Why Do I Have Trouble Breathing?

Written By: Emma Squillace

If you have trouble breathing, either occasionally or most of the time, it can be incredibly frustrating. Finding it hard to breathe can cause other problems as well. Some people have nose bleeds, pain, and a dry throat during the days because of breathing problems. Some find they wake up many times each night, struggling to catch their breath or because a loud snore woke them up. There are many reasons that someone may struggle with breathing easily, and today we will look at some of the important questions to answer.

Are your breathing problems seasonal or perennial?

If there is a particular time of year that you usually struggle the most with breathing issues then your breathing problems are seasonal. On the other hand, if the time of year has little effect on your quality of breathing, your breathing issues are perennial. This distinction is important since allergies can be a major cause of breathing issues, knowing if you’re dealing with seasonal or perennial issues can help us with a diagnosis. While allergies can be year round or only at specific times of year, the timing of your breathing issues may help us understand what potential allergy triggers to look for.

Are your breathing problems congenital or acquired?

Some people are born with a nasal structure that is more likely to cause them problems with breathing easily. For example, a deviated septum is a medical condition that many adults and children have. In fact, it’s estimated that up to 80% of people have some level of deviation in their septum. When a deviated septum or other nasal problem has been with you from birth, it’s known as a congenital issue. However there are also many people who start out with a straight septum, and find their septum becomes deviated because of a sports injury, car accident, or other facial trauma. When your issue is because of an external event, it is “acquired”.

Possible causes of breathing problems

If you struggle to breathe, it probably feels like your nose is clogged. You may think this is because you’ve got extra mucus in your nose – especially if you find your nose running. However, that stuffy feeling we get in our noses is not generally because of mucus. Instead, the inside of your nose gets inflamed, and this swelling of the nasal tissue is what stands in the way of you being able to breathe clearly. There are many possible causes for breathing problems, but here are some of the most common:

If you have a stuffy nose because of a cold, it will generally get better on its own. But if your difficult breathing lasts more than 2 weeks, there may be a deeper cause. The good news is  that if an ENT condition is causing your difficulty breathing, there are treatments that can help. The ear, nose, and throat experts at West Medical are happy to see you and help you understand your treatment options. You can reach us at (855) 690-0565.

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