Making Decisions About Home Care

What Could Be Causing Your Shortness Of Breath?

by Mae Ferguson

Of all of the medical and health symptoms you could experience throughout your life, one of the most frightening and distressing is when you begin to experience trouble breathing. While it's understandable that not being able to breath normally makes you worry and wonder what is going on, you should by no means panic. In fact, panicking will only make the symptoms worse. So, before you freak out and make a bad situation worse, learn some of the possible causes for your shortness of breath and what other symptoms to watch out for. 


One of the most common causes of trouble breathing is a combination of allergies and asthma. The first thing you need to know is that even if you have never struggled with asthma or allergies in the past, these conditions can develop at any time in your life. 

If your shortness of breath is accompanied with a stuffy and runny nose, itchy eyes, sinus pressure, or other nasal and facial symptoms, your shortness of breath may very well be the result of allergy-induced asthma. Head to a clinic, such as Family Allergy & Asthma Clinic, or an urgent care  center to get checked out and treated. If it does turn out to be asthma, a nebulizer treatment of asthma medication should clear up your strained breathing in no time.

Panic Or Anxiety Attacks

When you are under a great deal of mental or emotional stress, the pressure that you feel in your life can manifest itself in physical ways. In the case of panic and anxiety attacks, your shortness of breath is likely accompanied with intense fear, worry, or apprehension. This can build gradually or hit you all at once with no apparent warning. 

If you are prone to anxiety attacks or suspect that this may be the culprit for your shortness of breath, try to do some yogic breathing to calm your lungs down. Breath in deeply through your nose for three full counts and then out through your mouth for three counts. Repeat this process for 3 to 5 minutes. If you are experiencing a panic or anxiety attack, this should help to get your breathing under control. 

Heart Attack Or Other Cardiac Issues

Shortness of breath can also be a symptom of much more emergent medical problems, particularly cardiac problems. When your trouble breathing occurs along with a feeling of intense pressure on your chest, sudden sweating, shoulder and arm pain/numbness, and/or chest pain, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. 

Heart attacks, clogged arteries, or angina can cause you to experience shortness of breath, and you should always err on the side of caution if any such heart problems are suspected. 

When you begin to have trouble breathing, it is understandable to feel concerned. Knowing the common causes of shortness of breath can help you to better deal with the symptom when it happens and prevent panic. Make sure to contact a medical professional or seek emergency medical attention to ensure that you remain healthy and safe as you recover from your shortness of breath.