One of the more frightening medical symptoms to face is difficulty breathing. Wheezing, coughing, or simply not being able to take in a full breath can leave one scared, dizzy, and in a panic. Thankfully, there are breathing treatments that can help quickly address these symptoms.
Conditions requiring breathing treatments
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: this is an incurable, but treatable, set of lung diseases that make breathing difficult. The most common diseases in this classification are chronic bronchitis and emphysema.
- Asthma and allergies: these conditions are caused by immune responses to allergen. One of the main symptoms is shortness of breath and wheezing.
- Pneumonia: this is a common lung infection that is often a complication of the flu. It can be viral or bacterial.
- Cystic fibrosis: this is a disease that runs in families and affects mucus consistency. By making mucus thicker, it inhibits the body’s ability to clear the lungs, causing frequent infections.
The machine that is used for breathing treatments is called a nebulizer. If one has a chronic lung condition, one will often be prescribed one for home use. For acute breathing difficulty, these treatments will be give at the doctor’s office. Nebulizers use an air compressor, oxygen tubes, and a nebulizing machine to make medicine into a breathable mist. One puts a breathing mask over their nose and mouth and inhales the medicine-carrying mist.
Types of breathing treatments
Depending on the condition, various medications will be used in the breathing treatment. Some common ones include:
- Albuterol and levalbuterol: these treatments uses beta adrenergic properties to dilate the bronchial tubes and open up the airways.
- Ipratropium bromide: this is an anticholinergic medication that prevents the bronchial tubes from constricting
- Combination treatments: these use both the above in combination to open the airways and also prevent them from closing again
- Corticosteroids: these reduce inflammation in the lung
When to seek medical help
If you or a loved one is having difficulty breathing, immediately seek assistance. If breathing is obstructed, call 911. Urgent Specialists can deliver life-saving breathing treatments to those who have conditions interfering with normal lung function.