Carolyn's Collection

Help For Shortness Of Breath
Today I would like to talk about Shortness of Breath  (SOB) and Why-
so here are a few highlights. 
One of the things I would like to say first is that "we are all different"  What will make one of us SOB will not necessarily make some one else SOB.

But there are a lot of causes for SOB besides being short of O2.  
Stress, infections, the weather, being tired are among the things that can cause SOB while maintaining our O2 saturation.  Bending over, eating too much and that does not mean just overeating.  If we fill our stomach till we are full then we can be pushing our diaphragm up and lungs have less room to expand.  That is why they recommend six small meals instead of three regular meals.  There are other reasons for SOB, but we could be here all day if I tried to name them all <g>

Personally, if humidity is over 50% I have trouble and I have problems when the barometer is changing- it usually settles down when the barometer does.

What we have to figure out is if our SOB is really lack of O2
One of the first things we need to do is to check our sats if we have an oximeter. Then you can follow your doctors directions on using O2 or not.  Remember O2 is a drug that needs to be taken as prescribed.

Then or at the same time we need to sit and start doing our Pursed Lip Breathing.  
PLB will help with SOB no matter what our sats are.   If you are sob from stress or other things PLB will also help the body relax kind of like a mantra would. <g>

Now believe it or not we can also get SOB from having too much O2. But that is generally the people who are CO2 retainers.  That is something only a doctor can tell you and you need to have an ABG to test for it.

Now here is a scientific view as to why we can be SOB without needing O2.  Our Stevo sent this out when I was newbie and I would like to share it with you again.

Remember,  Growing old is mandatory but Growing up is optional
And Laughter is still the best Medicine!

Carolyn-Mi


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What follows is my understanding of the reasons for Shortness of Breath.
I am not a medical professional of any kind, but I think this explanation may
help.

First, lack of oxygen can produce SOB, but there are several ways that shortness of breath is produced among us folk with lung disease in addition to reduced oxygen levels or increased carbon dioxide.

Specifically,there are three other ways that will typically produce distress signals to the brain which can cause SOB. The brain responds by changing the rate and depth of your breathing pattern which increases your awareness of difficulty in breathing.
In some cases the response will also include a cough, yawn, or a sigh.

The most common is the nerve receptors in the bronchial tubes that will send signals to the brain whenever they are irritated or inflamed. For those with an asthma or bronchitis component, certain triggers will cause this irritation.

The next level of distress signals can come from the alveoli.
The most common occurrence is when the air sacs start to fill with fluid. This would be the case with pneumonia or congestive heart failure and SOB is a common symptom to both these conditions.

There are also signals that can come from outside the lung.
The most common example is displacement of the diaphragm. This often occurs if we over eat- we will be short of breath because the stomach is putting pressure on the diaphragm.

You are correct to assume that maintaining proper oxygen levels are primarily to allow the body to metabolize correctly which affects every organ, but there are other things that will cause SOB even if our O2 saturation is corrected.

So, that's my story and I'm sticking to it...hope this helps.

Stevo