What starts when breathing stops

Breathlessness and shortness of breath (recurring or persistent)

Dyspnea, the scientific name of the Shortness of breath, is experienced by those affected as hunger for breath, anxiety, fear of death, burning in the lungs and difficult inhalation or exhalation. Outsiders usually recognize shortness of breath from unusually rapid, shallow or noisy breathing. If, in severe cases, the auxiliary respiratory muscles of the chest are also used to improve breathing performance, a typical posture is also shown: The person suffering from shortness of breath sits bent over and supports himself broadly with his arms.

Any shortness of breath or chronic cough requires a thorough physical examination. The doctor uses the stethoscope to listen to the sound of breathing through the lobe of the lungs. Although shortness of breath cannot be measured as a sensation, there is a scale according to which breathing difficulties are assigned to various degrees of severity. It ranges from grade 0 (complaints only with strong physical exertion) to grade 4 (shortness of breath at rest). If the shortness of breath only occurs during exertion, one speaks of one Exertional dyspneaIf it shows up even at rest, it is a question of one Resting dyspnea. A Orthopnea occurs when the symptoms can only be endured by sitting upright. The feeling of shortness of breath mainly occurs when breathing is very fast. Many heart and lung diseases are associated with shortness of breath.

Symptoms, their causes, measures and self-help

  • Persistent pressure on the chest with the feeling of not getting enough air; possibly exhaustion, discouragement; no additional signs of physical illness

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  • shortness of breath and palpitations during physical exertion without further complaints

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  • shortness of breath and palpitations under pressure; striking Paleness, first visible on the mucous membranes; Tiredness, dizziness

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  • Increasing shortness of breath and possibly palpitations, initially v. a. under pressure; often shortness of breath and / or coughing when lying flat; often difficult exhalation with whistling background noises; frequent urination at night, leg edema

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  • Persistent difficult breathing with extremely overweight; constant fatigue, sleep attacks during the day; often leg edema

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  • Difficult breathing, most of time with painful dry cough; often dry or watery eyes; possibly headache, decreased resilience

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  • Persistent Difficult breathing with blocked and / or runny nose; often headache; possibly sneezing attacks

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  • Persistently difficult breathing with a blocked nose, possibly snoring and / or nasal language

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  • Persistent Difficult breathing with blocked nose and feeling of dryness; often deterioration in smelling ability; possibly bad smell from the nose (smelly nose)

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  • Persistent Shortness of breath with hoarseness

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  • Persistent Difficult breathing with loud background noises on inhalation and exhalation

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  • Recurring or persistent Shortness of breath or breathlessness with a dry, excruciating cough; difficult exhalation, often with whistling background noises; Increase in symptoms when exerting

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  • Recurrent shortness of breath, high fever and cough with frequent contact with mold (e.g. in hay, compost), bird droppings, wood dust

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  • Increasing shortness of breath (until breathlessness at rest) with cough and viscous expectoration; mostly among smokers; Duration at least 3 months in 2 consecutive years

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  • Increasing Shortness of breath with morning cough; profuse purulent and / or bloody sputum

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  • Increasing Shortness of breath during exertion, later possibly also at rest; mostly dry cough

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  • Increasing Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing deeply

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  • Increasing shortness of breath with dry cough in the event of long-term, occupational exposure to dust

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  • Shortness of breath when exposed to dry cough and fever; Joint discomfort and / or rash (red nodules); possibly eye infections

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  • Shortness of breath with severe deformation of the spine and / or chest

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  • Slowly increasing Shortness of breath with weakness or paralysis different muscles

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Persistent pressure on the chest with the feeling of not getting enough air; possibly exhaustion, discouragement; no additional signs of physical illness

Causes:

Measure:

  • If the symptoms persist for more than a few weeks, go to the family doctor

Self help:


shortness of breath and palpitations during physical exertion without further complaints

Root cause:

  • Normal reaction to inadequate training

Self help:

  • More exercise in everyday life (e.g. climbing stairs instead of a lift), light endurance sports

shortness of breath and palpitations under pressure; striking Paleness, first visible on the mucous membranes; Tiredness, dizziness

Root cause:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Increasing shortness of breath and possibly palpitations, initially v. a. under pressure; often shortness of breath and / or coughing when lying flat; often difficult exhalation with whistling background noises; frequent urination at night, leg edema

Causes:

Activities:

  • Call an emergency doctor in case of acute shortness of breath
  • Otherwise to the family doctor in the next few days

Persistent difficult breathing with extremely overweight; constant fatigue, sleep attacks during the day; often leg edema

Root cause:

  • Pickwick syndrome (hindrance of breathing due to pronounced fat pads in the neck and torso area in the case of very overweight)

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Indispensable self-help:


Difficult breathing, most of time with painful dry cough; often dry or watery eyes; possibly headache, decreased resilience

Root cause:

  • Irritation of the respiratory tract from dust, smoke and gaseous pollutants in indoor spaces, the environment and the workplace

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Self help:

  • Avoid exposure to the open air and physical exertion when exposed to high levels of ozone
  • Refrain from smoking if possible

Persistent Difficult breathing with blocked and / or runny nose; often headache; possibly sneezing attacks

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the house doctor or ENT doctor

Persistently difficult breathing with a blocked nose, possibly snoring and / or nasal language

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor, pediatrician or ENT doctor

Persistent Difficult breathing with blocked nose and feeling of dryness; often deterioration in smelling ability; possibly bad smell from the nose (smelly nose)

Causes:

  • Dry nose, e.g. B. due to dry air, exposure to dust at work
  • Side effects of some high blood pressure drugs, estrogen preparations ("pill"), nasal drops that decongest the mucous membrane when used over a long period of time
  • Sniffing cocaine

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the family doctor or ENT doctor

Self-help with a dry nose:

  • Ensure high humidity in living spaces
  • Several times a day nasal showers with salt water
  • Nose ointments or drops that care for the mucous membranes

Persistent Shortness of breath with hoarseness

Root cause:

  • Vocal cord paralysis (vocal cord paralysis), e.g. B. after operations on the neck or chest, head and neck injuries

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the ENT doctor

Persistent Difficult breathing with loud background noises on inhalation and exhalation

Root cause:

Constriction of the trachea, e.g. B. by

  • Goiter, scars after injury or ventilation

Measure:

  • In the next few weeks to the family doctor

Recurring or persistent Shortness of breath or breathlessness with a dry, excruciating cough; difficult exhalation, often with whistling background noises; Increase in symptoms when exerted

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Recurrent shortness of breath, high fever and cough with frequent contact with mold (e.g. in hay, compost), bird droppings, wood dust

Root cause:

Measure:

  • On the same day to the family doctor

Self help:

  • Avoidance of the allergenic substance

Increasing shortness of breath (until breathlessness at rest) with cough and viscous expectoration; mostly among smokers; Duration at least 3 months in 2 consecutive years

Root cause:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Self help:


Increasing Shortness of breath with morning cough; profuse purulent and / or bloody sputum

Root cause:

Bronchiectasis (bulging bronchi), e.g. B. as a result of

Activities:

  • Immediately to the family doctor or to the clinic in case of shortness of breath or coughing up blood
  • Otherwise to the family doctor in the next few days

Increasing Shortness of breath during exertion, later possibly also at rest; mostly dry cough

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Increasing Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing deeply

Causes:

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor

Increasing shortness of breath with dry cough in the event of long-term occupational exposure to dust

Root cause:

  • Pneumoconiosis (lung disease), e.g. B. cement workers, miners

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor or company doctor if the cough lasts longer than 3 weeks

Shortness of breath when exposed to dry cough and fever; Joint discomfort and / or rash (red nodules); possibly eye infections

Causes:

Activities:

  • On the same day to the family doctor for severe joint problems
  • In the next few days to the family doctor if the symptoms do not improve after 3 days

Shortness of breath with severe deformation of the spine and / or chest

Root cause:

Insufficient ventilation of the lungs, e.g. B. at

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor or orthopedic surgeon

Slowly increasing Shortness of breath with weakness or paralysis different muscles

Root cause:

Nerve and muscle diseases, e.g. B.

Measure:

  • In the next few days to the family doctor if breathing difficulties arise for the first time with known nerve or muscle diseases

Your pharmacy recommends

Refrain from smoking.

If you stop smoking, you stop the destruction of the lung tissue by the toxic ingredients in cigarette smoke. The respiratory function often improves after a few weeks. Therefore, when you stop smoking, the earlier the better. But even after many years of cigarette smoking, it is worth giving up smoking: shortness of breath, throat irritation and the risk of frequent bronchitis or pneumonia decrease significantly.

Fortunately, there are less abrupt alternatives to "cold withdrawal" from the glowing stick. In addition to smoking cessation by means of hypnosis, acupuncture or behavioral therapy, nicotine patches or chewing gum, drugs with the active ingredients bupropion or varenicline and e-cigarettes are available.

Increase stamina.

When exercising - or in general with any form of prolonged physical exertion - the body uses more energy and oxygen. To do this, the organism must increase the frequency of breathing and heartbeat. This is very good because it allows the heart and lungs to build performance reserves and the person concerned does not get out of breath so quickly.

Light endurance sports such as cycling, hiking, Nordic walking or swimming are suitable. Best of all, what is the most fun!

Experts recommend starting with short training units of around 10 minutes and gradually increasing to 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week. As a rule of thumb: choose the strength of the load so that it makes you sweat but still remains out of breath. If you want to know more, you can check your heart rate with a heart rate monitor and a chest strap during training.

For patients with chronic lung diseases, it is necessary to start training under medical guidance or in special sports groups (e.g. lung sports course) in order to gradually increase the load without e.g. B. trigger an asthma attack.

Authors

Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Dr. med. Brigitte Strasser-Vogel; Section "Your pharmacy recommends": Dr. med. Arne Schäffler; Miriam Knauer | last changed on at 13:04


Important note: This article has been written according to scientific standards and has been checked by medical professionals. The information communicated in this article can in no way replace professional advice in your pharmacy. The content cannot and must not be used to make independent diagnoses or to start therapy.