Wheezing and Breathing difficulties
Symptoms of Breathlessness, wheezing
and breathing difficulties could be due to:
wheezing and breathing difficulties
and indications: Symptoms usually develop
rapidly, within a few minutes, and depend on the
nature of the allergy. Common symptoms include nettle
rash and skin reactions, swellings and puffiness
e.g. around eyes, wheezing and breathing difficulties,
headaches, stomach pains, sickness and diarrhoea.
Medical advice should be sought.
This depends on the nature of the reaction but commonly
involves the taking of antihistamine drugs. If the
allergic response is more serious, as in an asthma
attack, hospital treatment may be required, with
the administration of bronchodilator and corticosteroid
drugs by inhalation. If the allergic response is
in the rare form of anaphylactic shock, prompt emergency
treatment is necessary with the administration of
adrenaline by means of an injection. This condition
is fatal unless emergency treatment is promptly
commonly affected: Both sexes and all
and indications: The main symptoms are
breathlessness and a wheezing cough that may be
worse at night. The extent to which the bronchi
are narrowed varies considerably and governs the
severity of the attack. In a severe attack, the
breathing rate increases considerably and is rapid
and shallow. The pulse rate also increases. In a
very severe attack, the person may be so breathless
as to make speech impossible and may show signs
of cyanosis (a bluish colour of the skin because
of a lack of oxygen in the blood). A severe asthma
attack or one that does not respond to the usual
controlling medication taken by the patient is an
emergency condition and medical help should be sought
immediately. Prolonged and repeated attacks of asthma,
with no break in between, are called "status
asthmaticus". This also is a serious emergency
that can cause death due to exhaustion and respiratory
The day to day treatment of asthma is one of management
to avoid the occurrence of an attack. This includes
avoidance of the particular substance or allergen
that triggers the asthma, if this is known and if
it is possible to do so. Drugs used in the treatment
of asthma are of two kinds. Bronchodilators are
used to dilate the airways, and these include beta-adrenergic
agonists such as salbutamol and anticholinergics
such as theophyllines. The second group are anti-inflammatory
drugs, which are inhaled corticosteroids and sodium
cromoglycate. Most of the drugs used in the management
of asthma are inhaled.
commonly affected: All age groups except
newborn babies, often beginning in early childhood.
In childhood, more boys than girls suffer from asthma,
but in adult life both sexes are affected equally.
and indications: Wheezy breathing and
shortness of breath, which is even worse after exercise.
In severe cases, the patient may become blue, bloated
Oxygen may help and antispasmodics may be of use
during attacks of breathlessness.
commonly affected: Older people of both
and indications: Symptoms include a blocked
and runny nose, sneezing, watering eyes that are
itchy and red and may swell. The person may sometimes
wheeze and have slight breathing difficulties. A
person with severe symptoms of hay fever should
seek medical advice.
Is by means of antihistamine drugs and if the allergen
(the substance causing the symptoms) can be identified,
desensitization may be successful. This involves
injecting or exposing the individual to controlled
and gradually increasing doses of the allergen until
antibodies are built up.
commonly affected: All age groups and
Other problems that could cause
Symptoms of Breathlessness, wheezing
and breathing difficulties could be connected to:
Asbestosis and others.