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Causes of Shortness of Breath

Breathing problems can occur due to various reasons. Let us discuss the various causes of shortness of breath in men and women.
Pragya T
One might get shortness of breath temporarily due to overexertion or due to some allergic reaction, which passes away after a while. However, a person can suffer from breathing problems due to some lung diseases as well. Other serious causes are due to heart related conditions like heart attack or heart failure. Given below, is a list of the causes of conditions that can lead to shortness of breath.
Allergy: Allergic reaction to certain foodstuffs, grains or weather is one of the reasons for shortness of breath when talking or during other activities.
Asthma: It is another common respiratory disorder, which is one of the common causes.
Excessive Intake of Food: Due to overeating one can feel bloated, which makes the stomach exert pressure against the diaphragm.
Bronchitis: It is the inflammation which occurs on the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the lungs. This causes difficulty in breathing.
Chronic Sinusitis: When a person is suffering from this disorder, the cavities around the nasal passages become inflamed and swollen, which interferes with drainage, and causes mucus to build up. This causes difficulty while breathing.
Coronary Artery Disease: This condition occurs when the coronary arteries, which are the major blood vessels supplying blood, oxygen, and nutrients, become damaged. Usually a build up of cholesterol on the arteries is responsible for this disorder.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Everybody suffers from stress, however if you are suffering from an ongoing anxiety disorder which interferes with your day-to-day activities, then you may have generalized anxiety disorder, which leads to difficulty in breathing and chest tightness .
Heart Attack: It causes shortness of breath and chest tightness, if you are showing these symptoms then seek medical help immediately.
Interstitial Lung Disease: This term is used to describe a group of lung diseases, which cause progressive scarring of lung tissue. One of the symptoms of this disorder is breathing difficulty.
Deconditioning: Lack of exercise or carrying out any unusually strenuous physical activity can also lead to shortness of breath while doing normal activities like climbing stairs.
Obesity: Having excessive amount of body fat is a matter of concern. Apart from causing shortness of breath, it can also increase your chances of having diabetes and high blood pressure.
Lung Cancer: It is a type of cancer which starts in the lungs. People who smoke have the greatest risk of developing lung cancer.
Pleurisy: It occurs when the double membrane, which lines the chest cavity and surrounds each of the lungs, become inflamed. Apart from shortness of breath, it also causes a sharp pain when you take a breath.
Pneumonia: It is the inflammation of lungs which can be caused by an infection. It can affect people of any age.
Pulmonary Edema: This condition is caused due to storage of excess fluid in the lungs. These fluids get collected in the numerous air sacs in the lungs, which make it difficult to breathe.
Pulmonary Fibrosis : This is a serious condition, which can cause progressive scarring of the lung tissue. It stiffens the lungs and makes breathing difficult. The common symptoms of this condition are shortness of breath and a dry cough.
Pulmonary Hypertension: This is a type of high blood pressure which affects only the arteries in the lungs and the right side of your heart. This is a serious illness which requires medical attention.
Tuberculosis: This is a potentially serious infection, which affects the lungs. Many people who become infected with the bacteria that causes tuberculosis, don't develop symptoms unless their immunity becomes low.
Heart Failure: It is also known as congestive heart failure (CHF), and means that the heart cannot pump enough blood to meet the body's need. With lifestyle changes and medication, this serious condition can be prevented.
Expanding Uterus: Late in pregnancy, the uterus grows and expands, causing the other internal organs to get compressed, this leads to a difficulty in the expansion of lungs during breathing, thereby causing shallower respiration and shortness of breath.
If you have been suffering from shortness of breath for some time, then it is important that you take a doctor's appointment, to get yourself diagnosed, and learn the exact cause behind shortness of breath. The doctor, after examining you thoroughly and after performing the tests, will provide you with the appropriate treatment according to your condition.
If you are suffering from severe shortness of breath, which occurs suddenly and affects your ability to function, then seek immediate medical help. If you are experiencing other symptoms along with it, like a heart attack, chest pressure, fullness, or squeezing pain, which lasts more than a few minutes, call for help.