Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

Dyspnea of ​​an expiratory type is caused by a violation of patency of the bronchial tree and is a symptom of the obstructive form of chronic respiratory failure. Blockage of the bronchus can develop both with organic pathologies of the respiratory tract, and with the ingestion of a foreign body. Difficult exhalation also occurs in the second stage of asphyxia, when compensatory reactions are depleted and the respiratory center in the medulla oblongata is inhibited. More rare causes of dyspnea: bronchospasm in Mendelssohn’s syndrome, tracheal tumors located near its bifurcation.

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Bronchial asthma

The disease is characterized by a sudden difficulty in exhaling after contact with provocative substances. A few minutes before the attack, a sore throat, nasal congestion, and itchy skin are felt. Then sharply there is a feeling of tightness in the chest, an acute lack of air and the inability to make normal breathing movements.

During the attack, the patient’s appearance is typical: his eyes are wide open, his face seems puffy, the nasolabial triangle is blue. When inhaling, the cervical veins swell. Due to difficulty in exhaling, active movements of the chest, tension of the abdominal press are noticeable. With mixed bronchial asthma, shortness of breath is provoked not only by contact with allergens, but also by stress and the action of cold air. Difficult exhalation attacks that occur exclusively at work are pathognomonic for professional asthma.

Long-term paroxysms of breathing difficulties, which are not stopped by the usual drugs, are observed with asthmatic status. A person is constantly in a forced position (orthopnea), there is a sharp cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle, blue fingertips. Patients are anxious, inhale frantically, some patients are afraid of near death.

The disease is accompanied by bronchostenosis, due to which there are constant respiratory disorders of varying severity. In acute obstructive bronchitis, dyspnea on exhalation more often occurs during a coughing fit. The phase of exhalation of air significantly lengthens, patients complain of tightness in the chest, asphyxiation.

Shortness of breath with minimal physical exertion occurs with bronchitis of smokers, dust bronchitis. At the same time, it is difficult breathing out that becomes one of the first symptoms and appears against the background of normal health. For young children, a special form of expiratory asphyxiation due to the narrowing of the smallest bronchi is characteristic – acute bronchiolitis complicating ARVI, respiratory syncytial infection. The child has difficulty wheezing, swelling of the wings of the nose, cyanosis of the skin.

In addition to inflammation of the bronchial tree, other organic pathologies of the respiratory tract can also cause difficult exhalation. Disorders in these diseases are formed gradually, imperceptibly, so patients do not go to doctors for a long time, which is fraught with a complicated course. The main link of pathogenesis is changes in the structure of the bronchial wall, excessive growth of connective or scar tissue, which causes bronchostenosis. Expiratory dyspnea accompanied by:

  • COPD At the beginning of the disease, there is a slight shortness of breath during exercise, which is often overlooked. With the progression of morphological changes in the bronchi, difficulty breathing with an extended exhalation develops at rest. With an attack, patients occupy a forced position, severe cyanosis of the skin is noted, a paroxysmal excruciating cough is disturbing.
  • Bronchiectatic disease. The appearance of difficulty exhaling indicates the presence of respiratory failure. With bronchiectasis, a symptom can occur regardless of the time of day. The attacks of shortness of breath are long, in the terminal stages they are extremely difficult to stop with the help of bronchodilators. In addition to difficulty exhaling, a strong cough develops with the release of profuse purulent sputum, pain in the chest area.
  • Stenosis of the trachea and bronchi. Typical expiratory stridor – noisy labored exhalation, which is preceded by a short convulsive breath. The severity of breathing difficulties depends on the cause of obstruction, the degree of stenosis. With a narrowing of the trachea against the background of shortness of breath, short-term fainting is possible associated with reflex effects on the nerve endings. Bronchostenosis proceeds as a recurrent bronchitis.
  • Osteochondroplastic tracheobronchopathy. For a long time there are no complaints. With massive replacement of the walls of the respiratory tract with bone tissue, difficulty exhaling, noisy wheezing is noted, patients experience a lack of air. Respiratory disorders are combined with dull chest pain, sore throat. Gradually, shortness of breath intensifies, with a severe form of the disease, asthma attacks appear.
  • Williams-Campbell Syndrome. In this congenital disease, respiratory disorders appear in the first months of a child’s life. Parents note that the baby becomes restless, breathing noisy, stridorous. Retraction of intercostal spaces and supraclavicular fossa, cyanosis of the nasolabial triangle testifies to severe shortness of breath. The baby refuses to breast or nipples, crying becomes quiet.

Respiratory difficulties are caused by both obstructive and restrictive mechanisms. Patients complain of the inability to inhale “full chest”, a prolonged exhalation with wheezing, which are heard from a distance. Symptom sometimes occurs with protracted pneumonia and other chronic non-specific lung diseases. Most commonly, dyspnea causes:

  • Emphysema. Difficulty in exhaling at first is noticed only during physical exertion, ascent to several flights of stairs. Patients exhale air through their lips tightly closed or folded in a tube, while their cheeks are greatly inflated, “puffing”. Unlike other diseases, with emphysema, the skin has a healthy, pink color. A similar clinical picture is detected with the ventilation form of Macleod’s syndrome.
  • Pneumosclerosis When replacing the pulmonary parenchyma, shortness of breath occurs both during exertion and at rest. There is an exhalation lengthening, a feeling of lack of air, with prolonged attacks, a fear of death is expressed. Respiratory disorders are accompanied by diffuse cyanosis of the skin. Shortness of breath can occur at any time of the day, but excruciating asphyxiation is more often observed at night or in the early morning.
  • Ascaridosis of the lungs. Shortness of breath with prolonged exhalation develops against the background of severe chest pain and general intoxication. Complaints about frequent and prolonged episodes of shortness of breath, provoked by the allergic effect of helminths, are typical. At the time of the attack, a dry cough begins with loud wheezing. The patient sits down on the bed, leans forward and rests his hands bent at the elbows on his knees.
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Symptoms occur in young people with a primary lesion of the lungs. Difficulties at first bother when doing sports, running, climbing stairs above the 3rd floor. In the future, prolongation of exhalation manifests itself even at rest. During paroxysm, there is a feeling of lack of oxygen, the need for tension of the abdominal muscles for a full exhalation. Perioral cyanosis appears, nose wings swell.

Difficulties in exhalation are characteristic of byssinosis, which develops upon contact with dust from spinning materials. Respiratory distress becomes noticeable after breaks in work – holidays, weekends, which is called “Monday syndrome.” Expiratory dyspnea is accompanied by a feeling of heaviness and pressure in the chest, sore throat.

Attacks of expiratory dyspnea occur with the so-called aspirin asthma. Symptoms appear immediately after taking the medication: patients have painful convulsive breaths and wheezing for a long time. A similar clinical picture is observed with a bronchial type of allergy to salicylates, in which case difficulties at the time of exhalation persist 1-3 days after taking the medication.

It is difficult to breathe, there is not enough air – the reasons for this condition are sometimes difficult to establish due to the large number of possible provoking factors. Some conditions are absolutely normal, so shortness of breath goes away by itself, while others indicate diseases and require the help of a specialist.

Some factors that can cause shortness of breath and difficulty breathing are:

  • Intercostal neuralgia, osteochondrosis, herniation of the intervertebral disc often lead to the inability to take a deep breath, chest or back pain. It is important to consult a doctor in time and determine the diagnosis in order to exclude heart disease. tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 5 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment
  • During pregnancy, in its last stages, it is difficult for women to breathe. An increase in the uterus and its pressure on organs, hormonal changes, increased tissue oxygen demand sometimes lead to a lack of air. But cases of serious asphyxiation are dangerous for both the mother and the fetus, therefore, if you suspect an emergency, emergency medical attention is needed.
  • Overweight, obesity. A large amount of adipose tissue makes the heart and muscles involved in breathing more difficult.
  • Smoking.
  • Overlapping the respiratory tract with a foreign object is found in children and adults who choke on a toy or food. This is an emergency condition in which you must immediately provide first aid.
  • Allergic edema. Severe allergies require immediate help and medication.
  • Intense physical activity leads to shortness of breath in all healthy people.
  • Ascent into the mountains. At a considerable height, oxygen in the air is less, so breathing harder.
  • Diabetes mellitus leads to damage to blood vessels that can not effectively carry oxygen.
  • Thyrotoxicosis is an excess of the production of thyroid hormones, as a result of which the tissue demand for oxygen increases, and the heartbeat becomes more frequent.
  • With a rise in temperature of any origin, shortness of breath can be felt along with chills, headache, palpitations and other symptoms.
  • After overeating, a full stomach presses on the respiratory muscles and short-term shortness of breath occurs.
  • Nasal congestion during runny nose, deformity after an injury or surgery also interferes with free breathing.

Why is it difficult for a person to breathe with bronchitis, how to help a person with an attack of shortness of breath

With these diseases, it is more difficult for a patient to inhale than exhale. Cardiac dyspnea is distinguished by a special posture of the patient, because sitting makes breathing easier than lying down. Sometimes the patient feels well sitting, and begins to suffocate as soon as he lies down. This leads to the fact that a person cannot sleep normally.

Common diseases of the cardiovascular system in which this symptom is observed:

  • Coronary heart disease.
  • A heart attack. tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 2 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment
  • Heart disease.
  • Endocarditis.
  • Myocarditis.
  • Arterial hypertension.

If chronic diseases are not treated, they lead to a serious complication – heart failure. One of the symptoms of respiratory failure due to heart reasons is also a chronic cough, which intensifies while lying down and does not respond to expectorant treatment.

Lack of air and heavy breathing due to lung diseases are characterized by a characteristic whistling in the chest area. Difficulties can occur on inspiration, on exhalation, or in a mixed form.

List of pulmonary diseases in which it is difficult for patients to breathe:

  • Bronchial asthma.
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Pulmonary edema.
  • Pneumothorax.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Bronchitis.
  • Emphysema.

tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 3 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatmentA common cause of emphysema is smoking. During the pathology, it is difficult to breathe, there is not enough air.

Some of them, for example, pneumothorax and pulmonary edema, are an emergency condition in which suffocation quickly develops. Qualified help and distinguish heart disease from pulmonary disease, emergency doctors can.

Taking medications for acute and chronic diseases of the cardiovascular system can be aimed at:

  • blood thinning and prevention of blood clots; asd2 dlya cheloveka shema primeneniya 5 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment
  • diuretic effect against edema;
  • lowering cholesterol and its control;
  • dilation of blood vessels;
  • pressure control.

In addition to drugs for severe shortness of breath, oxygen therapy is used. If the treatment does not improve, surgical interventions are possible: elimination of heart defects, installation of a pacemaker, transplantation and others.

Mortality from heart disease is very high and prevention will be the best treatment. It is important not to smoke, eat right, avoid excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle.

The choice of methods depends on the underlying disease. When narrowing the lumen of the respiratory tract, bronchodilator drugs are used, expectorants are used to remove sputum, and in case of pneumonia, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are used. Oxygen therapy is effective for severe suffocation.

In a stable state, physiotherapy exercises and breathing exercises are indicated. In extreme cases, mechanical ventilation and surgical treatment. A healthy lifestyle reduces the risk of serious conditions, while continuous smoking for a long time always leads to chronic disorders, coughing and shortness of breath.

The course of bronchitis is accompanied by a large number of symptoms. When it becomes difficult for the patient to breathe with bronchitis – this is a sign of the complicated course of the disease, so now the body will need additional help to restore normal breathing.

The main manifestation of bronchitis is the development of inflammation in the tissues of the bronchi. This process is accompanied by symptoms:

  • an increase in body temperature in response to an inflammatory process;
  • general weakness, since the body sends all its forces to its defense and the fight against the cause of inflammation;
  • cough helps to remove phlegm, clear the lungs for proper breathing.

A symptom such as shortness of breath with bronchitis should be alarming. After all, this indicates an insufficient intake of air.

What to do if it is hard for a child to breathe after bronchitis – consult a doctor as soon as possible

Panting is a sign of shortness of breath; it is also called dyspnea. This syndrome develops in response to inflammation in the bronchi.

You can determine shortness of breath by the following signs:

  • breathing is difficult on exhalation, inhalation, or in both cases, while the attack is not preceded by a period of physical activity;
  • cough becomes more frequent, so the body tries to expand the bronchi and free breathing;
  • the patient feels compression of the chest;
  • with severe shortness of breath, pain in the sternum is felt;
  • there is a feeling that there is not enough breathing air.

Important: in addition to inflammation in the bronchi, shortness of breath can talk about other serious problems. Heart problems can also cause a feeling of lack of air

Choking can overtake a person not only when he suffers from inflammation of the bronchi, but also in the following situations:

  • if a person accidentally inhaled a foreign body;
  • in the presence of cancer in the chest;
  • if the patient has bronchial asthma;
  • in the presence of cardiovascular problems;
  • with pneumonia;
  • if pneumothorax develops.

The resulting shortness of breath can develop into an attack of suffocation – this condition is very dangerous for humans and requires assistance. It is difficult for an ordinary person to determine for what reason there was a feeling of difficulty breathing, which means that the patient himself or a person nearby should immediately dial an ambulance number.

If shortness of breath occurs, prevent shortness of breath.

Shortness of breath with its inherent difficulties in breathing manifests itself in different forms. Various manifestations depend on what type of bronchitis a person suffered.

tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 6 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

Respiratory problems most often occur precisely with this type of disease course. The more often the disease recurs, the more severe shortness of breath will become. Patients often complain of pain in the chest. If treatment is not enough, choking will develop.

Therapy of a chronic condition is very complex, it should be managed by a pulmonologist. Allergic Difficulty breathing develops when an allergen is directly next to a person, tactile contact with him or a product causing a reaction is used. The condition improves when contact with an allergen ceases.

Also, taking antihistamines once helps. Further treatment is supervised by a doctor allergist-pulmonologist. Shortness of breath during obstruction is a frequent occurrence when viscous sputum is actively produced, which accumulates, deforms the bronchial tree and significantly narrows the lumen of the bronchi.

Assistance to the patient with obstruction should be carried out as soon as possible. With the development of severe shortness of breath and suffocation, emergency assistance is needed.

Important: people with bronchial asthma should be especially careful; for them, bronchitis may be delayed and require longer treatment.

f68b94afb2e7d059fd463fa4b67be02b - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

In the treatment of lung disease, several problems need to be addressed at once

Shortness of breath develops for some reason, knowing them you can develop a mechanism for treating it with bronchitis.

The use of anti-inflammatory drugs, as well as inhalation, for a direct effect on inflamed tissues. Active fight against the infection causes intense formation of mucus and sputum.

If these substances are too thick, it is difficult to remove them with a regular cough, then accumulating, they cause breathing problems in a person. Sputum needs to be diluted for successful coughing, for this purpose mucolytic drugs are used.

The complexity of treatment for bronchitis is of fundamental importance. The more forces a person makes for his own recovery, the sooner he will be able to return to everyday life and work.

Asthma patients are familiar with the sensation of suffocation; it is important: if the disease repeats too often or lasts a long time, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics for use, you should not be afraid and neglect these drugs if they have been prescribed, so the body can’t do without them.

Important: a state of suffocation, which is dangerous to human health, can develop in just a few seconds, and you cannot delay in such situations.

Patients with respiratory diseases in the acute stage or with complication of an ailment should not be left unattended, because a sharp deterioration in the condition can occur at any time.

Doctors will evaluate the condition of the patient and, if necessary, will be taken to hospital

There are signs by which you can understand that the patient needs emergency medical care:

  • Breathing becomes frequent, but shallow. Man, as if he could not breathe.
  • With the naked ear, you can hear wheezing and whistling in the chest when breathing.
  • Children are characterized by a sudden onset of lethargy and apathy.
  • Inhalation or exhalation is severely difficult; it is slower than the opposite effect.
  • The patient lost consciousness or the complexion sharply acquired an earthy or cyanotic shade – these are all dangerous signs of an acute lack of oxygen.
  • There are neurological signs of lack of air – cramps, they are more characteristic of children.

The main thing with shortness of breath while waiting for a doctor is to calm the child

As soon as the first symptoms of a developing attack of shortness of breath occur, you need to seek emergency medical help. Waiting for the arrival of doctors, there is a way to alleviate the condition of the patient and slow down the growth of shortness of breath.

How to help the child

The state of respiratory depression in a child is very dangerous, because a small person can not always clearly communicate his condition.

Important: children are much more difficult to tolerate attacks of breathing impairment in bronchitis.

The peculiarity of this condition in a child is complicated by childhood fear.

It is difficult for a child to calm down on his own, for this, in anticipation of the arrival of a doctor, you need to try to do the following:

  • to put the child directly, put additional support under the back, a pillow is best suited, any voluminous fabric object can be used;
  • you need to try to distract the baby from his condition, the less the child will focus on his poor health, the less he will worry;
  • it is worth freeing the chest area so that there is no clothes on it, it is worth getting rid of high collars, they can create the appearance that it is clothing that prevents breathing;
  • if possible, air humidification helps, if there is a humidifier in the house, it should be used, if the child’s body temperature is not elevated, then you can arrange a humid atmosphere in the bath;
  • if there is a nebulizer, it is worth making inhalation using a saline solution.
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Patients with complaints of difficulty breathing out most often see a pulmonologist or therapist. Expiratory dyspnea indicates serious disorders in the respiratory system, therefore, a comprehensive laboratory and instrumental examination is necessary. During the diagnosis, the specialist evaluates the morphological features of the trachea, bronchi and lungs, and also examines the functional state of these organs. The most informative are:

  • X-ray examination. To study the features of the anatomical structures of the chest cavity, a standard chest radiography is performed in two projections – a direct and a lateral one. The method helps to detect deformations of the bronchi and trachea, signs of sclerosis and emphysema. For better visualization of the respiratory tract and neighboring organs, CT is prescribed.
  • Bronchoscopy Endoscopic examination is aimed at studying the structure of the mucous membrane, identifying pathologically altered areas of tissue and cicatricial stenosis. According to indications, the method is supplemented with forceps biopsy and bronchoalveolar lavage with subsequent microscopic and bacteriological analysis of the washings.
  • Spirometry. It is possible to establish the nature of breathing difficulties by studying the main indicators – the volume of forced expiration in the first second, the functional vital capacity of the lungs, and the Tiffno index. For differential diagnosis between bronchial asthma and other obstructive pulmonary diseases, a bronchodilation test is recommended.
  • Lab tests . The degree of respiratory failure is established according to a blood test – determine the level of hemoglobin oxygen saturation, the concentration of carbon dioxide. In the presence of a general infection syndrome, a bacteriological blood test is indicated. To clarify the type of pathogen, serological reactions (RIF, ELISA, PCR) are carried out.

To determine the etiological factor of bronchial obstruction in the phase of remission, allergy tests are prescribed. If you suspect a congenital disease of the respiratory system, consultation with other specialists is required.

Causes and types of respiratory failure in children, men, women, during pregnancy, the elderly

When it is difficult to breathe and there is not enough air, different physiological processes can control the cause, which is controlled by a special substance, a surfactant that lines the inner surface of the lungs. The essence of its action is the unhindered penetration of oxygen into the bronchopulmonary tree, prevention of collapse of the walls of the alveoli during breathing, improvement of local immunity, protection of the bronchial epithelium, and prevention of hypoxia. The less surfactant, the more difficult it is for a person to breathe.

Pathological conditions can also be causes of difficulty breathing: stress, allergies, physical inactivity, obesity, hernia, climate change, temperature changes, smoking, but the essence of the changes is always associated with the concentration of surfactant in the internal fatty membrane of the alveoli. Let us examine in more detail the main occurrence of dyspnea.


The most common cause of shortness of breath, asthma attacks – heart disease. Dyspnea in this case is inspiratory, accompanies heart failure, worsens at night at rest, lying down. In addition to lack of air, the patient is concerned about pressing pains in the chest, swelling of the limbs, blueness of the skin, a constant feeling of fatigue, weakness. Such symptoms are characteristic of:

  • IHD, angina pectoris;
  • arrhythmias;
  • cardiomyopathies;
  • heart diseases of different genesis;
  • myocarditis, pericarditis, pancreatitis of various etiologies;
  • CHF;
  • congenital or acquired anatomical abnormalities;
  • AMI;
  • dystrophic processes.


The second place among the triggers of dyspnea is occupied by pathological changes in the lungs. Dyspnea is mixed, occurs against the background:

  • COPD;
  • Tela;
  • asthma, bronchitis;
  • pneumonia;
  • pneumosclerosis;
  • emphysema;
  • hydro or pneumothorax;
  • tumor growth;
  • tuberculosis;
  • foreign body;

Shortness of breath is increasing gradually, bad habits, a dysfunctional environment exacerbate the situation. The essence of the process is tissue hypoxia with the development of encephalopathy, ataxia.

The asthmoid component joins, the patient suffocates, panics, loses consciousness. The patient changes externally: the chest takes the form of a barrel, the veins become dilated, the intercostal spaces increase. Radiologically diagnosed expansion of the right half of the heart, stagnation begins in both the small and large circles of blood circulation. Productive cough, sometimes fever.

Another serious reason for the sudden loss of normal oxygen access to the lungs is a foreign body. This happens more often with babies during the game, when a small part from a toy gets into the mouth, or during eating – obstruction of the bronchi with a piece of food. The child begins to turn blue, suffocate, faints, there is a risk of cardiac arrest with untimely medical care.

It becomes difficult to breathe with pulmonary embolism, which occurs suddenly, often against the background of varicose veins, diseases of the pancreas or heart. Panting appears, it seems that the heart is pressing on the chest.

Lack of oxygen can be caused by croup – laryngeal edema with its stenosis, laryngitis, diphtheria, Quincke’s edema, banal allergies. In these cases, emergency medical care is required up to a tracheostomy or mechanical ventilation.


Sometimes difficulty breathing is associated with damage to the cerebral vasomotor centers. This happens with injuries, stroke, brain edema, encephalitis of different genesis.

Pathological breathing in such cases manifests itself in different ways: the frequency of respiratory movements can increase or decrease until breathing stops completely. The toxic effect of microbes causes fever, hypoxia, noisy shortness of breath. This is a compensatory reaction of the body in response to excessive acidification of the internal environment.

VVD, neurosis, hysteria cause a feeling of lack of air, but objective data on asphyxia are not noted, internal organs are functioning normally. Emotional shortness of breath is stopped by sedatives without any negative consequences.

Difficulty breathing occurs against a background of a brain tumor, which most often leads to the impossibility of independent inspiration, expiration, requires mechanical ventilation.


The feeling of heaviness in the chest of hematogenous genesis is characterized by a violation of the chemical composition of the blood. The concentration of carbon dioxide begins to prevail, acidosis forms, and acidic metabolic products constantly circulate in the bloodstream.

This picture is characteristic for anemia, malignant neoplasms, diabetic coma, chronic renal failure, powerful intoxications. The patient is troubled by heavy breathing, but the inhalation and exhalation are not disturbed, the lungs and heart muscle are not affected. The cause of shortness of breath is a violation of the gas-electrolyte balance of the blood.

The feeling of a sudden lack of air for no apparent reason is familiar to many: you can neither breathe nor breathe out without pain in the chest, there is not enough air, it is hard to breathe. The first thoughts about a heart attack, but most often it is a banal osteochondrosis. The test may be taking Nitroglycerin or Validol. The lack of result is a confirmation of the neurological genesis of an asthma attack.

In addition to osteochondrosis, it can be intercostal neuralgia or intervertebral hernia. Neuralgia gives a pain of a pointed nature, aggravated by inspiration, movement. But it is precisely such pain that can provoke chronic shortness of breath resembling cardiac asthma.

The intervertebral hernia causes periodic pain, quite strong in sensations. If they happen after exercise, they become like an attack of angina pectoris.

If there is not enough air in a calm state at night, it is difficult to breathe, a cough and a sensation of a lump in the throat develop – all these are signs of the norm for a pregnant woman. The growing uterus props the diaphragm, the inhalation-exhalation changes the amplitude, the formation of the placenta increases the general blood flow, the load on the heart, and provokes an increase in respiratory movements to compensate for hypoxia. Often it is not only difficult for pregnant women to breathe, but also to yawn the hunt – this is a consequence of the same hypoxia.

In other words, a symptom of labored, heavy breathing can indicate a dysfunction of almost all systems of the human body, requires a very careful attitude, and sometimes urgent qualified help.

It is difficult to breathe, not enough air – the reasons for this are often hidden in diseases of the respiratory or cardiovascular system. Less commonly, such a symptom occurs in disorders of the nervous and endocrine systems, problems with the musculoskeletal system, and autoimmune diseases.

The specific type of respiratory failure is determined by the doctor after examination and data collection. At the same time, by type, a specialist can often understand the reason. The main indicators that he focuses on are the frequency, rhythm, presence or absence of consciousness in the patient.

In a healthy person, breathing is rhythmic, with equal lengths of time for inspiration, expiration and between them. Deviation from the rhythm and rapid breathing occurs in him after physical exertion, for example, a long climb up the stairs, or with excitement, and quickly recovers at rest.

When shortness of breath begins due to slight tension, or in a calm state, this means a violation and a symptom of the disease.

It is difficult to breathe, there is not enough air – the causes of this condition will be directly related to the treatment of the underlying disease, as shortness of breath is only a symptom.

The most common treatments include:

  • taking medications;
  • breathing exercises;
  • oxygen therapy;
  • mechanical ventilation in case of serious condition;
  • surgical intervention;
  • another specific treatment for a particular pathology.

Symptomatic therapy

The attending physician selects all the drugs individually, based on the patient’s condition and its features. Even with a heart attack or stroke, it is dangerous to use general-purpose tablets, or those that have helped someone else.

Such uncontrolled admission may complicate the diagnosis or worsen the condition of the patient. If you experience symptoms of lack of air, it is best to consult a doctor or call an ambulance.

Difficulty exhaling often indicates organic diseases of the respiratory system, therefore, qualified medical assistance is needed. If the disorder occurs for the first time and is severe, an ambulance must be called urgently. Prior to the arrival of doctors, it is important for the patient to ensure peace and a sufficient supply of fresh air, transfer it to a reclining position, and limit contact with possible allergens. To reduce emotional stress, light plant-based sedatives can be suggested.

If an attack occurs in a patient with a diagnosis of bronchial asthma, you should immediately take previously prescribed bronchodilators in the form of an aerosol (beta-adrenergic agonists, anticholinergics, myotropic antispasmodics). For inflammatory diseases, expectorants may be used; for allergic conditions, antihistamines. In other cases, special medicines are allowed to be used only after a doctor’s examination, taking into account his recommendations.

Video about the causes of suffocation

To assist, it is necessary to find out the cause of the lack of air, measures depend on this. Anyone is able to perform simple actions before the arrival of doctors who can simplify treatment or even save the patient’s life.

In the event of an asthma attack or other chronic disease, you need to:

  1. Set the patient in a comfortable position, offer to calm down. tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 11 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment
  2. Help take medication, use an inhaler, if any.
  3. To unfasten the pressing clothes, to ensure the flow of air.
  4. Ask to hold your breath so that the amount of carbon dioxide increases and breathing is restored reflexively.

In case of an allergic reaction:

  1. Stop contact with allergen, if possible.
  2. Take an antihistamine (suprastin, diphenhydramine, tavegil and others).
  3. Drink more fluids to speed up the elimination of the allergen from the body.

If a person suffocates due to a foreign body and is conscious, it is necessary:

  1. Grasp the man from behind, clenching his hand in a fist.
  2. Put your fist on the epigastric region – just above the navel, under the ribs in the middle.
  3. Put the other hand on top and bend your elbows with a sharp movement, pressing.
  4. Repeat several times, tilting the patient forward, until he clears his throat.
  5. A 1-3 year old child needs to be turned upside down, holding his legs until he clears his throat.

The attack of suffocation of a psychogenic nature must be eliminated with the help of sedatives.

99b6028f8b065902c9f84932abe2c5b8 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

The algorithm of action for an attack of suffocation, heavy breathing depends on the cause of the pathology. But there are general rules that are recommended to follow with increasing shortness of breath:

  • First of all, you need to calm down and try to soberly assess the situation, without panic;
  • if respiratory failure is accompanied by increasing shortness of breath, chest pain, redness of the face – immediately call an ambulance;
  • pastiness of head and face tissues, swollen lips, cheeks, swollen eyes indicate Quincke’s edema;
  • pre-syncope, loss of consciousness, fogging, hypotension, vertigo, nausea, occipital cephalgia, hyperhidrosis, chills, darkness before the eyes – typical symptoms for VVD;
  • Prior to the arrival of the ambulance, ensure the minimum movement to the victim;
  • open access to fresh air;
  • take sedatives: Corvalol, motherwort, Valerian;
  • you can take other drugs only if the reason is clear, the treatment regimen was agreed earlier with the doctor (not the first attack): Suprastin, Berodual, Nitroglycerin.

After the arrival of the doctors, all actions taken must be communicated to the ambulance team. If hospitalization is proposed, it is better not to refuse it, the consequences of each attack of heavy breathing can be unpredictable.

Many patients complain that it is difficult to breathe when running, brisk walking, or climbing stairs. But there are also people in whom shortness of breath begins immediately when walking or during rest. Breathing is a natural physiological process that people do not notice.

But when a person has difficulty breathing and he begins to suffocate, it becomes palpable and makes you worry about your health. With this phenomenon, the brain is not controlled by consciousness. A signal is supplied to the neurons of specific nuclei of the medulla oblongata, due to which breathing becomes more frequent, its rhythm and frequency of respiratory movements change.

From a medical point of view, shortness of breath occurs due to a low oxygen content in the blood (the term hypoxemia) or in the body (hypoxia). This process stimulates the respiratory core in the brain, because of this the person does not have enough air, breathing quickens.

Dyspnea is divided into three types:

  • inspiratory (hard to inhale);
  • expiratory (exhale hard);
  • mixed (it is difficult to inhale and exhale).

In order to neutralize this symptom, it is necessary to find out the cause of it and cure the disease. For example, if dyspnea occurs as a result of coronary heart disease, vegetative-vascular dystonia, or myocardial infarction, then appropriate medications are prescribed, and for asthma, an inhaler. But the most effective way is oxygen therapy.

Dyspnea may appear suddenly or intensify within a few days. What are its causes? Let’s consider.

  1. Poor physical condition
  2. Panic attack.
  3. Anemia and anemia.
  4. Obesity.
  5. Lung disease.
  6. Heart diseases.
  7. Pulmonary embolism.

Any stress, anger, fear of something or feelings stimulate the production of adrenaline. After adrenaline enters the bloodstream, the lungs begin to leak a large amount of oxygen, causing hyperventilation.

For this reason, when a person is nervous, worried or afraid, the heart rate quickens and breathing becomes heavy. This symptom is safe, but in case of severe panic attacks, it is better to consult a doctor, since it is characteristic of a disease such as vegetovascular dystonia.

Fears and unrest can lead to the fact that it is difficult for a person to breathe at night, it seems to him that he is suffocating.

Iron deficiency anemia is characterized by a lack of iron in the body, due to which hypoxia develops. Treatment is based on a diet containing foods fortified with iron or taking iron supplements. The treasure of this element are the liver and red meat.

obese. This is not about poor physical fitness, but about a serious illness. In this case, the internal fat is a threat, which envelops the organs, preventing them from making full respiratory movements. The heart is not able to bear such a load, because it pumps blood into the local deposition of fat. In this case, the treatment is one – it is losing weight due to physical activity and proper nutrition.

Respiratory dyspnea occurs with lung disease. Pulmonary dyspnea is diagnosed by examination prescribed by a specialist pulmonologist. According to the results of medical research, treatment is prescribed.

Sudden shortness of breath, passing into suffocation, often disturbs at night. Cardiac asthma is very dangerous and threatens a person’s life. The patient cannot sleep in any position. It is difficult for him to breathe at night, he suffocates and wheezes, pulmonary edema begins. In this case, appropriate treatment is prescribed that will improve the patient’s condition. Such patients are required to regularly visit a cardiologist.

Most often, dyspnea appears due to pulmonary embolism. With this disease, blood clots are localized in the pulmonary artery, blocking the passage, which is fraught with heart attack pneumonia. Characteristic signs of deep vein thrombophlebitis are symptoms such as:

  • severe shortness of breath;
  • severe prolonged cough;
  • chest pain;
  • in rare cases, a change in complexion (it begins to turn blue).

The disease is difficult to treat, so the timely help of a specialist will prevent thromboembolism.

Dyspnea occurs for a variety of reasons, ranging from minor to serious illness.

The feeling of lack of oxygen when trying to breathe is familiar to a large number of people. A similar situation can be triggered by a sharp increase in physical activity or have a regular character.

There are situations in life when a person in front of you begins to suffocate. And during this period it is very important not to get confused and correctly provide first aid to him. Otherwise, the case can easily end in death. However, before rushing to help, you need to understand how to properly help.

bronkhialnaya astma - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

First of all, of course, you need to call an ambulance. Only doctors can most adequately and competently assess the seriousness of the situation. However, sitting idly by is not worth it. After calling the emergency services, you should try to provide first aid.

A person suffocates when air does not enter the lungs. And there can be quite a few reasons for this. Therefore, you need to try to find out what exactly provoked this problem.

– labored breathing; – incoherent speech or total inability to speak;

– the appearance of wheezing or whistling during inhalation and exhalation;

– the victim’s fright; – a rush of blood and a bluish nasolabial triangle; – loss of consciousness. Quite often, if a person is conscious, he reflexively grabs himself by the throat, trying to facilitate and activate the breathing process.

– blockage of the airways by blood, vomit, sunken tongue, etc. (most often this can occur with an injury or an attack of epilepsy); – squeezing the chest also often causes breathing problems; – poisoning with gas or other toxic substances, resulting in a spasm; – electric shock; – artificial suffocation by any or an object – a belt, a loop, etc.; – asthma or bronchitis in an advanced stage.

tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 7 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

Look carefully at the affected person. Try not to panic – you still have time. If he is still able to speak or even can scream, try to calm him and make him breathe through his nose. It is best to invite the injured person to stand and lean on any surface (this could be a table, chair, shelf, etc.).

Trying to “breathe” the victim in this situation, do not knock him on the back. After all, if, for example, some foreign body became the cause, you can only drive it in deeper in this way. If after that it becomes easier for a person, do not offer him some water.

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After all, the throat and pharynx are still tense, and any intervention can cause a new attack of suffocation. If the victim loses consciousness, carefully lay him on his side on a flat surface (for example, on the floor) and make sure that nothing blocks his airways.

Strike it sharply between the shoulder blades so that the foreign object is displaced and air has access to the lungs. If improvement does not occur, and the situation becomes more critical, try to get an object that blocks the airways with your fingers.

Just do it very carefully and only if you see it.

If the situation is too critical – the pulse disappears in the victim – start artificial ventilation of the lungs.

Breathing is a reflex process. A person does not need to constantly think about the need to inhale and exhale a portion of air, this happens automatically.

Troubles occur if, for some reason, this natural process causes difficulties.

Physiology of the respiratory process

Oxygen enters the body through a complex system of organs, then carbon dioxide is removed from the body. It is incorrect to think that breathing occurs only in the lungs, since the nose, larynx, bronchi, abdominal muscles, intercostal muscles, and the cardiovascular system also participate in it.

  1. Take a breath The exchange of gas between the vesicles that make up the lungs (alveoli) and small vessels. tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 1 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment
  2. The transfer of oxygen in the blood to organs and tissues.
  3. Cells emit carbon dioxide in the process of oxidation and it is transported back in the same order, then removed from the body upon exhalation.

Diagnosis of pathology

The algorithm for diagnosing respiratory failure is standard:

  • medical history, physical examination;
  • tonometry, pulsometry, measurement of respiratory rate;
  • OAC, OAM, biochemistry – screening of the general well-being of the patient;
  • ECG, echocardiography;
  • Halter
  • stress tests;
  • chest x-ray, CT, MSCT, MRI;
  • sputum analysis with culture and determination of the sensitivity of microbes to antibiotics;
  • tomogram;
  • EEG;
  • Ultrasound of the thyroid gland;
  • consultation of an ENT doctor.

This is a mandatory clinical minimum examination of each patient with dyspnea of ​​unknown origin.

Since the causes of dyspnea are usually associated with heart or lung diseases, patients often consult a cardiologist and pulmonologist with this. An initial examination and data collection may also be performed by a general practitioner. Depending on the reasons, a neurologist, endocrinologist, hematologist, oncologist, and psychotherapist can treat breathing disorders.

Type of diagnosisExamples
FunctionalInterrogation of the patient, examination of external signs, listening to the heart and lungs, rattling.
HardwareUltrasound, MRI, X-ray, ECG, fluorography, spirometry, bronchoscopy, pressure measurement.
LaboratoryGeneral and biochemical analysis of blood and urine, sputum, biopsy, pleural puncture.
  • choking does not pass within 10-15 minutes at rest;
  • shortness of breath is accompanied by a high temperature, which does not decrease from drugs, coughing, wheezing in the chest;
  • there is a likelihood of an allergic reaction;
  • a foreign body is stuck in the airways;
  • suffocation is accompanied by weakness, blue skin, chest pain, fear of death;
  • shortness of breath is accompanied by a sharp decrease or increase in blood pressure;

spirometriya - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

  • Clinician studying the patient’s medical history and life history to identify chronic ailments that may be the source of the main symptom;
  • conducting a thorough physical examination, with the obligatory listening to the patient while breathing with a tool such as a phonendoscope;
  • question a person in detail – to determine the time of occurrence of attacks of lack of air, since the etiological factors of oxygen deficiency at night may differ from the appearance of such a symptom in other situations. In addition, such an event will help establish the presence and intensity of the expression of concomitant symptoms;
  • general and biochemical analysis of blood – this must be done to assess the parameters of gas exchange;
  • pulse oximetry – to determine how hemoglobin is saturated with air;
  • radiography and ECG;
  • spirometry and bodyplethysmography;
  • capnometry;
  • additional consultations with a cardiologist, endocrinologist, allergist, neurologist, therapist and obstetrician-gynecologist – in cases of lack of air during pregnancy.


To prevent tight breathing, you need to establish a balanced diet with enough fat. The fact is that the surfactant responsible for normal respiratory activity is a phospholipid.

In this case, the most useful foods that correct the diet are avocados, olives, seafood and sea fish, nuts – everything that contains OMEGA-3 acids.

Hypoxia is not only a trigger for respiratory disorders, it provokes heart failure, is a common cause of premature death. It is especially important to formulate your diet correctly for pregnant women, since the health of the baby depends on this.

It’s easy to take care of the respiratory system. In addition to proper nutrition, it is recommended:

  • visiting salt caves, rooms;
  • daily inflation of balloons: from 5 to 10 pieces;
  • walk more at a fast pace;
  • go to the gym;
  • run;
  • to swim;
  • get enough sleep;
  • completely abandon bad habits;
  • get rid of stressful situations (often a feeling of anger or fear provokes shortness of breath);
  • annually undergo medical examination with a measurement of the HF;
  • drink preventive courses of multivitamins and minerals;
  • timely treat colds, SARS, flu, infection.

The essence of the prevention of heavy breathing attacks is a healthy lifestyle and timely access to medical care if such a need arises.

Specific preventive measures that prevent the occurrence of the main symptom do not exist. However, you can reduce the likelihood with:

  • maintaining a healthy and moderately active lifestyle;
  • avoidance of stressful situations and physical overstrain;
  • control over body weight – this must be done constantly;
  • to prevent a sharp change in climate;
  • timely treatment of diseases that can lead to the appearance of such a dangerous sign, in particular in a dream;
  • regular passage of a full preventive examination in a medical institution.

The prognosis that periodically a person does not have enough air is overwhelmingly favorable. However, the effectiveness of treatment is directly determined by the disease, which is the source of the main symptom. The complete lack of therapy can lead to irreparable consequences.


  1. Doletsky A.A. , Shchekochikhin D.Yu. , Maximov M.L. The differential diagnosis of dyspnea in clinical practice // M. Breast cancer, 2014.
  2. Amao E., Val E., Michel F. Platypnea-orthodeoxia syndrome // Rev. Clin. Esp. 2013.
  3. Arena R., Sietsema KE Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing in the Clinical Evaluation of Patients With Heart and Lung Disease // Circulation. 2011.
  4. Toma N., Bicescu G., Dragoi R. et al. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing in differential diagnosis of dyspnea // Maedica (Buchar). 2010.
  5. Banzett RB, Pedersen SH, Schwartzstein RM, Lansing RW The affective dimension of laboratory dyspnea: air hunger is more unpleasant than work/effort // Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2008.

c27694a33bd2641ef067f683616a812b - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

Higher medical education. 30 years of working experience in practical medicine.

More about the author

Last Updated: November 1, 2019

Cerebral causes

It is difficult to breathe, not enough air – the reasons for poor health, which may be due to impaired brain function. This organ controls every process in the body, for which it has special centers – respiratory, cardiovascular and others.

For various reasons, brain function may be impaired, for example:

  • due to head injuries;
  • after a stroke;
  • due to encephalitis;
  • due to tetanus;
  • due to cerebral edema, as a result of diseases;
  • due to congenital disorders and abnormalities;

Such conditions are dangerous to the health of the whole organism and the life of the patient. In severe cases, the respiration of patients is maintained artificially, using equipment. The brain is connected to the central nervous system, and abnormalities in its functioning can cause psychosomatic breathing problems. With some psychological problems and psychiatric diseases, neurotic shortness of breath occurs.

Its cause may be:

  • neurosis; tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 4 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment
  • hysteria;
  • panic attack;
  • vegetative-vascular dystonia and other diseases;

During attacks, the patient feels a lack of air and shows symptoms, however, the work of internal organs is not disturbed. Chronic patients with hysteria can breathe faster, scream and cry, but not even a doctor will notice that a person is not suffocating.

Hematogenous causes

Sometimes the cause of breathing problems is a change in blood composition. Blood carries gases and minerals, so a deviation from the norm of their content can be felt as a lack of air. In this case, the work of the respiratory system is not disturbed, inhaling and exhaling is not difficult.

tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 10 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

Some diseases in which this symptom occurs:

  • anemia of various types;
  • diabetes;
  • various tumors;
  • disorders of the liver and kidneys;
  • poisoning with various substances.

Yawning and lack of air

Lack of air has become my main concern. Moreover, one “wrong move”, for example, another cup of coffee drunk, exacerbated the problem and for 2 weeks after that I could not fall asleep due to lack of air. I used to endure it very painfully, now I am more comfortable with this. When this sensation comes, I understand that it makes no sense to panic – it still will not help. It remains only to reconcile and waits until “let go.”

I began to attend various forums on the IRR and other garbage, read articles. They all said that lack of air is stress, you just need to calm down and everything will be fine. More than 6 years have passed since my first severe lack of air (with a fainting state). I even moved to the village, calm and nothing more.

1. Smoking

I lived for a very long time with a lack of air, but could not stop smoking. He justified this by the fact that it had nothing to do with smoking. In fact, even despite the possible indirect connection, after quitting smoking, I began to feel much better. I began to choke at least 50% less. Well, I became easier to endure the lack of air, probably due to the fact that there was more oxygen (or less carbon dioxide). This was decision number 1.

By the way, I also tried switching to vaping (smoking electronic cigarettes). I bought myself an expensive mod, I bought premium liquids. At first it seemed to me that I began to experience less air shortage, but then it rolled even harder.

At the moment, I have not smoked for a year and understand that I will never return to this. I clearly feel the difference and have absolutely no desire to return to that side. In quitting smoking, the main thing is to approach this process as persistently as possible. After refusing a month later, I broke and smoked two cigarettes, but after these cigarettes a whole year has already passed, and they remained the last.

2. Osteochondrosis

tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 12 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

The word itself sounds quite “old-fashioned” and I never thought that I would have something like that. As a child, I heard such words on the radio and always thought that this was true only for grandmothers, who, due to their age, can barely move around. But no, osteochondrosis turned out to be what is in my life. And in my case, this is another reason for the lack of air.

To be honest, I was very skeptical of various kinds of gymnastics (as well as smoking cessation to improve the breathing situation). In addition, I myself motivated the refusal to perform the exercises by the lack of time/unwillingness to spend it on “useless things.” In fact, this is elementary laziness. But you will overcome it when you realize that apart from you, no one will correct the situation with your health. There is no magic pill that will cure a problem with shortness of breath.

Of course, you can endlessly use antidepressants and tranquilizers (each of which has a sea of ​​side effects). Or you can just do gymnastics that will improve your condition without any side effects. If your neck also hurts and gymnastics is very painful, do it carefully, but don’t give up. In the future, you will definitely feel the improvement and make it much easier.

Most likely, it makes sense to attribute it to osteochondrosis, but I want to highlight this point separately. I will give an example. I can do gymnastics, feel great. I really now have times when my neck doesn’t hurt and I don’t even have any signs, I don’t feel a lack of air. But if I blow my neck (for example, running from the bathhouse to the house in the cold), problems come together.

By the way, massages also save, but not always. Plus, I realized that this is a very expensive pleasure – at least 10 thousand is spent on improving well-being, while gymnastics is free and takes less time (20 minutes). If you quickly set muscles, dress warmly. I noticed that autumn and spring are always difficult periods for the neck and shoulders. It seems to be warm outside, but a cold wind is blowing. It is enough to sweat and hello colds.

I don’t know why it happens so fast for me, maybe I need a more active lifestyle. All my movements are a bike, a shopping trip, getting to the car, cleaning the snow, digging up something. In general, not enough. They recommend walking, but I don’t like this business very much, so perhaps when I press it completely, I’ll have to fall in love. In theory, so that the muscles do not stiffen, you need to constantly use them. That is, not only to do gymnastics, but also to actively move them.

tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 13 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

Everything that contains caffeine greatly affects the lack of air (in my case). Coffee, cola, Pepsi, tea (even green), can coolly add a feeling of lack of air. I haven’t been drinking black and green tea for several years now, I mainly drink Ivan Tea (fireweed) at home. It absolutely does not affect breathing, has a pleasant taste and, moreover, is useful.

If you overeat too much, there’s a feeling of lack of air. But, again, after quitting smoking, this is almost nonexistent. By the way, living soberly without nicotine and caffeine is very cool. By the way, caffeine is very high in the table of correlation of dependence and lethal dose.

In principle, I am silent about alcohol – if you really want the taste of beer, try replacing it with kvass. If it is absolutely unbearable – please, but for the consequences you will be responsible for a lack of air and a heartbeat. Again, perhaps this is solely my case, although I doubt it very much.

Below I will try to summarize the reasons for the lack of air and list everything that, in my opinion, exacerbates or improves the situation. In order of influence.

Yawning is a forced deep breath with a lack of oxygen in the body. In a healthy person, it is associated with lack of sleep and fatigue.

But too frequent and prolonged yawning can be a sign of many dangerous conditions, for example:

  • heart failure;
  • the presence of blood clots in the vessels;
  • bronchial asthma;
  • inflammation and neoplasms in the lungs. tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 8 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment

Often, frequent yawning is a psychosomatic symptom in case of neurosis, vegetative-vascular dystonia, as well as a consequence of excess weight and a sedentary lifestyle. To yawn less, you need to sleep enough hours in a cool room, and eliminate the causes of insomnia, if any. Chronic lack of sleep in itself leads to stress and contributes to the development of diseases.

Tip 2: Atelectasis of the lung: what to do if there is nothing to breathe

Normal breathing is 15-16 breaths per minute – when such breathing is not enough to provide oxygen to tissues and organs, there is a need to breathe heavily.

Most often, it becomes difficult to breathe due to:

  • Strong physical exertion – the muscles need more oxygen, the respiratory system is forced to work harder to supply the blood with the necessary oxygen;
  • Various stresses and nervous conditions – spasm of the respiratory tract makes it difficult for oxygen to enter the body;
  • Chronic fatigue – anemia, insufficient oxygen saturation of the blood;
  • Bronchial asthma – bronchospasm, swelling of the mucosa under the influence of various allergens;
  • Vascular spasms of the brain – severe headache, respiratory failure;
  • Diseases of the lungs – the lungs are one of the main respiratory organs, a malfunction in their work leads to shortness of breath;
  • Heart failure – disruption of the cardiovascular system forms a lack of oxygen in the blood.

In the case when it is difficult to breathe even at rest, urgent diagnosis is necessary to determine the cause of heavy breathing. The following studies are recommended:

  • Electrocardiogram of the heart (ECG);
  • X-ray of the chest area;
  • Pulmonary examination of the functioning of the lungs.

When it is difficult to breathe due to a state of fear not associated with a specific disease, a psychiatrist consultation is necessary.

With a sufficient amount of oxygen in the air, it should freely enter the lungs through the respiratory tract. Moreover, if it is difficult to breathe, the lungs can not cope with the task of saturating the blood with oxygen. This can happen in cases of damage to a large amount of lung tissue:

  • Damage to diseases – emphysema or other diseases;
  • Infections – pneumonia, tuberculosis, cryptococcosis;
  • Surgical removal or destruction – a large blood clot, a benign or malignant tumor.

In such a situation, the remaining amount of lung tissue is not enough to supply the blood vessels with oxygen that enters the body when inhaling. If a large proportion of the lungs is affected, it is difficult to breathe, rapid breathing, with effort.

With the following disorders in the cardiovascular system and heart function, it is difficult to breathe due to:

  • Heart diseases – acute heart attack, coronary heart disease, heart failure, etc. As a result of diseases, the heart muscle is weakened and cannot push a sufficient amount of oxygenated blood through the circulatory system to organs and tissues;
  • Anemia. The lack of red blood cells – red blood cells that bind and transport oxygen through the cardiovascular system, or in the pathology of red blood cells, in which the binding-release of oxygen is disrupted.

Due to serious damage to the circulatory system and the heart, it becomes difficult to breathe due to the acceleration of the heart rhythm.

When it is difficult to breathe, coughing is a concomitant manifestation of all the above reasons. Rapid panting irritates the mucous membrane and receptors of the larynx, the muscles of the respiratory tract contract, causing a forced expiration through the mouth.

In a situation where it is difficult to breathe, a cough tends to clear the respiratory tract of obstructions so that the airways are clear.

Why it is difficult to breathe in other cases, the cause may be a condition in which the body needs more oxygen than usual. High fever, progressive cancer, disorders of the thyroid gland, diabetes mellitus, intercostal neuralgia, etc.

Frequent heartbeat and shortness of breath most likely mean cardiovascular problems, but not only. There are other reasons: stress, neurosis, vegetative-vascular dystonia, obesity, the use of caffeine in excess. Deviation from the norm is a prolonged manifestation of the symptom after mild exertion, at rest.

A patient with a rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath should stop moving and try to calm down and breathe deeply. If the symptom does not disappear for a long time and is accompanied by pain in the heart, fear, deterioration of health, it is necessary to call an ambulance, because there is a risk of a heart attack.

When falling asleep

Such respiratory disorders are accompanied by panic and fear of falling asleep again. During an attack, a person is half asleep, and is not always able to wake up quickly, this is the danger of such a condition.

In addition to sudden choking, the patient may feel:

  • chills or fever;
  • dizziness; tyazhelo dyshat ne hvataet vozduha prichiny 9 - Shortage of breath while breathing species, causes and treatment
  • nausea;
  • numbness of limbs;
  • the presence of a lump in the throat;
  • increased or slowed heartbeat and other symptoms.

The causes of this condition may be apnea and hyperventilation of the lungs. Apnea is a sudden stop of breathing in a dream, but it also occurs during falling asleep. With hyperventilation of the lungs, the patient feels an acute shortage of air, breathes often and deeply. Both diseases are of a psychosomatic nature and are often caused by stress, neurosis, panic attacks and mental disorders.

Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.