Shortness of breath, which is the most obvious complaint of the coronavirus we have been struggling with recently, may be the harbinger of many serious diseases. Biruni University Hospital Chest Diseases Specialist Assoc. Dr. Hande İkitimur gave important information about shortness of breath and its causes.
Shortness of breath; It is not only a complaint of the respiratory system such as asthma and COPD, but it is also frequently encountered in heart diseases, anemia and blood diseases, and neurological diseases with muscle weakness. Therefore, when shortness of breath occurs, a physician should be consulted immediately.
Noticing while breathing can be a sign of shortness of breath
Breathing, that is, breathing is a situation that is regulated by the brain stem and is performed involuntarily. Noticing that the person is breathing can indicate shortness of breath, that is, dyspnea, and may be a harbinger of many underlying diseases.
The cause of shortness of breath must be determined
First of all, after questioning whether shortness of breath is related to an urgent and important disease, examination and necessary laboratory tests should be performed. When we cannot reach a diagnosis of a disease after listening to the patient, recording the complaint of dyspnea, asking for the necessary tests and evaluating the results, the presence of a psychiatric disease should be investigated, especially in panic attacks. Questioning whether there are signs of psychiatric illness or use of psychiatric medication during the history of dyspnea from the patient will allow the patient to be referred to the appropriate branch in the early period for his complaint.
Attention to sudden shortness of breath
Knowing how shortness of breath occurs and how long it has lasted helps to identify many diseases that require urgent treatment. For example, wheezing accompanying sudden shortness of breath can be a sign of asthma and heart failure. It informs us that in the case of rapidly developing shortness of breath and chest pain, the foreign body can escape into the windpipe or the person may have a heart attack. Slowly progressing shortness of breath is a condition we see mostly in respiratory system diseases.
May be a sign of many diseases
Shortness of breath is one of the most common complaints we see in asthma and bronchitis. Asthma is a disease with attacks, so shortness of breath is not continuous and usually occurs after encountering triggering factors. Shortness of breath occurs after triggering factors such as smoking, infections, allergens, reflux, and stress, and the accompanying cough and wheezing in the morning are the harbingers of the diagnosis of shortness of breath that is caused by asthma. Another important cause of shortness of breath is COPD, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which has been an important health problem in recent years. COPD is an important cause of morbidity and death worldwide. Shortness of breath also starts at a very early stage in this disease, but the diagnosis of the disease is difficult because the patients suggest reasons such as smoking, old age and less movement as the cause of shortness of breath.
Shortness of breath is one of the important complaints of heart diseases, so the patient should be asked whether he has a heart disease or not. Shortness of breath is also a symptom of many diseases such as anemia, thyroid gland diseases and muscle diseases. Obesity, in other words obesity, is also one of the important causes of shortness of breath. Patients apply to the physician due to the complaint of shortness of breath that develops and increases gradually while continuing their daily activities.
Shortness of breath is also an important complaint in sleep apnea, accompanied by night snoring and breathing pause during night sleep.
Shortness of breath during rest should be taken seriously.
The exercise capacity of the person reflects the degree of shortness of breath. Shortness of breath during rest is the most severe shortness of breath. While explaining the patient's complaint of shortness of breath, his speech and body position give information about the degree of shortness of breath.
Shortness of breath should be considered to be severe in someone who is unable to complete his sentences and needs to sit interrupted with words, slowly speaking and unable to lie on his back on a stretcher during the examination.
For this reason, the complaints of dyspnea should be examined and revealed whether the cause of respiratory system diseases or other system diseases.