ShareCompartir Are you an older adult looking for ways to exercise in a safe environment? Participating in group exercise programs can help older adults remain physically active. For adults over 65 years old, exercise helps maintain healthy and longer lives and can prevent many health problems that come with age such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.
Medically Reviewed by Sanjai Sinha, MD Breathing difficulty, or shortness of breath, is a frightening but surprisingly common symptom.
Shortness of breath is the distressing sensation that breathing requires more effort than usual. Ongoing breathing difficulties may be a sign of an underlying chronic condition, such as heart or lung disease or obesity.
Breathing difficulties are fairly common and can be a part of everyday life for some active people. One-quarter of the population experiences dyspnea, and it is one of the most common reasons that people visit a hospital emergency room.
Signs of severe breathing difficulty include a rapid respiratory and heart rate, gasping, wheezing, rib retractions, nasal flaring, and cyanosis, where the hands and feet turn bluish because of lack of oxygen.
A person with severe breathing difficulty uses their neck and chest muscles to breathe. Shortness of breath can be associated with symptoms of chest pain, pain with inhalation pleurisyanxiousness, dizziness, fainting, cough, wheezing, bloody sputumneck pain, and chest injury.
Situations that trigger acute breathing difficulty can provide an important clue to the underlying cause. Allergies such as to mold, dander, or pollen can cause shortness of breath, as can dust or pollutants in the environment, such as carbon-monoxide. Being at a high elevation can also cause shortness of breath.
Altitudes above 4, feet can lower oxygen in your blood, which can lead to light-headedness and nausea as well. Rarely, medications such as beta-blockers or aspirin may cause breathlessness if you have asthma. Some people have difficulty breathing while exercising or exerting themselves physically, such as during sex, so it might help to slow down or stop moving altogether, although you can also have shortness of breath at rest or while lying flat.
You may have a problem with the airways leading to the lungs, including blockage of the air passages in your nose, mouth, or throat, or you may be choking on something stuck in the airways.
If your breathing difficulty continues to worsen, go to the emergency room immediately.
Avoid the causes of breathing problems by putting the following into practice: Once you're tobacco-free, your risk of heart and lung disease and cancer begin to drop — even if you've been smoking for years.
Avoid exposure to pollutants. As much as possible, avoid breathing allergens and environmental toxins.
Take care of yourself. If you have an underlying medical condition, get treatment. Have an action plan. Discuss with your doctor what to do if your symptoms become worse. Keep elevation in mind. Avoid exertion at elevations higher than 5, feet 1, meters. If you rely on supplemental oxygen, regularly check your equipment.
Be sure your supply is adequate and the equipment works properly. The majority of cases of shortness of breath are due to chronic cardiopulmonary conditions such as asthma, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseaseand psychological conditions that cause anxiety and panic attacks.
Deconditioning due to obesity and a sedentary lifestyle is also a common cause of shortness of breath with mild exertion.
Breathing problems associated with the lung condition asthma are a common reason people go to the emergency room.Study Solutions to Exercises: Chemistry the Central Science, 11th Edition discussion and chapter questions and find Solutions to Exercises: Chemistry the Central Science, 11th Edition study guide questions and answers.
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