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5 Breathing Disorders You Might Be Suffering From

Written by S.O.

Posted on September 30, 2015 at 7:30 am

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Many different disorders affect the human respiratory system. Most of these cause serious health complications for the patient and are often chronic conditions. These can happen to anyone, but genetic pre-disposition and environmental factors also play a role.

At times, people tend to neglect signs of breathing disorders simply because they’re not aware of the symptoms. To help you in this regard and to live a healthy life, given below are some tips:

(1) Asthma
Asthma is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the airways. The breathing passages get narrow because of the inflammation, ultimately leading to limited airflow and breathing problems.

Signs and Symptoms
▪ Tightness feeling in the chest
▪ Shortness of breath
▪ Wheezing
▪ Dry, irritating cough
▪ Coughing that is made worse by seasonal flu, colds

Causes
The exact cause of Asthma has not been determined; medical experts believe it is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that lead to Asthma. Early life exposure to allergens, a genetic predisposition to allergies all are contributing factors.

Treatment
There is no cure for Asthma, but the symptoms can be controlled effectively.
▪ Avoid asthma triggers– Most common ones are: exposure to pollen, dust, chemicals, pollution, and pet fur.
▪ Inhaled corticosteroids–Use an inhaler that delivers medicine directly to the lungs
▪ Theophylline
▪ Leukotriene modifiers

(2) Sleep Apnea
A serious sleep disorder, sleep apnea causes irregular breathing patterns during sleep. People with sleep apnea can have higher risks of cardiovascular problems such as, high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and obesity.

Signs and Symptoms
Often goes undiagnosed because it only occurs during sleep.
▪ Shallow breathing or breathing pauses
▪ Loud snoring
▪ Morning headaches
▪ Sore throat or mouth dryness after waking
▪ Trouble focusing on intensive tasks
▪ Irregular sleep patterns

Causes
Brain signals that cause repeated interruptions during sleep cycles.

Treatment
This is a chronic condition and has to be managed properly. These have to be used while sleeping
▪ Use of breathe assisting devices – continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
▪ Mouth guards which lower jaw position during sleep and open up the airway
▪ Lifestyle changes (such as losing weight or quitting smoking) are helpful

(3) Emphysema
Categorized as a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), emphysema damages the fragile air sacs of lungs and the body fails to get the oxygen it needs.

Signs and Symptoms
▪ Persistent cough
▪ Frequent respiratory infections
▪ Reduced appetite
▪ Unexplained weight loss
▪ Fatigue and tiredness
▪ Swelling of ankles
Causes
▪ Cigarette smoking
▪ Exposure to secondhand smoke
▪ Exposure to high pollution levels
Treatment
▪ Essential to stop smoking
▪ Steroids
▪ Antibiotics
▪ Bronchodilators
▪ Vaccines
(4) Chronic Bronchitis
Categorized as a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), it is an inflammation of the airways (bronchial tubes) that carry oxygen to the lungs.

Signs and Symptoms
▪ Cough
▪ Fever accompanied by chills
▪ Shortness of breath
▪ Chest discomfort
▪ Fatigue
Causes
▪ Smoking
▪ Air pollution
▪ Exposure to toxic gases, fumes and dust
Treatment
▪ Quit smoking
▪ Use of antibiotics
▪ Humidifiers to help loosen mucus buildup
▪ Oxygen therapy
▪ Medicines- Bronchodilators, Steroids and Antibiotics

(5) Pneumonia
A common lung infection caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi. More concerning when it occurs in very young children and older people (>65 years).

Signs and Symptoms
▪ Labored breathing
▪ Persistent cough
▪ Bouts of severe cough
▪ Reddish and/or yellow-green sputum
▪ Low appetite and/or lack of energy
▪ Painful breathing

Causes

▪ Germs– bacteria, viruses and fungi
▪ Mycoplasma
▪ Various chemicals

Treatment
▪ Oral antibiotics (for bacterial pneumonia)
▪ Viral pneumonia requires antiviral medication
▪ Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to control fever
▪ Plenty of rest and fluids

People need to be aware of the most common breathing disorders, the symptoms vary but early detections of these problems can make a tremendous difference when it comes to controlling the symptoms and ensuring a healthy, productive life.
Note: If you think you might be suffering from any of these diseases kindly get in touch with a doctor, and telemedicine in such a case can be of great help. Symptoms such as a persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath after light activities, or any other discomfort during breathing can all be signs of a serious disease.

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