difficulty breathing

difficulty breathing

Dyspnea ( ), dyspnoea, shortness of breath or breathlessness is the feeling or feelings associated with impaired breathing. The American Thoracic Society defines it as “a subjective experience of breathing discomfort that consists of qualitatively distinct sensations that vary in intensity,” and recommends evaluating dyspnea by assessing the intensity of the distinct sensations, the degree of distress involved, and its burden or impact on activities of daily living. Distinct sensations include effort/work, chest tightness, and air hunger (the feeling of not enough oxygen). Dyspnea is a normal symptom of heavy exertion but becomes pathological if it occurs in unexpected situations. In 85% of cases it is due to either asthma, pneumonia, cardiac ischemia, interstitial lung disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or psychogenic causes, such as panic disorder and anxiety. Treatment typically depends on the underlying cause.

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