When should you see a doctor? A person may require breathing therapy if they have a respiratory or breathing condition that is worsening or is not responding to medicines. Experiencing persistent respiratory difficulties having frequent allergic reactions characterized by airway narrowing you could have asthma.
What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms of breathing problems include: Coughing up blood Sputum that is yellow or green Urinating more than usual Feeling tired all the time Shortness of breath
Breathing problems can also be indicated by other symptoms such as headache, pain in the chest, arm, or jaw, and feeling agitated or anxious. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor promptly.
Your doctor will want to know about any previous conditions you have, especially if you have lung diseases such as bronchitis or emphysema. He or she will also want to know how long you've had the problem along with any details about what causes you to have coughing fits. Your doctor will also ask questions regarding your medical history and perform a physical examination before diagnosing your condition.
There are several different reasons why you might need breathing treatment.
Common breathing problems can be treated by your family doctor. However, if your breathing difficulties are complicated or it's unclear what's causing them, you may need to consult an expert. If you experience any of the following symptoms, see your family doctor to see if you should see a specialist:
Breathing problems that won't go away Lung cancer screening options Other serious conditions such as heart failure or tuberculosis that may be causing your symptoms
Your doctor may ask you about your history and do a physical exam before suggesting which specialists to see. He or she will also review any test results with you. Based on this information, your doctor will be able to tell you whether further testing is needed. If there's a problem with your lungs, they may be tested using a bronchoscopy. This involves passing a flexible tube down your throat into your lungs where a small camera is attached. A biopsy tool is passed through the tube to remove cells from areas of interest for testing. This procedure requires careful planning ahead of time to ensure you have no swallowing problems due to pain or anxiety during the procedure.
If you suspect you have a medical condition that requires specialist care, ask yourself these questions: Is my condition acute or chronic? What type of specialist would best help me? Do my current doctors have a relationship with this type of specialist?
Dyspnea (difficulty breathing), tachypnea (rapid breathing), hypopnea (shallow breathing), hyperpnea (deep breathing), and apnea are medical names for respiratory problems (no breathing). These conditions can be serious if not treated properly by a physician.
How does one breathe problematically? A person with a breathing problem can either breathe too much or not enough. If you breathe too much you have hyperpnea; if you breathe too little you have hypopnea. Both hyperpnea and hypopnea are abnormal breaths. Hyperpnea means to breathe heavily or deeply; hypopnea means to breathe lightly or shallowly.
Why are breathing problems such a big deal in medicine? Breathing problems can be signs of more severe health issues that need attention from a doctor. For example, if you have breathing problems but otherwise appear healthy, this should be checked out by an expert before you develop more serious symptoms. Breathing problems may also be signs of something wrong with your lungs, heart, or brain. It is important to see your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms so they can determine the cause of your breathing difficulties and give you the right treatment.
How do you know if you're breathing properly? There are several ways for your body to tell you whether you are breathing properly.
If you are having discomfort when breathing and any of the following symptoms, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency facility.
You should also consult a doctor if your shortness of breath becomes more acute. If your shortness of breath is followed by serious symptoms such as disorientation, chest or jaw pain, or discomfort down your arm, contact 911 immediately. The only way to find out what's causing your shortness of breath is by having tests done.
What kinds of tests can tell us why we are short of breath? Tests used to diagnose asthma and other lung diseases include:
Bronchoscopy - This is the only test that can show actual damage to the airways. A thin tube with a camera on the end (bronchoscope) is passed into the lungs through the mouth or the trachea (windpipe). The doctor looks at the tissues inside the airways and may be able to remove some tissue samples for examination under a microscope.
Blood tests - These may be used to look for inflammation or infection in the body. A sample of blood is drawn from an artery or a vein.
EKG (electrocardiogram)- An EKG measures the electrical activity of the heart. It shows how well the heart is pumping and any abnormalities in this activity.
X-ray - An x-ray uses electromagnetic radiation to produce images of bones, teeth, and other internal structures.