What Causes Heavy Breathing?

Heavy breathing typically occurs after an extreme workout, however in some cases this condition can also be a medical issue. Discover here the causes and treatment for heavy breathing.

When one is in a resting state and starts to have elevated respiration, this is frequently described as heavy breathing. While heavy breathing usually occurs after an intense workout, this condition can likewise takes place when somebody begins to breathe rapidly while sitting. As many may guess, this condition is certainly unusual when somebody is a resting state, making it a cause for medical issue as it can be brought on by a variety of conditions.

What Causes Heavy Breathing?

1. Anxiety

In basic, anxiety describes fidgeting or apprehensive about an event. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, over 40 million American adults 18 years of age or older experience some level of anxiety. For those with severe anxiety, it could lead to various symptoms, consisting of breathing greatly, abrupt tiredness, increased heart rate, enhanced sweating, or abrupt trembling. Finally, heavy breathing might result in hyperventilation which, if not corrected, might decrease the blood’s oxygenation and result in possible mental retardation.

2. Allergic reactions

Some individuals struggle with seasonal allergic reactions, specifically in the spring when plants begin to bloom, that makes it tough for them to breathe while outside. Others may struggle with year-round allergies to pet hair, dust, or other air pollutants. Moreover, food allergies can likewise cause breathing problems by avoiding correct airway circulation. Those with allergies will experience heavy breathing, wheezing, eye inflammation, or other types of swelling when exposed to the allergen.

3. Cigarette smoking

Regardless of knowing the side effects of smoking cigarettes, a vast bulk of the world’s population remains to smoke cigarettes, even after it starts to cause breathing problems. Given that the cigarette smoke is directly inhaled into the lungs, it damages the various filters discovered in the lungs and air passages that are generally used to avoid bacteria from contaminating the lungs. When these are damaged, the lungs are more susceptible to diseases, a lot of which lead to heavy breathing.

heavy breathing at night causes

Heavy breathing at night causes

4. Obesity

Because those who are overweight have actually an increased body mass, it takes a lot more effort for the lungs and heart to provide the system with all its needs. Considering this, the lungs might not always be able to work at top capacity, thus making those with obesity need to gasp for air or breathe greatly even when walking at a sluggish or moderate pace. Luckily, even a percentage of weight loss will greatly improve this condition.

5. Sleep Apnea

From the possible reasons for heavy breathing, sleep apnea may appear frightening considering that it indicates that some will actually stop breathing entirely while asleep. But it’s not that bad since they typically start breathing once again on their own, but this might not hold true each time. The most convenient method to determine sleep apnea is by the intensity of one’s snore. Sleep apnea is usually caused by weight problems, asthma, or smoking cigarettes, to name a few conditions.

6. Cardiovascular Problems

Sometimes breathing greatly has little to do with the lungs, and more to do with the cardiovascular system. Because the blood requires proper oxygenation, it requires both the lungs and heart working properly. If the heart is not effectively pumping blood while the lungs are effectively pumping oxygen, the blood may end up being too oxygenized. The person experiencing this condition might experience heavy breathing even when sitting at a state of rest.

7. Asthma

As a chronic inflammatory disease of the lungs, asthma is the name given to a condition that causes the airways to swell and irritate, making it hard for air to be reached and from the lungs. The most common triggers for asthma consist of: cold/flu, air irritants (pollen, dust, and so on), cockroaches, strong scents, smoke, and allergies to food. Some asthmatic people might also see that workout can induce an asthma attack. While asthma can be corrected with specific medications or breathing treatments, moderate asthma conditions can be prevented with appropriate care. If an asthma flare-up does occur, nevertheless, those with the condition may experience sudden shortness of breath, extreme coughing or wheezing, heavy breathing, together with chest tightness.

8. Emphysema

The majority of have actually heard of emphysema previously, but few completely understand what the condition suggests. Considering that emphysema is chronic, it is thought about a long-lasting and progressive condition which impacts the lungs. Emphysema causes obstruction that is harming to the lung’s air sacs, making it difficult for the lungs to function effectively by limiting the quantity of oxygen being transferred from outside the body and into the blood stream, which then results in issues breathing. The common causes of emphysema are smoking and protein shortage.

Treatment for Heavy Breathing

1. Avoid Triggers

Virtually all breathing issues are triggered by some triggers– increased activity levels, smoking cigarettes, weight, irritants in the air, etc. As such, the best way to prevent episodes of breathing heavily is merely to prevent the triggers whenever possible.

  • If you have emphysema and are a smoker, begin a program to stop in order to assist your lungs function at leading capability.
  • If you have severe seasonal allergies, consider using a face mask outdoors.
  • Additionally, think about using a mask inside your home while cleaning to avoid allergens such as dust, dander, or other toxins.

2. Use Medications

In addition to general avoidance of these triggers, some medications have been shown to assist minimize or get rid of episodes of heavy breathing in individuals with breathing issues.

  • Those with seasonal allergic reactions should consider taking an antihistamine integrated with decongestants in tablet or nasal spray type. These antihistamines reduce air passage inflammation to guarantee the person can still breathe.
  • For those with incredibly severe allergies, they need to consider an allergic reaction shot that enables a larger and longer-lasting dosage of antihistamines.
  • Asthma can be treated with either oral or inhaled drugs to help either avoid or quickly decrease airway inflammation.

When to See a Doctor

If you are experiencing heavy breathing or more of the breathing issues mentioned in this short article, see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and correct treatment.



Updated: August 9, 2016 — 10:22 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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