Difficulty Breathing Deeply: Chest Pain and Difficulty in Breathing

A person may experience difficulty breathing deeply in many conditions. The cause may vary from person to person; you should always seek prompt medical attention when you find difficulty while breathing.

There are Several Causes of Difficulty while Breathing Deeply

  • Asthma: in this condition there is inflammation and blockage of airway which prevents easy entry of air causing difficulty in breathing.
  • Massive pleural effusion (accumulation of fluid in the membrane covering of the lung) causes difficulty breathing deeply in chest pain. If the effusion is on the right side of the lung, you may have pain in the right side of the chest while breathing.
    Therefore the person tries to breathe shallow.
  • Pneumonia: it is also one of the common causes where the person is not comfortable while breathing. There are many associated symptoms with breathing difficulty in pneumonia such as fever, headache, cough, chest pain etc.
  • COPD chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which includes chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, emphysema.
  • Anemia, especially during pregnancy.
  • Panic attacks.
  • Obesity.
  • Difficulty breathing deeply with chest pain can be due to coronary artery disease. The chest pain is typically felt in the middle of the chest and on the left side of the chest, radiating to left hand.
  • Pericardial effusion: it is accumulation of fluid in the pericardium (membrane covering the heart). The patient finds it difficult to breathe deeply as he gets pricking pain while breathing.
  • Fractured ribs cause difficulty breathing deeply with chest pain especially when you cough.
  • Difficulty breathing through nose occurs due to nasal congestion in colds and allergies.
  • Nasal polyps can obstruct normal air flow leading to difficulty in breathing.

Difficulty breathing deeply is most common in above clinical conditions.

Treatment of difficulty breathing deeply depends on the underlying cause:

In asthma, bronchodilators are generally prescribed by the doctors. Antibiotics and corticosteroids are also prescribed if the condition worsens.

In pleural effusion the fluid is tapped and sent for laboratory examination. Anti tubercular treatment is started if the diagnosis is tuberculosis.

Steam inhalation and nasal drops work well when there is nasal blockage due to cold.

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