Shortness of Breath - A Common Sign of Asthma

Asthma is defined as a narrowing of the lung's airways, and it has remained a common issue for many throughout time. Most people are at least marginally aware of what an asthma attack is but don't realize the full spectrum of asthma symptoms. There are many different ones, but the most common is probably shortness of breath. Learning more about this problem including just what triggers it and how to overcome it can help you and your physician determine just whether or not you're suffering from asthma and if so what your options for treating it will be. It starts with identifying the condition, however, and shortness of breath is one of the easiest ways to do so.

Shortness of breath can be caused by many different things, but when it is linked to asthma that difficulty breathing will essentially appear without warning and could actually be a chronic condition. If you're noticing that each breath you take doesn't seem to deliver the right amount of air to your lungs then you could have a serious issue. Asthma causes the airways to swell up, as mentioned above. And when they become inflamed, the passages that air travels through will be narrower. That reduces the amount of air passing through them and makes it harder to breath, triggering the shortness of breath that is so prevalent in asthma cases.

A number of things can make the shortness of breath even worse, and in some cases even trigger a full-blown asthma attack. Things like being around smoke or things you're allergic to are a good example, and physical activity almost always causes shortness of breath to occur. Even things like stress or anxiety may cause shortness of breath in an asthmatic, so it's important to pay attention to just what is causing your breathing difficulties and when they're becoming a more serious problem. Some physical activity will certainly cause anyone to breath heavier, but with asthma it can literally become a very dangerous situation.

To combat the shortness of breath many asthma sufferers experience, most physicians will prescribe long term medications and short term, emergency ones. In the case of long term medicine, it's used to reduce the overall inflammations in the airways and to widen the passages. But often this preventative step won't be enough to completely control the issue, which is where emergency steps like the use of inhalers will come into play. These deliver a rapid administration of anti-inflammatory medicine to the airways and help them open up, making it easier to breathe. If you think you may be dealing with asthma, you need to visit a physician as soon as you can.