Breathing problems at night could be due to several reasons. Dyspnea or breathing difficulty is typically accompanied by an underlying medical condition. Some of the causes might include heart problems, allergies, anxiety, or sleep apnea. This nose surgeon in Sydney advises that rhinoplasty could help with snoring, which is also another factor that contributes to breathing issues.
When To Ask For Help
When the breathing difficulty becomes severe and hard to manage, it’s probably time to seek medical attention. Conditions like this should not be disregarded as you are most likely suffering from a serious health condition that you are not even aware of.
Give your doctor a visit if your breathing problems at night are accompanied by the following symptoms:
- breathing difficulty while lying flat
- the shortness of breath becomes too long and worsens
- lips and fingers are turning blue
- swelling in the feet
- flu-like symptoms
- tingling sound when inhaling and exhaling
Causes Of Breathing Problems At Night
Your breathing problems at night might be due to several reasons. However, severe or chronic breathing difficulty is commonly linked to serious health conditions related to the heart and lungs. Mental health also plays a role as anxiety is also one of the main reasons for shortness of breath.
Breathing problems occur when your body can’t pump sufficient oxygen into the blood. Because of this, it gets hard for the heart to pump blood productively.
Orthopnea is the term used for shortness of breath that takes place when you lie down. However, if shortness of breath occurs at night after you fall asleep, it’s called paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea.
Let us discuss the different medical conditions that cause breathing problems.
- Asthma. Asthma is a lung condition that occurs due to inflammation in the lungs. The breathing problems take place because of a few reasons. Your sleeping position, mucus build up in the throat, hormonal changes at night, and environment. Avoid getting in contact with things that could trigger your asthma to prevent its frequent occurrence.
- Pulmonary embolism. This condition is due to a blood clot that forms in the lungs. Apart from breathing difficulty, you might also experience coughing, swelling, and chest pain altogether. People who have been bedridden for a long period of time usually develop this condition.
- Pneumonia. Pneumonia develops because of several reasons. Virus, bacteria, and fungi are what causes pneumonia to occur. With this condition, the lungs become inflamed causing other symptoms like coughing and chest pain.
- COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. COPD is the blockage of airways that results in breathing difficulty. It is commonly caused by smoking and exposure to chemicals that can be harmful to the body.
- Sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that occurs during sleep. The condition attack by narrowing the airways causing the oxygen level in your body to drop. This results in unhealthy sleeping habits as frequent sleep disruptions happen at night.
Breathing problems that occur at night or any time of the day could be due to heart failure. This is because the heart is not pumping enough blood to sustain normal breathing. Diabetes, poor diet, medications, and smoking are what make the heart fail.
- Panic attacks and anxiety. Mental health could also be a huge contributor to your breathing problems. The feeling of fear and anxiety could trigger some involuntary body response and cause panic attacks. In the end, you might experience difficulty breathing, chest pain, and nausea.
- Allergic reactions. There is a tendency for allergies to get worse during the night. Severe allergic reactions could lead to shortness of breath. To prevent this from happening, make sure that your sleeping environment is free from allergens such as dust and mold.
During your checkup, the doctor will review your medical and family history. Your physical health will also be examined.
The following tests are used by doctors to diagnose the cause of your breathing problems at night:
- chest radiography
- stress exams
- sleep study
- pulse oximetry
Treatments for Breathing Problems
Depending on the condition, you might receive the following treatments for your breathing difficulties:
For asthma, strictly follow your doctor’s treatment plan and prescriptions (if there’s any). You can prevent asthma attacks by avoiding dusty places and exposure to triggers. COPD treatment includes inhalers, medication, and oxygen therapy to prevent its frequent occurrence by staying away from cigarettes and harmful chemicals.
Pneumonia is typically treated with medication. On the other hand, heart failure treatments will vary according to the patient’s condition. Certain medication and changes in lifestyle are usually incorporated into the treatment plans. Some people might need devices to make the heart function well.
Sleep apnea is treated by regulating the patient’s weight and removing unhealthy habits. Assistive devices are also used to help the airways stay open. The treatment for allergies is simple, taking anti-allergy medicines will help significantly. However, it would also help to keep the environment free from allergy triggers.
Treatments for panic attacks and anxiety could include breathing exercises, seeking professional help, and avoiding triggers.
Tips To Alleviate Shortness Of Breath
Getting your sleep disrupted because of certain things can be quite annoying. Manage roblems with breathing with simple habits such as follows:
- Sleeping in a relaxed position. Find the most relaxing position for you and try to sleep on it regularly.
- Sitting forward. Before going to sleep at night, relax your body by sitting forward on a chair.
- Coffee. According to studies, you can relax the muscles in the airways with a cup of coffee.
- Keep the air cool. Use a fan to help you breathe normally. This will effectively relieve your symptoms as well.
- Lifestyle changes. As mentioned, certain habits could contribute to breathing problems. Quit smoking and adopt a healthy routine with daily exercise.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle would also play a huge part in managing your breathing problems. Try to eat healthily and stay physically active for a better night’s sleep.