It’s normal to feel out of breath during moments of heavy activity. Breathing problems, however, are different from the normal breathlessness you feel after going up stairs or exercising. The symptoms of breathing problems range, but you may suddenly feel short of breath, gasp for air while inactive, or struggle to take deep breaths.
You should seek emergency medical care if you have breathing problems. Call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room. Emergency departments at Dignity Health North State provide expert care for breathing problems in Northern California at the following locations:
With our quality triage system, we’ll promptly evaluate your symptoms and determine the best level of care.
Symptoms of Breathing Problems
Someone with breathing problems may appear to be struggling to breathe. Their chest may visibly move as they gasp for air.
Other symptoms that occur with breathing problems include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Bluish tint of the lips, fingers, or skin
What Causes Breathing Problems?
Trauma, a medical emergency, or a chronic respiratory condition can cause breathing problems.
Common medical emergencies that cause breathing problems include:
Treating Shortness of Breath at Dignity Health North State
In our emergency rooms, an important aspect of your treatment is finding the underlying cause of your breathing problems. Your emergency room doctor will listen to your breathing and may suggest emergency blood tests and radiology to determine what’s causing your shortness of breath.
First Aid for Breathing Problems
To help someone with breathing problems:
- Call 911
- Give the victim any medicine they have for breathing problems, such as an epinephrine autoinjector for anaphylaxis
- Loosen tight clothing
- Check the person’s airway, breathing, and pulse and begin CPR if necessary
- Do not give the injured person food or drink
- Do not prop up the injured person’s head
The emergency response team will provide assistance when they arrive.
Dignity Health North State offers quality emergency care for breathing problems in Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, and Redding, CA.