What is shortness of breath (dyspnea)?
Shortness of breath is a general term that includes the feeling that you are getting too little air. This is a very annoying feeling that can feel and sometimes is life-threatening. The medical term is dyspnea.
Symptoms of shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
- difficulty breathing
- pain when breathing
- wheezing sound when breathing
- rapid fatigue with exertion
- pressure on the chest
- turning blue due to severe oxygen deficiency
- fast heartbeat
Types of shortness of breath and causes
The tight feeling can be caused by a variety of conditions. These can be divided into two types:
- acute shortness of breath and
- chronic shortness of breath
Acute shortness of breath occurs within a short time (within a few hours or less) and requires prompt treatment. Chronic shortness of breath occurs over a much longer period of time: months or even years. The body can get used to this, so that shortness of breath is not always immediately experienced as such.
acute shortness of breath
Acute shortness of breath occurs quickly. Causes can be:
- allergic attack
- anxiety attack
In all cases urgent medical care is needed.