What are the potential causes of breathing problems?

 Dr. Kathleen Handal, MD
Emergency Medicine
Breathing problems can potentially be caused by a number of conditions, including: heart disease, lung infection (pneumonia), a collapsed lung, asthma, smoking, inhalation of fumes, choking, and a chest or head injury. Sudden onset of asthma-like symptoms should be treated with a rescue inhaler. Fear, panic and anxiety may also cause breathing problems, resulting in rapid, shallow breathing, known as hyperventilation or over-breathing. Over-breathing may also occur in more serious medical conditions, including heart attack, bleeding, fever or serious infection.
Doc's First Aid Guide: Read It Before You Need It

More About this Book

Doc's First Aid Guide: Read It Before You Need It

In a medical emergency, time is of the essence. "Doc's First Aid Guide" is an illustrated, first-aid pocket handbook designed to be used as a quick reference and includes the latest CPR guidelines....

Continue Learning about Breathing Disorder Causes

Having Trouble Breathing? Your Diet Can Help
Having Trouble Breathing? Your Diet Can Help
The Olympics allows us to witness the human body’s peak abilities. But as major cities get more polluted, air quality can interfere with performance. ...
Read More
What causes breathing disorders?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
Because there are so many different kinds of breathing disorders, there are too many causes to list....
More Answers
Why do we not breathe properly?
Master Stephen CoMaster Stephen Co
Here are the main reasons:-Postural conditioning. From an early age, we are taught to adopt a postur...
More Answers
What causes shortness of breath (dyspnea)?
Brigham and Women's HospitalBrigham and Women's Hospital
Dyspnea (shortness of breath) can be caused by many conditions, including: asthma cardiomyopathy...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.