If you’re having trouble breathing, medical attention is crucial. Call 911 right away, but if you can’t get an immediate response—and it’s an emergency—go to your nearest emergency room immediately. Doctors will help you determine whether you need treatment there or can be transported elsewhere for follow-up care. Never try to wait it out at home.
Difficulty breathing, sometimes called dyspnea, is one of the most common reasons for a trip to an emergency room. Shortness of breath can be caused by heart or lung problems, or a number of other ailments. It may be a symptom that warrants immediate treatment or investigation in a hospital emergency room. Breathing becomes difficult because it requires energy: inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. When you don’t have enough oxygen flowing to your tissues, it’s hard to get enough air into your lungs and out again – causing you to breathe harder but without actually increasing how much air gets into your body. If you are having difficulty breathing, call 911 immediately – it may save your life!
It’s one thing if you have to catch your breath after a long run; it’s another if you can barely breathe. If you feel like your breathing is impaired and hard, see a doctor right away. This is especially true if you have other symptoms like chest pain or trouble speaking clearly. You could be experiencing an asthma attack or heart problems, so don’t delay getting help.