Factors That Affect Respiration

Written by april khan
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Factors That Affect Respiration
Cold weather can aggravate asthma symptoms. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Hamed Saber)

Respiration is the act of in haling and exhaling. Any number of things can inhibit or affect the comfort of breathing. Among many illnesses being the causes, there are outside factors that can make breathing difficult. If you notice that you are having difficulty breathing, contact your physician, especially if this has come on suddenly.

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Weather

If you have a respiratory condition such as asthma, changes in weather may make it difficult to breathe. According to Kidshealth.org, the relationship between weather and asthma isn't really understood, although its states that studies have shown that there is a connection, such as an increase in asthma-related emergency room visits during certain seasons. Exposure to dry air is a common asthma trigger and can cause severe asthma symptoms.

Illness

Bacterial and viral respiratory infections can make it hard to breathe. Infectious diseases such as bronchitis, causes the airways to become inflamed and lined with mucus. Bronchitis is brought on by air pollution, allergies, infections and certain occupations. Symptoms of bronchitis are chest discomfort, productive cough, fatigue, fever, wheezing and shortness of breath. A chest X-ray may be required to detect the presence of bronchitis.

Food Allergies

People with food allergies have a variety of different symptoms depending on what foods they are allergic to. Allergens are absorbed into the bloodstream, so when it reaches the skin, rashes may develop. When the allergen reaches the lungs, it can also cause difficulty breathing and even trigger asthma. Other symptoms of food allergies are itching in the mouth, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, difficulty breathing and difficulty swallowing. Food allergies can also cause lightheadedness, and a drop in blood pressure, which can be life-threatening.

Digestive Disorders

Digestive disorders such as gastro-oseophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause wheezing, coughing and difficulty breathing. GERD is a medical condition that causes food and acid to reflux from the stomach up through the oesophagus and even as far up as the back of the throat and into the mouth. Many things can cause this disorder including medications, hiatus hernia, pregnancy and scleroderma. Symptoms of GERD are coughing, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, heartburn, nausea after eating, hiccups, hoarseness and sore throat.

Obesity

According to Medline Plus, nearly two-thirds of the U.S. population is overweight. Being overweight can give way to several health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obstructive sleep apnoea, certain cancers, depression, osteoarthritis and difficulty breathing. Being overweight causes your body to put excess pressure on the diaphragm, which is the wall of muscle fibre that separates the stomach from the lungs. When the stomach puts pressure on this band of muscles, it causes it to put pressure on the lungs.

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