What is shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath is medically termed as dyspnoea. In this condition, the person is not able to breath or get enough air inside his lungs. The person may struggle to draw full breath. Similar symptoms may be felt by the person when he has climbed too many stairs, or gone through a vigorous exercise or aerobics session. But if the symptoms are produced without any obvious cause, it can be a serious condition and may need immediate medical intervention.
Lungs and heart are the vital organs that are concerned with oxygenation of blood and it’s transportation to all the body organs. Any problem in these two organs can lead to dyspnoea and other complications.
Shortness of breath can be short term or long term depending on the underlying causes. Short term dyspnoea may be caused by conditions like-
- Anxiety disorders
- Pulmonary embolism, which is a blood clot in the pulmonary vessels
- Trauma to the ribs
- Accumulation of excess fluid around the heart
- Lung collapse
- Heart diseases, like heart attacks, heart failure, and heart rhythm problems
- Respiratory infections, like pneumonia
- During anaphylaxis, which is a serious allergic complication
- Sudden blood loss
The other medical conditions and factors that may cause long term shortness of breath are-
- Accumulation of fluid around the lungs
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including emphysema
- Sarcoidosis, which is marked by accumulation of inflammatory cells in the body
- Heart diseases, like congestive heart failure
- Inflammation in the tissues around the heart
- Pulmonary hypertension, which means a rise of blood pressure inside the lungs
- Scarring of the lungs
- Cardiomyopathy, which is characterised by stiff, thick, or swollen heart muscle
Signs and symptoms
When a person feels shortness of breath, he might not be able to draw enough air inside his lungs. The person might get compelled to draw another breath inside, before he has finished exhaling the first one. The symptoms are caused due to lack of oxygen inside the body, and may present with symptoms like-
- A sensation of tightness in the chest
- Feeling of a need to breath more or more quickly
- Feeling that the body is not able to get enough oxygen
- Feeling of suffocation
The person may develop sign and symptoms suddenly, even while at rest, or develop it in very long period of time. Acute dyspnoea may develop within a few minutes or hours. In chronic dyspnoea person may feel shortness of breath while performing normal day to day activities, like just moving from one room to another or just standing up. Shortness of breath can sometimes get better in some particular positions.
Doctor can usually diagnose dyspnoea by physically examining the patient and going into the detailed medical history of the symptoms. Doctor may also suggest several tests to confirm the underlying cause of the symptoms, like the chest X-rays, CT scan, ECG and other specific tests, if doctor suspects any particular cause.
Homeopathic Treatment for Shortness of breath (dyspnoea)
The scope of treatment with homeopathy depends upon the underlying cause for the shortness of breath. If the symptoms are acute and do not involve any functional changes, like in the case of asthma or anxiety disorders, homeopathy can alone treat the symptoms and give complete cure. In the case where shortness of breath is due to any functional changes, like lung or heart diseases, scope of homeopathy can become very limited and supportive.
The approach of treatment can be therapeutic or individualised, depending upon the duration and severity of symptoms. Acute symptoms with sudden appearance might require an immediate treatment by therapeutic medicines, long term or chronic shortness of breath will most probably need an individualised homeopathic remedy to treat the case. Homeopathy can give supportive treatment even in serious conditions and reduce severity of symptoms, and affect prognosis of the case.