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What causes dyspnea?

Shortness of breath is never a good sign! Do you know what causes dyspnea? There might be a problem linked with your heart! Read below to know more about it! Call us for more information.

What causes dyspnea?

Struggling to breathe should never be a regular occurrence. When you have to fight for your breath, it can feel like a nightmare or drowning on land. It may not be the first that comes to mind, but shortness of breath, or dyspnea, could be a warning sign of a serious heart condition. Here at Sterling Heart Care, we provide excellent heart treatments to help strengthen your heart and allow it to function as it should so that you never have to experience shortness of breath again!

What is dyspnea?

Dyspnea is the medical term for shortness of breath, and it occurs when your lungs are not getting enough oxygen, or you are having trouble moving air in and out of your lungs. It is generally experienced as an acute tightness in the chest, breathlessness, or a feeling of being smothered or suffocated. Some people describe the experience as “air hunger,” as it often feels as if you cannot catch a breath no matter how hard you try. Dyspnea can also feel like a vicious cycle, as the more anxious you get about struggling to breathe, it intensifies your inability to breathe.

For some, dyspnea is a sudden and temporary occurrence, but it can become a chronic condition for others. Sudden dyspnea can occur for a few minutes or hours now and then, while chronic dyspnea is a daily occurrence, causing those with the condition difficulty in completing everyday tasks.

What is the leading cause of dyspnea?

There are many different causes of dyspnea, but some of the most common include anxiety, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart failure or disease, interstitial lung disease, and pneumonia. With heart failure, dyspnea is the trademark symptom. Dyspnea with heart occurs because your heart muscle is not strong enough to pump a sufficient amount of oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. Consequently, blood cannot flow from your lungs properly, causing a fluid buildup and increased blood pressure in your lungs. The high blood pressure makes it much harder for air to flow out of your lungs, resulting in shortness of breath or “air hunger.”

How do you treat dyspnea at Sterling Heart Care?

At Sterling Heart Care, we have two main treatment options for dyspnea brought on by heart failure. In many situations, we can provide both treatment options to our patients, as they can be done simultaneously. The two treatment options we provide at Sterling Heart Care are heart flow therapy, or external counter pulsation (ECP) therapy, and our cardiac rehabilitation program. Both treatment options are highly effective, non-invasive, and well recommended by medical experts.

ECP or heart flow therapy uses blood pressure cuffs wrapped around your lower legs and upper thighs or buttocks. These cuffs inflate and deflate in a counter pattern to your regular cardiac cycle to force blood to flow back to the heart more effectively. This process stimulates the growth of new blood vessels and improves the blood flow of existing blood vessels, as your heart accommodates the extra blood flow. Each ECP therapy session is about one hour long. We recommend daily sessions for five to 12 weeks.

With our cardiac rehabilitation programs, our health coaches and licensed counselors guide you through workshops, educational videos, and various programs based on the three pillars of a healthy heart of exercise, nutrition, and a healthy mindset.

We encourage you to come to Sterling Heart Care if you suffer from dyspnea related to a heart condition! If you would like to book an appointment with us, you can do so through our website or call us at (716) 221-6097. Our clinic is located at 4330 Maple Rd in Buffalo, New York, and is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Saturday from 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM