Dyspnea – Types, Differential Diagnoses & Causes for Alarm
- 28 Apr 2023
- #Dyspnea Causes
- #Dyspnea Diagnoses
- #Dyspnea Types
Respiration is perhaps the only vital function of our body which we have voluntary control over. This means sensations from the respiratory tract affect breathing. Any malfunction in this system causes breathing to become uncomfortable and noticeable, called dyspnea. Most cases of shortness of breath occur due to heart and lung conditions.
Your doctor will try to find the cause of dyspnea by first asking you questions to help classify the condition.
If your breathing difficulty starts suddenly and is severe, it may be the warning sign of a more significant cardio-pulmonary malfunction that could be life-threatening. Some warning signs include confusion, bluish colouration of skin or lips, difficulty breathing while speaking, and respiratory exhaustion. Your BP, oxygen saturation and heart rate will be checked immediately. Your respiratory rate at admission is also an indicator of how well the situation can improve.
Your doctor may recommend additional tests like cardiac markers to rule out severe conditions.
Acute dyspnea can occur due to:
Dyspnea is called chronic when it lasts weeks or longer. If your breathing difficulty started gradually and has been increasing, the causes may differ.
Some of the conditions that lead to chronic dyspnea include:
1. Conditions affecting the lung and airways:
2. Conditions affecting the heart:
3. Other factors
1. Problems with the lungs:
2. Problems with the heart:
3. Other conditions:
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