for 4 seconds and then exhale for 4 seconds. Whenever you feel a tightening in your chest and you think that your anxiety is starting to affect your breathing, take a few minutes to try these simple breathing exercises and you will notice a big difference.
A lot of people think that asthma is something that you get as a child, so they don’t consider that it could be the reason for their shortness of breath. However, it is possible to develop it in later life, and the symptoms will be worsened by things like exercise, allergens, or air pollution. If you notice that your breathing is getting worse over time, it’s worth speaking to your doctor and asking about the possibility of having asthma. You can easily manage the problem with asthma inhalers, so it shouldn’t have an impact on your lifestyle. You will still be able to exercise and get out and about, you just need to make sure that you have an inhaler with you to manage your shortness of breath.
Allergies are another common cause of shortness of breath that adults don’t consider. Many people are born with allergies and live with them for their entire lives. But, they can develop in later life just as they can disappear as you get older. So, just because you have never had allergies before, that doesn’t mean that you can rule it out as a cause of your shortness of breath.
There are a number of common allergens that can cause shortness of breath, like pollen, dust mites, chemicals or smoke. Many people with food allergies also have trouble breathing because their throat closes up slightly when they have a mild reaction. People that have a severe allergy will find that they are unable to breathe at all, but if your allergy is only mild, the symptoms may present themselves as a shortness of breath and tightening in the chest.
If you think that you may have an allergy, look out for some other symptoms, like itchiness and rashes. It’s also a good idea to keep a food diary and see whether your shortness of breath coincides with eating certain foods. Your doctor will be able to carry out an allergy test to confirm whether you are allergic to anything. You can then avoid certain foods and, if you have a pollen allergy, take antihistamines to prevent shortness of breath and other symptoms.
It’s no secret that weight gain can damage your health in a lot of different ways. However, many people don’t realize that there may be a link between their weight and their shortness of breath. When you are overweight, your heart and lungs have to work harder because you are carrying a lot of extra weight. Excess fat around the neck and chest area can also put more pressure on the lungs.
Lack of exercise is another common contributor to breathlessness. However, if you take regular exercise, you improve your heart and lung health and you should notice an improvement in your breathing. If you are carrying excess weight and you want to start exercising more, it’s important that you take it slow to start with. Gradually increase your activity levels and you should notice a big improvement in your lung capacity.
Should You Be Worried About Shortness Of Breath?
These are some of the most common causes of shortness of breath and, in most cases, they can be dealt with. However, shortness of breath can be an indication of more serious issues like lung disease or heart disease, for example. So, it is important that you seek the advice of a doctor right away and don’t neglect the symptoms.
There is no need to panic because, in most cases, there will be a simple explanation. However, it’s not worth taking the chance, so book an appointment with your doctor right away.
Thank you for reading!