If you live with chronic lung disease, you know what it feels like to have difficulty breathing.
Difficulty breathing can feel like shortness of breath and an inability to take in enough oxygen or exhale fully. Other symptoms that may accompany difficulty breathing are a fast heartbeat, fast breathing, sweating, pale complexion, panic and anxiety, chest tightness, wheezing, and blue fingernails or lips. If you’re experiencing an emergency, call 911 immediately.
While shortness of breath is a common symptom of lung disease, frequent or severe episodes of difficulty breathing could indicate an underlying issue. Look for the following signs to know when it’s time to seek medical attention for difficulty breathing.
What Can Cause Increased Difficulty Breathing?
If you have a chronic lung condition, it’s important that you document the baseline frequency and severity of symptoms when you have difficulty breathing — that way, you’ll know when something changes.
Frequent or severe episodes of difficulty breathing could be a sign of:
- Decline in condition
- A respiratory infection like pneumonia
- A secondary lung condition like pulmonary hypertension or pulmonary embolism
Signs It’s Time to Get Help
Seek medical attention if your difficulty breathing causes the following:
1.It interferes with your daily activities. Take note if you start having trouble breathing during activities you’ve previously been capable of completing. If you feel like you can’t breathe while cleaning the house, preparing a meal or getting dressed, it may be time to see a doctor. Frequent episodes of shortness of breath that affect your ability to function can mean that your condition is progressing and that it’s time to re-evaluate your treatment plan.
2.It’s preventing you from sleeping at night. Difficulty breathing that wakes you up at night could be a sign that you have a secondary sleep condition like sleep apnea. It could also indicate that your disease is progressing and becoming more severe. Adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining your overall health and well-being — if breathing difficulties are keeping you from getting enough rest, you may experience more fatigue and respiratory symptoms during the day.
3.It’s accompanied by other symptoms. Difficulty breathing is a cause for concern if you also experience any of the following: fever, chronic cough, chest pain or pressure, pain during inhalation, excess mucus production, wheezing, dizziness, cyanosis of the lips or fingertips, lower leg swelling, fatigue or unexplained weight loss. Together with difficulty breathing, these symptoms could be a sign that you have an infection or other medical condition that requires treatment.
Cellular Therapy Can Help Treat Chronic Lung Disease
If you have chronic lung disease, cellular therapy may be able to help you Breathe Easier™ and maintain or improve your quality of life. This innovative treatment uses a patient’s own cells to address the root cause of chronic lung disease: chronic lung inflammation. With reduced lung inflammation, you may see a decrease in symptoms like shortness of breath, coughing and mucus production.
If you are interested in learning more about cellular therapy or scheduling a free consultation with one of our medical providers, contact a Lung Health Institute patient coordinator today.