A lot of people quickly blame age or joke about being out of shape if you have any trouble catching your breath from time to time. However, breathing problems should never be ignored. Having breathing difficulties can sometimes be a sign of a serious health problem especially during cold, flu and allergy season.
Check out some of the most common reasons why you should inform your doctor about your breathing problem.
All of us can cough at any time, after all, it is the body’s way to protect yourself from foreign objects that may come into your airway. A thick and wet cough can mean you have the flu or colds. However, with shortness of breath, it may indicate another condition, for example, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. People with COPD have airways that are inflamed, clogged with mucus, or do not work well as they are supposed to. Smoking is a primary reason why you may develop breathing problems. In addition, secondhand smoke polluted the air, and toxic chemicals can also cause problems for your airways and can trigger breathing problems or asthma.
A consistent morning cough can be an early sign of COPD. In severe cases, you can also notice weight loss or swelling in your feet, ankles, or legs.
Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound when you breathe in or out means your airways are narrowed. This could be due to asthma, an allergic reaction, or even an infection such as bronchitis or pneumonia. Wheezing can also be a signal that you inhaled something by mistake which got stuck in your airway.
Fast Shallow Breathing
If you are stressed or very anxious, you will take more rapid and more shallow breaths compared to normal. Fast, shallow breathing can be your body’s fight or flight response. However, if this goes on too long, it may lead to hyperventilation making your body unable to get the right amount of air. If ever you’re experiencing stress or anxiety which affects your breathing, you should inform your doctor. You can try treatments for anxiety or learn healthier ways to handle your stress to avoid shortness of breath.
Shortness of Breath When You Are Active
When you are having breathing problems while being active, it could be a sign of anemia. Anemia may mean you are experiencing iron deficiency or you have a potential infection. This means your body is unable to carry enough oxygen throughout your body. If you fail to get enough oxygen, it is likely that you will have chest pain or shortness of breath when you exercise. You may also feel weak, run down, or have a pounding sensation in your ear. Iron deficiency is a common problem among women and vegans.
Sudden Shortness of Breath
You may feel having shortness of breath from time to time, especially if you live an active lifestyle. However, if you feel winded down for no reason at all, you should consider having it checked by your doctor. It could be a sign of having problems with your airways or heart.
When it comes to chest pain, you should always consider getting a professional medical opinion. Even the slightest pain may mean danger for you.