Open Accessibility Menu

Breathing Issues and Respiratory Issues

When You Should Seek Emergency Medical Attention

Sudden feelings like you can’t breathe can be frightening. Breathing issues or difficulties can stem from stress to serious illness. By monitoring your symptoms, you’ll know if you require emergency medical attention.

No matter your specific symptoms, your doctor will take a thorough exam and capture your health history. This includes how long you have had a breathing problem, how intense it is, and whether exertion makes it worse. Then your doctor may order you to have blood tests, a chest X-ray, an EKG or ECG, a CT scan, an echocardiogram, and/or other pulmonary function tests.

I’m Having Trouble Breathing. What Causes Respiratory Issues?

There are many illnesses and conditions that can cause breathing issues or respiratory issues. You can show symptoms ranging from wheezing to loss of consciousness.

Breathing difficulties may be caused by:

  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Chronic Respiratory Issues
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Croup
  • Epigloggitis
  • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Congestive Heart Failure
  • Arrhythmias
  • Allergies
  • Stress and Anxiety
  • High Altitudes
  • A Hiatal Hernia

Breathing Issues and Respiratory Issues: When Is It an Emergency?

You may be short of breath due to exercise. This isn’t an emergency if this is similar to previous shortness of breath after exercise. If your shortness of breath is different than your regular shortness of breath after exercise and/or includes worrying symptoms such as chest pain or dizziness then you should seek immediate medical attention

One cause could be allergies. Over-the-counter medications and avoiding the allergen may help.

Perhaps stress is causing you to be short of breath. Lifestyle changes, stress reduction techniques or counseling can help.

If your child has a barking cough, it may be croup. If you notice breathing issues or respiratory issues in children, call your doctor for an appointment or visit Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care - Navarre.

Chest pain, heartburn and difficulty swallowing may signal a hiatal hernia, but could also indicate other serious medical conditions. Seek medical attention to make sure.

If you are suddenly having trouble breathing or it worsens, or if you have frequent episodes of shortness of breath, you should seek immediate medical attention or call 911, particularly in the following cases:

  • Loss of consciousness, significantly slowed breathing or breathing stops
  • If you have asthma, COPD, CAD, congestive heart failure, or congenital heart disease – all of which can be accompanied by breathing difficulties or are made worse by a respiratory illness
  • If you have any of these symptoms: fever, persistent sweating, swollen leg, chest pain, dizziness, blue tinge to skin, these could signal a pulmonary embolism and may require medical attention.If you have a fever, sore throat, swallowing difficulties s, hoarseness, or strange breathing sounds, these could be signs of epiglottitis, a potentially life-threatening disease requiring immediate medical attention.
  • Shortness of breath accompanied by fever, fluid or pus in the lungs, chest pain, chills, muscle pain, and exhaustion are signs that you may have pneumonia.

Visit Baptist Emergency Room & Urgent Care – Navarre for immediate care for breathing issues and respiratory issues. Walk in only, no appointments required. We are in-network with most major health insurance plans, including Medicare.