Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care cough in adults cough in children warning signs wheezing Underlying Cause less serious potentially serious serious Anatomy

Difficulty Breathing Treatment

Treatment for breathing difficulty depends on the underlying cause. Those with severe breathing difficulty that results in respiratory insufficiency or respiratory failure may require oxygen therapy and mechanical ventilation to support breathing. Mild to moderate breathing difficulty may respond to treatment of the underlying cause, but oxygen therapy may be necessary to maintain oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Bronchodilator medications help relieve wheezing caused by asthma, COPD, and emphysema. Antibiotics may be administered to kill bacteria that cause pneumonia, while diuretic medications help to reduce fluid build-up in the lungs caused by congestive heart failure. A person with breathing difficulty due to a serious chest injury may require surgery.

Treatment for breathing difficulty may include:

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Difficulty Breathing Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat breathing difficulty:

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Last Updated: Jun 3, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Difficulty Breathing References
  1. Dosh SA. Diagnosis of heart failure in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2004 Dec 1;70(11):2145-52. [1560606]
  2. Evans SE, Scanlon PD. Current practice in pulmonary function testing. Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Jun;78(6):758-63. [12934788]
  3. Fedullo PF, Tapson VF. Clinical practice. The evaluation of suspected pulmonary embolism. N Engl J Med. 2003 Sep 25;349(13):1247-56. [14507950]
  4. Karnani NG, Reisfield GM, Wilson GR. Evaluation of chronic dyspnea. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Apr 15;71(8):1529-37. [15864893]
  5. Lee-Chiong T Jr, Matthay RA. Drug-induced pulmonary edema and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Clin Chest Med. 2004 Mar;25(1):95-104. [1506260]
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