What is dyspnea? Its Causes, Types and Treatments

Few sensations are as terrifying as not being able to get enough air.

Definition: Breathing difficulty – known medically as Dyspnea – is often described as an intense chest hardening, shortness of breath, or a feeling of suffocation.

Very intense exercise, extreme temperatures, morbid obesity, and high altitude can cause difficulty breathing in a healthy person.

Outside of these examples, shortness of breath is probably a sign of a medical problem.

If you have unexplained shortness of breath, especially if it appears suddenly and is severe, consult your doctor as soon as possible.


What are the causes of Dyspnea?

Most cases of shortness of breath are due to heart or lung disease.


Your heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to your tissues and eliminating carbon dioxide, and problems with any of these processes affect your breathing.

Sudden shortness of breath, called acute Dyspnea, has a limited number of causes, including:

  • Asthma (bronchospasm)
  • Poisoning by carbon monoxide.
  • Cardiac tamponade (excess fluid around the heart).
  • Heart attack.
  • Heart failure
  • Low blood pressure (hypotension).
  • The pulmonary embolism (blood clot in an artery in the lung).
  • Pneumothorax (pulmonary collapse).
  • Pneumonia (lung infection)
  • The sudden loss of blood.
  • Obstruction of the upper airways (obstruction of the respiratory tract).

Lack of air or breath that lasts for weeks or more is known as Chronic Dyspnea; the condition is most often due to:

  • Asthma.
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
  • Heart dysfunction
  • Interstitial lung disease.
  • Obesity.

Several other health conditions can also make it challenging to get enough air. These include:

  • The pulmonary problems.
  • Croup (in young children).
  • Lung cancer.
  • Pleurisy (inflammation of the membrane that lines the chest).
  • Pulmonary edema (accumulation of fluid in the lungs).
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (scarring and damaged lungs).
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the lungs’ blood vessels).
  • Sarcoidosis (accumulations of inflammatory cells in the body).
  • Tuberculosis.
  • Heart problems.
  • Cardiomyopathy (problem with the heart muscle).
  • Cardiac arrhythmias (rhythm problems).
  • Heart failure
  • Pericarditis (inflammation of the membrane that surrounds the heart).

Other problems


Broken ribs.

Asphyxia: First aid

The epiglottitis (inflammation of a part of the trachea).

Inhaled foreign object: First aid.

I have a generalized anxiety disorder.

Síndorme of Guillain-Barre.

Myasthenia gravis (a disease that causes muscle weakness).


The doctor could evaluate to determine when your Dyspnea started and what you were doing at that time.

It would help if you told your doctor how often you have Dyspnea and what makes it worse. Tell your doctor about the medicines you take.

Tell her if she has other symptoms, such as pain or fever. Your doctor will listen to you breathe and observe irregular breathing.

The following may also be necessary:

Pulse Oximeter: A pulse oximeter is a device that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood.

Blood tests: These are shown to your doctor if you are at risk of blood clots or heart failure. Blood tests can also show if you have anemia or an infection.

Chest x-ray: It is an image of your lungs and heart. Doctors use it to look for infection or fluid around the heart and lungs.

Stress tests: This helps your doctor know if you have other symptoms, along with Dyspnea, that limit activity.

Symptoms include leg pain, fatigue, and weakness. Stress tests can also show if heart problems cause Dyspnea.

Computed tomography scan: This is also known as a computerized axial tomography scan. An x-ray machine uses a computer to take pictures of your lungs.

The pictures may show blood clots or a diseased area in the lungs. The doctor can use a contrast dye to observe the images in more detail.

Medical treatment

The doctor must treat the condition that causes Dyspnea. Treatments depend on the underlying cause that causes difficulty in breathing or breathing. These might be:

Oxygen therapy

This can be used to help you breathe better. You may need oxygen if your blood oxygen level is lower than it should be.


Steroids: These reduce inflammation in the airways.

Diuretics: These decrease excess fluid around the heart or lungs. They are often called water pills.

You may urinate more often when you take this medicine.

Anxiolytics and antidepressants: These reduce anxiety and help you feel calm and relaxed.

Pulmonary rehabilitation: your doctor may suggest pulmonary rehabilitation to reduce your symptoms while staying active.

You can learn breathing techniques, muscle strengthening, and how to control your pace when active.

Natural treatment for Dyspnea


Garlic improves the immune system and has an antioxidant property by maintaining healthy blood circulation.

The active compound in garlic is the sulfur component called allicin. Allicin is a very strong antibiotic and a potent agent that helps the body inhibit the ability of microbes to grow and reproduce.

This chemical helps relieve the constrictions caused to the respiratory tract.

Therefore, crush some pieces of garlic, take out the juice and add 10-12 drops of garlic juice in hot water; drink once a day to get away from Dyspnea.

Hot pepper

Chilli pepper is a vegetable often known as pepper; it acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Pepper chili contains a substance called capsaicin, which acts as a bronchodilator that stimulates saliva and other fluids present in the mouth, nose, throat, and lungs; therefore, it helps decrease the secretion of mucus and breaks its formation as well.


Currants are rich in vitamin C; also, they are in natural form and have astringent properties and antioxidant effects. Vitamin C stimulates the immune system and reduces the severity of short breath.

Because of its anti-inflammatory property, currants help reduce the inflammation caused to the lungs and release the obstruction of the respiratory tract.

Eat currants daily, dry or powder to store for an extended period, and consume it by mixing it with honey to cure Dyspnea.

Granada juice

Pomegranate is a rich source of ascorbic acid and flavonoid content, which functions as a potent anti-inflammatory agent.

This will help reduce short breathing due to inflammation and obstruction caused to the respiratory system.

Essential coffee

Coffee contains caffeine, a known bronchodilator similar to theophylline, and is used as a medication to treat asthma.

Caffeine inhibits the release of monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils from mast cells, which act as irritants and aid in proper respiration.

Drinking 2 to 3 cups of coffee regularly can help prevent asthma attacks and Dyspnea as well. It is not recommended to give coffee to children.


To prevent Dyspnea from becoming chronic:

  • Stop smoking. This helps you avoid heart disease, lung disease, and cancer, even if you smoke for years.
  • Avoid exposure to contaminants. As much as possible, prevent environmental allergens and toxins.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Have an action plan. Talk to your doctor about what to do if your symptoms get worse.
  • Keep the altitude in mind. Avoid effort at a greater height of 5,000 feet (1,524 meters).
  • Regularly check your equipment. If you are dependent on supplemental oxygen, make sure your kit does not work correctly.