Dyspnea

DyspneaDyspnea Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Alternative Name: Shortness of breath (SOB). Dyspnea, the sensation of breathlessness or inadequate breathing, is the most common complaint of patients with cardiopulmonary diseases. Types: Cardiac, exertional, expiratory, functional, nocturnal, paroxysmal nocturnal, and Traube dyspnea. Cardiac etiology may include CHF (congestive heart failure).
  • CAD (Coronary artery disease).
  • MI (myocardial infarction), recent or past history.
  • Cardiomyopathy.
  • Valvular dysfunction.
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy.
  • Pericarditis.
  • Arrhythmias.
Pulmonary etiology may include COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
  • Asthma.
  • Restrictive Lung Disorders.
  • Hereditary Lung Disorders.
  • Pneumonia.
  • Pneumothorax.
Mixed Cardiac/Pulmonary etiology may include COPD with pulmonary HTN (hypertension) and/or cor pulmonale.
  • Deconditioning.
  • Chronic pulmonary emboli.
  • Pleural effusion.
Noncardiac or nonpulmonary etiology may include Metabolic conditions (e.g. acidosis).
  • Pain.
  • Obesity.
  • Trauma.
  • Neuromuscular disorders.
  • Functional (anxiety, panic disorders, hyperventilation, etc).
  • Chemical exposure.
Diagnosis: The health care provider will perform a physical examination and take your medical history. Questions may include: Did this problem develop suddenly or slowly?
  • Is it getting worse (progressive)?
  • How bad is it?
  • Is there any ankle, feet, and leg swelling?
  • How tall are you? How much do you weigh?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
Diagnosis Tests: Chest radiographs.
  • Electrocardiograph.
  • Pulmonary function tests.
  • Screening spirometry.
Treatment: The most significant intervention in the management of dyspnea is identifying underlying causes and treating as appropriately. While underlying causes may be evident, treatment may not be indicated, depending on the stage of the disease. Whether or not the underlying causes can be relieved or treated, all patients will benefit from management of the symptom using education, energy conservation and breath control, airflow, and medications. Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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