What Is the Most Common Cause of Dyspnea?: Dyspnea is the medical term for shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. There are numerous causes for dyspnea, but common ones are asthma, COPD, bronchitis, heart problems and obesity.
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AsthmaAsthma is a disease that affects the breathing passages of the lungs (bronchioles). Asthma may be caused by genes and environmental factors. Asthma causes wheezing, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. Treatment includes avoidance of triggers and medications to control and prevent symptoms.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a lung condition in which there is a long-lasting obstruction of the airways, and occurs with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and/or asthma. Causes of COPD include cigarette smoking, exposure to secondhand smoke and environmental tobacco smoke, Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency, airway hyper-responsiveness, and air pollution. Symptoms of COPD include a productive cough and acute chest illness, shortness of breath, wheezing, heart failure, cyanosis, and weight loss. Treatment of COPD includes medications, oxygen therapy, surgery, and lung transplant.
Heart Failure SymptomsHeart failure is an inability of the heart to pump blood adequately. Early symptoms and signs of heart failure include shortness of breath, peripheral edema, exercise intolerance, weight gain, increased urination, fatigue, pleural effusion, and paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea.
Lung CancerLung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. Symptoms and signs include coughing up blood, chest pain, wheezing, and chronic respiratory infections. Treatment depends upon the tumor stage, type of lung cancer, and the patient's overall physical condition.
ObesityMore than two-thirds of Americans are overweight, including at least one in five children. Nearly one-third are obese. Obesity is on the rise in our society because food is abundant and physical activity is optional. The safest way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. Treatment may also include medications, surgery, and behavior modification.
Cigarette SmokingCigarette smoking remains the leading cause of death and illness among Americans. Effects of smoking can cause cancers, emphysema, bronchitis, COPD, chronic cough, and more. Smoking cessation includes nicotine replacement therapy and behavioral therapy.
Lung Cancer Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. Symptoms and signs include coughing up blood, chest pain, wheezing, and chronic respiratory infections. Treatment depends upon the tumor stage, type of lung cancer, and the patient's overall physical condition.
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