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What Does Shortness Of Breath Feel Like?

What Does Shortness Of Breath Feel Like?

The lack of air, a symptom known at the medical level as dyspnea, is not a disease or a disorder in itself, but it can be due to many different causes. That is why it is important to observe when it appears and what symptoms are related to be able to determine more precisely what is due.



Do you wonder what does shortness of breath feel like or why I feel I’m short of breath? In the following article we will explain the causes that can cause it, likewise, we will also differentiate the lack of air depending on the related symptoms that you may have.



Is it bad that you lack air?

As we have already explained, shortness of breath or difficulty in maintaining breathing is known at the medical level as dyspnea. This can appear in different ways, for example, the sensation of suffocation, the sensation of not covering enough air or the lack of control in the breathing. However, the bad guy who lacks air? At this point one should look at why you lack air and what is causing it.



There are times when this is something completely normal and should not worry, for example, if you are or have just done exercise, if you are in a very hot place, as long as it is something momentary. However, when it appears unexpectedly or appears recurrently, it is when you have to ask yourself if there is a basic problem that is causing it.



Shortness of breath due to anxiety

Anxiety can manifest itself in many different ways, but lack of air is one of its main symptoms. The sensation of suffocation, the pressure in the chest and the lack of air is a habitual sign of anxiety. In addition, to this we must add hyperventilation. See also Home remedies for anxiety



We know as hyperventilation both very deep breathing and very rapid breathing, however it may be, the main consequence of this is that there is a lack of air that causes the levels of calcium and carbon dioxide in the blood to fall. This fact causes the blood vessels to constrict, causing some of the most typical symptoms of anxiety, for example:

  • Tachycardia
  • Pressure in the chest
  • Numbness of the extremities.
  • Headache.
  • Dizziness
what does shortness of breath feel like
what does shortness of breath feel like


Why do I feel like I’m short of breath when I go to bed

As we have already explained, it is very important to identify the moment in which dyspnea appears. In this case, if you lack the air when sleeping you may suffer nocturnal paroxysmal dyspnea, a disorder that causes the sudden interruption of sleep with a lack of air, being necessary to get up to recover your breathing again



This is a problem that usually affects people who have heart or lung problems, which is why it is necessary to start an adequate medical treatment to treat the underlying disease.



Why do I feel I’m short of breath in pregnancy

Do you lack air in pregnancy? Do you have difficulty breathing normally? Quiet, it is something habitual in your state, especially in the last weeks and at the beginning of the pregnancy, nevertheless, it will depend on the intensity in which you feel it.



When you are pregnant, the uterus enlarges, which causes the diaphragm to rise and press on the muscles that help you breathe. That is why respiratory problems and lack of air is a common symptom in pregnant women. In addition, other sensations that you may have as a result of the rise of the diaphragm are:

  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue.
  • Insomnia.
  • Drowning sensation



As in any aspect of pregnancy, if you notice this feeling with great intensity you should go to the gynecologist to assess your health, however, you should not be too alarmed because, as we have said, you feel that you lack air in pregnancy It is normal



Why I feel like I’m short of breath and my back hurts

Feeling that you lack air can be a symptom of a lung disease, in addition, this type of diseases, often also manifest with pain in the back that can radiate to other areas of the body. Some of the main pulmonary conditions that can cause these symptoms are the following:




Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a disease in the lungs that is usually caused by smoking. This habit damages the lungs, causing them to lose capacity and to develop conditions such as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. See also What Does COPD Stands For?




Asthma is a disease that causes inflammation and, consequently, narrowing of the airways, causing symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing or pressure.




Pneumonia or pneumonia is an inflammation of infectious origin of the tissue of the lungs. With this infection, the alveoli can be filled with pus or other liquids that cause breathing difficulties as well as oxygenation of the body. Visit How Long Does Pneumonia Last?




In this case we are talking about the inflammation of the bronchi, a condition that causes symptoms such as shortness of breath, tightness in the chest or cough with expectoration. We can distinguish between two types of bronchitis, acute and chronic, the difference being that the first one does not extend for more than 3 weeks, while the second can be undefined.




The pneumothorax is the result of a perforation in the lung, which causes air to escape and this organ can not expand normally when it is inspired. In turn, this air accumulates in the outer cavity of the lungs, causing chest pain, back pain and shortness of breath.



Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism is the blockage, either total or partial, of the pulmonary artery. It is usually caused by a clot that has formed in the leg that travels through the blood supply to the pulmonary artery. Shortness of breath, as well as pain in the back and chest, are some of the main symptoms of pulmonary embolism.



Pulmonary fibrosis

It is the result of the scarring of the tissue of the lungs, a process that makes them thicker and harder, losing their main characteristics and conditioning their function. Some of the symptoms that accompany this disease are shortness of breath, cough, fatigue or pain.



Pulmonary edema

Pulmonary edema, popularly known as waterlogged lungs or water in the lungs, is, as its name suggests, the accumulation of fluid in this organ, preventing its proper functioning and reducing the amount of air they can inhale.



Pulmonary tumor

Finally, among the lung diseases that can cause shortness of breath we find lung cancer. A tumor growth in this organ also manifests itself with symptoms such as weight loss, hoarse voice, cough accompanied by blood or back and chest pain.



Why do I feel like I’m short of breath after eating
Eat a lot

The digestive system is our second brain, and this is not just a metaphor, but in this organ many emotions are handled and, during digestion, it becomes a sophisticated chemical center. Hunger is the mechanism that alerts us that we should eat food, however, when we still have a full stomach and eat or when we overeat, this can cause a saturation of the digestive system that ends up affecting other organs of the body. The widening of the stomach by eating too much will make the space for the lungs to widen smaller, causing shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing.



Eat very fast

In addition, this is related to the first cause of which we have spoken in the article: anxiety. And is that when we are anxious or stressed we tend to eat more, worse and faster. All of them decisive factors for what we have just told. When we eat with anxiety we not only eat more fatty foods that hinder our digestion, but we eat too fast, causing the stomach to fill with air and cause us breathing difficulties.



Accumulated blood in the stomach

But this is not the only reason why you may feel short of breath after eating. Another possible reason is that, after ingesting food, most of the blood goes to the stomach to be able to do good digestion. Therefore, there is less to oxygenate the rest of the body, consequently, our body requires more air to oxygenate the body, which is why you may feel that you lack air after eating.



Food allergies

Finally we can find food allergies, however, in these cases it will not always happen, but will appear suddenly only after eating some food. The fact is that when we eat a food to which we have allergies, it causes a reaction in our body that, among other symptoms, causes the airways to narrow and, therefore, causes difficulty in breathing.



What does shortness of breath feel like and my heart hurts?

First of all we must be clear that the heart does not hurt. Often we speak of pain in the heart or heart punctures, however, in this organ we do not feel pain but, at most, when some disease affects it, it radiates that pain to other areas such as the thorax, neck, back, the jaw or the arm.



The second clarification that must be made is that, often, the pains caused by a cardiovascular affection are confused with the symptoms derived from anxiety. Like these diseases, anxiety can cause shortness of breath and pain in the heart (that is, in the chest or arm). That is why it is important to consult a doctor and, if we discard any cardiovascular disorder, give it truth and treat anxiety.



With these caveats, there are several diseases related to the heart that can cause shortness of breath and other related symptoms. Here we explain them:



Heart failure

It is usually a chronic disease, although it is possible that it appears acutely, whatever it may be, it arises when the heart is unable to pump properly, causing the blood to not reach efficiently and, consequently, that the body can not oxygenate . Visit to know moreĀ Congestive Heart Failure Life Expectancy




It is not a single one, but it encompasses a group of diseases that occur in the muscle of the heart, causing its size to increase, become thicker or the muscle to become stiffer.



Heart attack

Also known as a heart attack, it is caused by the blockage of an artery, which causes the blood to not reach the heart correctly and not to unblock, causing the death of the heart tissue.




Arrhythmias are the alterations that occur in the heart rate, that is, in the rhythm to which our heart beats. There are different types, however, we can usually distinguish between tachycardia-when it beats faster than normal, or bradycardia-when it beats slower than normal.




It usually has a bacterial origin, although it can also be caused by a virus, and is defined as the inflammation of the heart muscle, causing this organ to see its proper development impeded. Myocarditis is a potentially lethal disease, which is why it must be treated as quickly as possible.




If in the previous case we talked about the heart muscle, in the case of pericarditis what is inflamed is the pericardium, that is, the membrane that covers the heart. It is often very complicated to clarify what is the exact cause, however, it is always due to an infection, whether viral, mycotic or bacterial.

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