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

 

Condition Specific Organizations

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

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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 540 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Improvement of dyspnea after bariatric surgery is associated with increased Expiratory Reserve Volume: A prospective follow-up study of 45 patients.
 

Author(s): Louis Boissière, Jeanne-Marie Perotin-Collard, Eric Bertin, Isabelle Gaubil, Ana Diaz Cives, Coralie Barbe, Sandra Dury, Julie Nardi, François Lebargy, Gaëtan Deslée, Claire Launois

Journal:

 

To assess the effects of bariatric surgery in patients with obesity on dyspnea and to analyze the relationships between improvement of dyspnea after bariatric surgery and changes in pulmonary function, especially Expiratory Reserve Volume (ERV) which is the lung volume abnormality ...

Last Updated: 20 Sep 2017

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Pulmonary vascular volume, impaired left ventricular filling and dyspnea: The MESA Lung Study.
 

Author(s): Carrie P Aaron, Eric A Hoffman, Joao A C Lima, Steven M Kawut, Alain G Bertoni, Jens Vogel-Claussen, Mohammadali Habibi, Katja Hueper, David R Jacobs, Ravi Kalhan, Erin D Michos, Wendy S Post, Martin R Prince, Benjamin M Smith, Bharath Ambale-Venkatesh, Chia-Ying Liu, Filip Zemrak, Karol E Watson, Matthew Budoff, David A Bluemke, R Graham Barr

Journal:

 

Evaluation of impaired left ventricular (LV) filling has focused on intrinsic causes of LV dysfunction; however, pulmonary vascular changes may contribute to reduced LV filling and dyspnea. We hypothesized that lower total pulmonary vascular volume (TPVV) on computed tomography (CT) ...

Last Updated: 20 Apr 2017

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Diaphragmatic mobility: relationship with lung function, respiratory muscle strength, dyspnea, and physical activity in daily life in patients with COPD.
 

Author(s): Flávia Roberta Rocha, Ana Karla Vieira Brüggemann, Davi de Souza Francisco, Caroline Semprebom de Medeiros, Danielle Rosal, Elaine Paulin

Journal: J Bras Pneumol. ;43(1):32-37.

 

To evaluate diaphragmatic mobility in relation to lung function, respiratory muscle strength, dyspnea, and physical activity in daily life (PADL) in patients with COPD.

Last Updated: 5 Apr 2017

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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 54 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Nontraumatic head and neck emergencies: a clinical approach. Part 1: cervicofacial swelling, dysphagia, and dyspnea.
 

Author(s): B Brea Álvarez, M Tuñón Gómez, L Esteban García, C Y García Hidalgo, R M Ruiz Peralbo

Journal: Radiologia. ;58(5):329-42.

 

Nontraumatic emergencies of the head and neck represent a challenge in the field of neuroradiology for two reasons: first, they affect an area where the thorax joins the cranial cavity and can thus compromise both structures; second, they are uncommon, so they are not well known. ...

Last Updated: 25 Sep 2016

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Failing phrenics: an obscure cause of exertional dyspnea: Case report and literature review.
 

Author(s): Arsalan Rafiq, Mohsin Ijaz, Hassan Tariq, Trupti Vakde, Richard Duncalf

Journal: Medicine (Baltimore). 2016 Jul;95(29):e4263.

 

Idiopathic phrenic nerve palsy is a rare cause of exertional dyspnea. We present a case of a patient presenting with worsening dyspnea of an unknown etiology found to be related to bilateral phrenic nerve palsy.

Last Updated: 22 Jul 2016

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Usefulness of lung ultrasound in diagnosing causes of exacerbation in patients with chronic dyspnea.
 

Author(s): Katarzyna Rogoza, Wojciech Kosiak

Journal: Pneumonol Alergol Pol. 2016 ;84(1):38-46.

 

Dyspnea is a non-specific symptom that requires fast diagnostics, accurate diagnosis and proper treatment. The most common causes of dyspnea include exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and chronic heart failure (CHF). Distinction between these two medical ...

Last Updated: 25 Jan 2016

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 23 Feb 2017

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Palliation of Dyspnea With Mouth Piece Ventilation
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Dyspnea

 

Last Updated: 13 Jan 2017

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Impact of Dyspnea on Patients in the Intensive Care Unit
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Dyspnea

 

Last Updated: 21 Mar 2017

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