ZocdocAnswersWhat causes air hunger and what can I do about it?

Question

What causes air hunger and what can I do about it?

I have been struggling with my breathing on and off since i was 11, sometimes when i yawn i can get a good breath or lean forward. This particular episode has lasted for a few months now.(the longest spell yet) i just fell like i cant get a satisfying breath.

Answer

Thanks for your question. Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a common symptom for a number of different medical conditions. There are a number of different causes, a few of which we will review here. Most important, you will need to speak with your doctor to be able to determine what is the cause of your problem. Asthma is one common cause of shortness of breath. It can be readily treated with a number of medications, and can be exacerbated by factors such as allergies, exercise, and even the weather. For those who have smoked for a long period of time, or have had other medical conditions that have affected their lungs, COPD is another common problem. In this condition, the cells that exchange air do not function properly and can be damaged. There are of course tumors and infections that can also cause difficulty with breathing. Any of these things would likely require a different specialist to help you get the best treatment. A pulmonologist specializes in lung conditions, although your primary care doctor will likely be able to help you on the first steps of your journey towards getting an answer. Again, please speak with your doctor more about your symptoms.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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