Difficulty breathing while lying down: what is this, causes, symptoms, diagnostics, treatment, prevention
Breathing difficulty – lying down; Waking at night short of breath; Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea; PND; Difficulty breathing while lying down; Orthopnea; Heart failure – orthopnea
Difficulty breathing while lying down: what is it and what to do with it?
Difficulty breathing while lying down is a common complaint among people of all ages.. It's a symptom, which can be caused by a number of diseases or conditions, such as asthma, COPD, allergies or heart and lung disease. Feeling short of breath or difficulty breathing when lying down is often accompanied by anxiety and can be quite distressing for those, who is experiencing it. It is important to learn more about this symptom and how, what can be done, to reduce or prevent it.
Causes of difficulty breathing while lying down
Shortness of breath when lying down can be caused by various conditions and diseases.. These may include:
- Asthma: Asthma can cause difficulty breathing when lying down. This may be due to changes in air pressure., occurring with a change in body position. This can lead to narrowing of the airways, causing the person to take shallow breaths or make it difficult to exhale.
- COPD: people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) prone to difficulty breathing when lying down due to reduced lung capacity, caused by this disease.
- Allergy: allergens, like dust, pollen and pet dander, may cause an allergic reaction, which can lead to difficulty breathing when lying down. This is, that allergens can cause inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to difficulty breathing.
- Diseases of the heart and lungs. Various heart and lung diseases can also lead to difficulty breathing when lying down.. These diseases can cause changes in the structure of the lungs and/or heart, which can make it difficult to get enough oxygen and exhale properly.
Symptoms of difficulty breathing while lying down
The most common symptom of difficulty breathing while lying down is a feeling of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.. Additional symptoms may include:
- Refine in Gruda
- Difficulty exhaling
- Increased heart rate
- Nausea or dizziness
When to contact a healthcare professional
It is important to see a doctor, if you are experiencing any symptoms, associated with difficulty breathing while lying down. Your doctor may examine, to diagnose the underlying cause of difficulty breathing. It is especially important to see a doctor, if difficulty breathing is accompanied by chest tightness, increased heart rate or lightheadedness/dizziness.
Questions, that your doctor may ask
To diagnose the cause of difficulty breathing while lying down, your doctor may need to ask you a series of questions. These may include:
- When did the breathing difficulties start??
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
- Do you suffer from allergies or asthma?
- Have you recently been exposed to any hazardous materials or chemicals?
- Does breathing difficulty get worse in certain positions? (eg, lying down or bending over)?
- Are you experiencing any other symptoms, such as chest tightness, dizziness or dizziness?
- Have you noticed any changes in your breathing?
Diagnosis of difficulty breathing in the supine position
To diagnose the cause of difficulty breathing while lying down, your doctor may perform a physical examination, review your medical history and/or order such tests, how visualization (X-ray, computed tomography or MRI), pulmonary function tests. or an allergy test. In some cases, your doctor may also refer you to a specialist for further testing..
Treatment of difficulty breathing while lying down
Treatment for difficulty breathing while lying down will depend on the underlying cause. For Example, if difficulty breathing is caused by asthma, your doctor may prescribe an inhaled corticosteroid or other asthma medicines. If the difficulty in breathing is caused by an allergy, the doctor may prescribe antihistamines or recommend avoiding contact with the allergen. If breathing difficulty is caused by COPD, your doctor may prescribe an inhaler or other COPD medicines.
Home treatment for difficulty breathing while lying down
In addition to treatment, prescribed by your doctor, there are also a number of home procedures, which may help reduce or prevent difficulty breathing while lying down. These include:
- Sleep, slightly raising the head and torso, using a pillow or wedge.
- Avoid environmental factors, like dust, pollen, pet dander, smoke, etc. d.
- Deep breathing exercises help to relax the airways.
- Stay active and exercise regularly
- Try not to lie on your back
- Practice good sleep hygiene (eg, avoid caffeine and other stimulants before bed, Avoid large meals before bed. d.)
Prevention of difficulty breathing while lying down
The best way to prevent difficulty breathing while lying down is to identify and treat any underlying conditions or illnesses.. If you have asthma or allergies, be sure to take your medications as prescribed and avoid environmental triggers. If you have COPD, follow your doctor's instructions for medications and lifestyle changes. If you are healthy, practice good sleep hygiene and avoid lying on your back. Regular exercise and avoid bad habits, such as smoking, may also help prevent breathing problems when lying down.
Used sources and literature
Braithwaite SA, Perina D. Dyspnea. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 22.
Fajardo E, Davis JL. History and physical examination. In: Broaddus VC, Serious JD, King TE, et al, eds. Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 18.
Januzzi JL, Mann DL. Approach to the patient with heart failure. In: Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Mann DL, Tomaselli GF, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald’s Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 21.
McMurray JJV, Pfeffer MA. Heart failure: management and prognosis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 53.