Experiencing shortness of breath (dyspnea) or other breathing difficulties can feel scary.
But it’s not an uncommon symptom of anxiety.
While anxiety can cause shortness of breath and other physical symptoms, it’s important to acknowledge that experiencing shortness of breath for other reasons may also create anxiety.
Why does anxiety cause shortness of breath?
The shortness of breath that occurs during panic attacks and anxiety is often caused by a change in your normal breathing pattern.1 Typically, we are not conscious of our breathing. When panic and anxiety occur, our breathing may become more shallow and restricted.
Can stress and anxiety affect your breathing?
There are many kinds of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety, social anxiety, and panic attacks. Anxiety can affect your breathing. On the other hand, your breathing can affect feelings of anxiety. Deep or rhythmic breathing is a good way to decrease symptoms of anxiety.
What helps anxiety shortness of breath?
- Take a long, slow breath in through your nose, first filling your lower lungs, then your upper lungs.
- Hold your breath to the count of “three.”
- Exhale slowly through pursed lips, while you relax the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders, and stomach.
What is the most common cause of shortness of breath?
The most common causes of acute dyspnea are: Pneumonia and other respiratory infections. Blood clot in your lungs (pulmonary embolism) Choking (blocking of the respiratory tract)
Can dehydration cause shortness of breath?
Even a small decline in body water can make it more difficult to focus and carry out basic tasks. Other mild to severe symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth and eyes, dizziness, confusion, inability to sweat, shortness of breath and heart palpitations.
When should you see a doctor for shortness of breath?
If shortness of breath keeps you from doing your regular daily activities, that’s reason enough to call the doctor. But definitely schedule an appointment if you have trouble breathing along with any of these symptoms: Shortness of breath when you’re resting or lying down. Fever, chills, night sweats.