Dyspnea

Common Name(s)

Dyspnea

Dyspnea is the feeling of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. It is commonly experienced by people with advanced stages of lung cancer, asthma, or other conditions affecting the lungs or heart. Dyspnea may be caused by physical factors, such as an airway obstruction, or biological factors, such as a decreased amount of red blood cells in the body. Individuals may have blocked airways, narrow airways, or fluid in their lungs or heart. Inflammation of lung tissue after radiation exposure may also cause shortness of breath. Decreased oxygen in the blood or an interruption in blood supply to the heart or lungs may also cause dyspnea. Other causes include stress, anxiety, and illnesses such as pneumonia.

Dyspnea is a symptom that may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as chest tightness, anxiety, and a feeling of suffocation. Despite the feeling of suffocation, dyspnea does not cause suffocation or death, and patients may experience dyspnea even with normal oxygen levels. However, those who experience dyspnea should seek medical attention in order to be evaluated for the presence of diseases affecting the lungs, airways, or heart.

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the dyspnea. General actions to reduce symptoms include not smoking, staying well hydrated, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. Devices such as humidifiers or incentive spirometers may be used to make breathing easier for affected individuals. Anti-anxiety or pain medications may be prescribed to affected individuals. If stress or anxiety is identified as the main cause, relaxation and breathing exercises may be used. If you or your child has been diagnosed with dyspnea, talk to your doctor about the most current treatment options.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Dyspnea" for support, advocacy or research.

There are currently no organizations listed in Disease InfoSearch that support this condition. Create a listing.

 

 

General Support Organizations

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Dyspnea" returned 443 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

High total carbon dioxide predicts 1-year readmission and death in patients with acute dyspnea.
 

Author(s): Nathalie Lund, Anders Rohlén, Per Simonsson, Sofia Enhörning, Torgny Wessman, Klas Gränsbo, Olle Melander

Journal: Am J Emerg Med. 2015 Oct;33(10):1335-9.

 

Patients with acute dyspnea are a large heterogeneous patient group where initial management is important for outcome.

Last Updated: 24 Sep 2015

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[Values of electronic bronchoscopy in diagnosis and treatment of dyspnea in infants].
 

Author(s): Zhu Wang, Xiao-Zhuang Zhang, Dong-Ping Huang, Hai-Guang Shen, Yan-Fang Tan, Min-Min Li, Ling-Long Lu, Shu-Mei Peng, Yuan-Ping Tang

Journal: Zhongguo Dang Dai Er Ke Za Zhi. 2015 Jul;17(7):747-50.

 

Last Updated: 18 Jul 2015

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Dyspnea-related cues engage the prefrontal cortex: evidence from functional brain imaging in COPD.
 

Author(s): Mari Herigstad, Anja Hayen, Eleanor Evans, Frances M Hardinge, Robert J Davies, Katja Wiech, Kyle T S Pattinson

Journal: Chest. 2015 Oct;148(4):953-61.

 

Dyspnea is the major source of disability in COPD. In COPD, environmental cues (eg, the prospect of having to climb stairs) become associated with dyspnea and may trigger dyspnea even before physical activity commences. We hypothesized that brain activation relating to such cues would ...

Last Updated: 6 Oct 2015

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Dyspnea" returned 45 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Point-of-care ultrasonography for the diagnosis of acute cardiogenic pulmonary edema in patients presenting with acute dyspnea: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
 

Author(s): Mohammad Al Deeb, Skye Barbic, Robin Featherstone, Jerrald Dankoff, David Barbic

Journal: Acad Emerg Med. 2014 Aug;21(8):843-52.

 

Acute dyspnea is a common presenting complaint to the emergency department (ED), and point-of-care (POC) lung ultrasound (US) has shown promise as a diagnostic tool in this setting. The primary objective of this systematic review was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of ...

Last Updated: 1 Sep 2014

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Unrecognized suffering in the ICU: addressing dyspnea in mechanically ventilated patients.
 

Author(s): Matthieu Schmidt, Robert B Banzett, Mathieu Raux, Capucine Morélot-Panzini, Laurence Dangers, Thomas Similowski, Alexandre Demoule

Journal: Intensive Care Med. 2014 Jan;40(1):1-10.

 

Intensive care unit (ICU) patients are exposed to many sources of discomfort. Although increasing attention is being given to the detection and treatment of pain, very little is given to the detection and treatment of dyspnea (defined as "breathing discomfort").

Last Updated: 6 Dec 2013

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Evidence for cognitive-behavioral strategies improving dyspnea and related distress in COPD.
 

Author(s): Anna Norweg, Eileen G Collins

Journal: Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. 2013 ;8():439-51.

 

Dyspnea is a complex, prevalent, and distressing symptom of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) associated with decreased quality of life, significant disability, and increased mortality. It is a major reason for referral to pulmonary rehabilitation.

Last Updated: 9 Oct 2013

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Aerosol Inhalation Treatment for Dyspnea - Patients
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Dyspnea

 

Last Updated: 13 Aug 2015

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Hospital Without Dyspnea. Rationale and Design of a Multidisciplinary Intervention
 

Status: Not yet recruiting

Condition Summary: Dyspnea

 

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2015

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Registry of Patients With Acute Dyspnea in the Emergency Department
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Dyspnea; Heart Failure; COPD

 

Last Updated: 30 Mar 2015

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