Some Conditions That Cause Severe BreathThere are several conditions or diseases that can cause heavy breathing, including:
1. Heart disordersDisorders of the heart can make oxygen difficult to deliver throughout the body. As a result, the body will experience lack of oxygen and breathing becomes heavy. Some heart problems that can cause heavy breathing, including:
Heart failure occurs when the heart pump weakens, so it is unable to drain enough blood throughout the body. If you suffer from heart failure, you may experience heavy breathing or gasping, even while lying down.
Heart attacks occur when the heart muscle does not get enough blood supply, so that the heart's function is disrupted. As a result, blood cannot be flowed throughout the body.
People who have a heart attack will experience symptoms of heavy breathing, chest palpitations, and severe chest pain that radiates to the arm or neck.
Arrhythmia is a disorder that occurs in the heart rhythm. This condition makes the heart beat faster, slower, or irregular. If left untreated, this condition can cause a variety of symptoms, including palpitations, rapid fatigue, and severe breathing.
Heart valve disorders
Heart valves have an important function in the circulatory system. Its main task is to prevent backflow of blood that is pumped from and to the heart.
If the valve is problematic, the blood can be blocked and retained in the foyer or chambers of the heart. This can cause swelling of the heart, heavy breathing, and cause interference with heart function.
2. Lung disordersHeavy breathing is also often caused by lung disorders. Some lung diseases that can cause heavy breathing include:
Asthma is a disease that makes the respiratory tract swell and constrict. This is what makes asthma sufferers difficult to breathe or experience heavy breathing. In addition to heavy breathing, recurrence of asthma symptoms can also cause wheezing sounds.
This condition is caused by a buildup of fluid in the lung pockets (alveoli), resulting in swelling or edema in the lungs. Pulmonary edema can make sufferers difficult to breathe.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
COPD is a respiratory disorder caused by a blockage of the airways in the lungs due to chronic inflammation of the lungs. This condition makes sufferers have difficulty breathing or breathing becomes heavy.
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Pulmonary embolism
- Tumor or lung cancer
3. AllergyAllergy is a reaction of the immune system to substances or foreign objects, such as pollen, grass, pet hair, or certain foods, such as milk, eggs, and seafood. When experiencing allergies, there can be several complaints, such as itching and swelling of the throat and mouth. This can cause severe breathing complaints.
4. AnemiaIron deficiency anemia is a disease caused by iron deficiency, so the number of healthy red blood cells decreases. People with this type of anemia will experience symptoms, such as fatigue, lack of energy, shortness of breath, and also breathing becomes heavy.
5. Panic attacksPanic attacks are the emergence of excessive fear or anxiety and occur suddenly. This panic attack can make sufferers experience heavy breathing, anxiety, and fear that is difficult to subside. Not only the diseases above, heavy breathing can also be caused by various other health problems, such as acid base disorders (acidosis and alkalosis), electrolyte abnormalities, sepsis, obesity, poisoning, and shock, for example due to severe dehydration and severe bleeding. To determine whether a person experiences heavy breathing accompanied by lack of oxygen, a medical examination by a doctor needs to be done. To evaluate the health condition of the patient, the doctor will carry out physical and supporting examinations, such as Roentgen photographs, blood tests, blood gas analysis, and electrolyte examination. In addition to the above examination, the doctor can also determine oxygen levels using a pulse oximeter. This tool is easy to use, which is only by pinning it on your fingers or toes.
Handling of Heavy BreathTreatment of cases of severe breathing is not always the same for everyone because the causes can also vary. Below are some steps for handling heavy breathing depending on the underlying cause:
1. Giving oxygenSome of the diseases that cause severe breathing that have been described above can cause the oxygen supply in the body to decrease. If oxygen is not enough, then the act of giving oxygen is needed. This oxygen can be given through nasal cannula (nose tube), mask, to the use of ventilator machines.
2. BronchodilatorsHeavy breathing caused by narrowing of the respiratory tract, for example due to asthma, can be treated with bronchodilators. This medicine works to widen the respiratory tract, so that breathing can feel more spacious. There are two types of bronchodilator drugs, those that work fast (given when asthma symptoms recur) and slow-acting bronchodilators given to prevent recurrence of asthma symptoms. This bronchodilator drug is usually given by inhalation, either through the preparation of the drug directly through the inhaler or through a nebulizer. Apart from being inhaled, this drug is also available as an oral preparation that is taken by mouth.
3. Antiallergic drugsHeavy breathing caused by allergies can be treated with allergy medications, such as decongestants and antihistamines. This medicine is used to relieve breathing and reduce the symptoms of colds that make breathing heavy. For severe inflammation or allergies, corticosteroid medication may be needed. For severe breathing caused by electrolyte abnormalities or acid-base blood disorders, the doctor needs to provide treatment to restore the levels of electrolytes and acid-base blood to return to normal.
How to Prevent Heavy BreathHaving heavy breathing is indeed worrying. However, by making changes and starting to live a healthy lifestyle, heavy breathing can actually be prevented or controlled. Here are some tips you can do:
- If you are overweight or obese, make an effort to lose weight, for example by exercising and eating a balanced nutritious diet.
- Get enough rest.
- Stop smoking.
- Control stress by doing relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation.
- Perform breathing exercises, this technique is effective enough to help ease heavy breathing due to panic attacks or disturbances.
- Stay away from exposure to substances or objects that can trigger allergies or irritation in the airways.