Difficulty breathing

Dyspnea is a common symptom that is characterized by difficulty breathing. This difficulty can be either inspiratory, which means there is difficulty breathing in air, or expiratory, which means there is difficulty breathing out air. This condition can be caused by a number of diseases, such as:

  • pulmonary embolism,
  • acute pulmonary edema,
  • pneumonia,
  • asthma,
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension.

Inspiratory dyspnea may be caused by partial or complete obstruction of the upper airway. It can also be caused by constriction of the respiratory muscles or by restrictive lung disease.

On the other hand, expiratory dyspnea can be caused by lower airway obstruction, as in asthma, or by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

It is important to note that some forms of shortness of breath can be very severe and require immediate medical attention. Therefore, if you experience breathing difficulty, it is important to seek immediate professional medical attention for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.


Definition and Meaning

Difficulty breathing, also known as dyspnea, is a subjective feeling of discomfort, discomfort or shortness of breath when breathing. It can be the result of a number of health problems, such as respiratory infections, lung disease, heart disease, allergies, neurological conditions, muscle problems or excessive anxiety. Symptoms of breathing difficulty include rapid breathing, shallow breathing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest pain and coughing. Treatment for breathing difficulty depends on the underlying cause and may include medication, respiratory therapy, oxygen therapy, surgery or lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking or stress management.

Causes and associated diseases

Dyspnea can be caused by many diseases and conditions, including:

  • pulmonary embolism,
  • acute pulmonary edema,
  • pneumothorax,
  • asthma attack,
  • pneumonia,
  • foreign body in the airway,
  • laryngitis,
  • croup
  •  thoracic trauma,
  • acute bronchitis,
  • chronic bronchitis,
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension,
  • pulmonary fibrosis,
  • etc.

Asthma: a common cause of dyspnea

Asthma is a common disease that can cause symptoms of dyspnea. It is a disease of the lower respiratory tract, mainly affecting the bronchi. Asthma is characterized by:

  • an inflammation of the bronchi,
  • a bronchoconstriction,
  • an overproduction of mucus.

It is therefore a bronchial hyperreactivity frequently caused by an allergic reaction. These mechanisms can lead to respiratory discomfort during inspiration, lengthening the expiratory phase.


In brief

Dyspnea is a common symptom that can have many causes. It is important to see a doctor if you have symptoms of shortness of breath in order to make a diagnosis and start appropriate treatment. Asthma is one of the most common causes of shortness of breath, so it's important to watch for symptoms and see a doctor if you think you have asthma.