Overview Evaluation Treatment specialist Home Care cough in adults cough in children warning signs wheezing Underlying Cause less serious potentially serious serious Anatomy
Shortness of Breath Wheezing
- Avoid exposure to smoke.
- Avoid cough medicine.
- Avoid sedative medications.
- Avoid substances that trigger wheezing.
- Drink plenty of liquids to remain hydrated.
- Place a vaporizer or nebulizer in the bedroom at night.
Home care for those who take medication for wheezing includes:
- Follow asthma home care instructions.
- Learn to use prescribed inhalers correctly.
- Use short-acting inhalers every 20 minutes, or as directed by your doctor.
- Long-acting medications must be used regularly.
- Learn to use a peak flow meter.
- Know the peak flow danger zones.
- Develop a strategy for using your inhaler based on your PEFR reading
- Stay calm during a wheezing attack.
Peak Flow Zones:
- Green Zone:
- A PEFR reading that is 80-100% of personal best represents good control
- Yellow Zone:
- A PEFR reading that is 50-80% of personal best represents a moderate attack
- Red Zone:
- A PEFR reading that is less than 50% of personal best represents a severe attack and may identify the need for treatment in an emergency department.
Continue to Shortness of Breath Underlying Cause
PubMed Shortness of Breath References
- Dosh SA. Diagnosis of heart failure in adults. Am Fam Physician. 2004 Dec 1;70(11):2145-52. 
- Evans SE, Scanlon PD. Current practice in pulmonary function testing. Mayo Clin Proc. 2003 Jun;78(6):758-63. 
- Fedullo PF, Tapson VF. Clinical practice. The evaluation of suspected pulmonary embolism. N Engl J Med. 2003 Sep 25;349(13):1247-56. 
- Karnani NG, Reisfield GM, Wilson GR. Evaluation of chronic dyspnea. Am Fam Physician. 2005 Apr 15;71(8):1529-37. 
- Lee-Chiong T Jr, Matthay RA. Drug-induced pulmonary edema and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Clin Chest Med. 2004 Mar;25(1):95-104.