Shortness of Breath


Shortness of Breath (SOB)| Coughing | Hawking up Mucus

There are many conditions that can cause shortness of breath (SOB) or, sometimes called “air hunger.”  The most common –lung disease is discussed below.  Another is loss of blood, or low body oxygen, which can be detected by your doctor with a simple blood test.  When this occurs, you may receive a transfusion of a pint or two of blood –which usually perks you right up.  The doctor will need to investigate to determine why you were short of blood and where it went. 

Before you go …Be sure to see the video below.

This is a condition that should not be taken lightly.  If action is delayed, the possibility of becoming ever weaker is likely –to the shortness of breath: copdpoint of losing balance and suffering a fall and resulting injury.  See a doctor before it happens.

There are many other scenarios that might cause shortness of breath.  It could be a matter of being way out of shape or something much more serious.  Don’t fool around.  Consult with your family doctor –the sooner, the better.

Lung Disease

When you experience shortness of breath, you are coughing often, and you have lots of mucus, you need to pay attention to such symptoms. They aren’t going to get better on their own and they will hinder your overall quality of life. They can be an indicator of serious health problems that can’t be ignored. Such symptoms are often indicators of various diseases including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), lung disease, and heart disease. Basically, essential organs in the body aren’t able to do their job efficiently.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is seemingly a catch-all phrase for what is also   known as Emphysema, or Chronic Bronchitis.  It is considered to be a progressive disease –meaning in time, it will worsen.  The problem is that the airways to the lungs are partially clogged.  Depending on how clogged, the natural, non-thinking reflex of drawing a breath can be extremely difficult.

Smoking is the #1 cause for these symptoms to develop. Generally, it is the result of heavy smoking over a very long period of time. It is never too late to give up the habit and to see improvements in your overall health. However, it isn’t easy to stop smoking so you want to get help for it to increase the odds of success.

Today, there are many products on the market including nicotine patches, counseling, hypnosis, and more. Explore the options and find one that works well for you.

Asbestos Exposure, Asbestosis, Mesothelioma

Your condition could come from a previous work place surrounding. Perhaps construction or renovations. Asbestos can effect the body years after exposure causing the most common of lung cancers, mesothelioma. If you or a loved one is in this position check out mesothelioma.net for more insight and support.

Smoking Cessation

Giving up smoking means that the damage to your lungs and heart won’t continue. In time, you will find that you don’t get fatigued as quickly and that you have more energy. As a result, you can take part in physical activity which is good for your lungs and your heart functionality. Work with your doctor for a complete assessment and for an overall treatment plan.

It may be necessary for you to use various medications to help you breathe easier. Some of them are daily use medicines and others are only for times when you have a very hard time breathing properly. You may be given medicine to help quiet your cough so you can get enough rest, as most of the time the cough gets worse while you are lying down.

Medicine can also be given to help clear up any bacteria that may have caused the mucus, as well as to help dry it up. Make sure you take all medicines as directed to avoid unexpected side-effects. 

The longer the problem continues, the harder it is to get results.  That should not be an excuse for inaction or to deter one from beginning the healing process.

Many young men who began smoking in their teens and are now in their thirties have already begun to display the chronic cough or clearing of the throat reflex.  The best advice is to listen to your body –it’s trying to tell you something.

Look around you for someone twenty years older than you are today that has been smoking for that much longer than you have.  It would be incumbent upon you to ask yourself the question; “Do I want to look like that guy in twenty years?”

It might also help you to realize that some people have been known to smoke right on into their 70s without a sign of cancer.  (That is not to say they are necessarily healthy, however).  Some smokers contract cancer or COPD while still in their 30s.

Here’s the rub -it is impossible to know which group you are in; which is to say, if you continue to smoke, you are ‘rolling the dice’, as it were. 

The final Young Men’s Health Link advice is to quit tobacco products before you ruin your health.  Why wait for the medical scare that it takes for some to consider quitting?

More on Asbestos – Protect Yourself

And, if you’re young, don’t be like some of the bone-headed guys I once worked with; when working in a cloud of asbestos on a renovation project, the common sentiment was, “ah, it’s nothing a couple beers won’t wash down.” 

It is.  And, once with you, embedded in your lungs, it doesn’t go away.  If working around asbestos, wear the proper PPE (personal protective equipment).  If you’re unsure if the material is asbestos, have it tested.  The federal laws are strict regarding working with and exposure to asbestos.

Do you have any thoughts on or experience with this? If so, why not share them by commenting below.

If you have found some of this information to be useful, please ‘Share’ it, or ‘Like’ it so others can find it, as well. Social buttons found on each page. Thank you for spending some time here.

External Resources:
Shortness of Breathe – COPD
Difficulty Breathing

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Image: Pulmonary Pathology

2 Responses to “Shortness of Breath”

  1. B Hudson says:

    Hello –
    I never knew it until it happened to me -anxiety can cause shortness of breath.

    It pays to be conscious of it -take deep breaths -as a habit.

    Brendan

    • Stewart says:

      This is true. Count to four on the inhale, count to 2 on the exhale.
      Good habit to get into.
      Especially when anxious.

      Thanks, Brendan.

      Dave S

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