Shortness of breath

SWMBO1950

Registered User
Nov 17, 2011
2,076
0
Essex
Does anyone have any experience of shortness of breath? My mother has started to take lots of short breaths - loudly - almost like a quiet pant even when she is stitting still.

If I ask if she can breath ok she says yes but it is very noticible. Could this be the start of congestive heart failure (she's 98)?
 

Pheath

Registered User
Dec 31, 2009
1,094
0
UK
Sorry to hear this.

My friend's mother had this recently but it was put down to the fact she's fairly immobile and doesn't exercise much so any exertion now causes breathlessness. Otherwise could it perhaps be asthma? There seems to be a real spate of coughs and colds around at present with the change in weather and in the elderly this could effect breathing. Regardless, it's one to run by the GP, it might be she needs a chest Xray. Do hope she'll be ok.
 

ggma

Registered User
Feb 18, 2012
1,126
0
North Staffordshire
I have not experienced this with Mum, but have known people whose breathing patterns have changed, and I think it is always a good idea to get any such change checked out by GP, it could be an infection which might be helped with treatment.

Every change is so worrying - hope you can find the cause
 

tonyinselby

Registered User
Nov 14, 2012
2
0
Drug side-effect?

It would be worth talking to the GP about drug side-effects. Some drugs, notably ticagrelor (anticoagulant given for heart disease), beta blockers (for blood pressure) and statins (to lower cholesterol) list shortness of breath among their side-effects. I'm 52 and had a minor heart attack in August. I am now on the drugs I mentioned (among others!) and sometimes find myself slightly breathless to the extent I need to take exactly the sort of "quiet pant" you describe. I blame the bisoprolol (beta blocker) but am assured it's not a problem (seems not, given the amount of bouncing about in the gym I'm able to do on the cardiac rehab programme; it's an annoyance, no more). As others have said, run this one by your doctor.
 
Last edited:

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
3,720
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North Derbyshire
I too take a beta blocker (atenelol), statins and ramipril (known for causing a dry cough), so coughin and wheeziness is common. Sometimes I feel I can't breathe at all, and have to force myself to stop whatever I am doing and just relax, and it passes.

Margaret
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,445
0
When my mother started doing this it turned out it was down to anemia (due to bleeding caused by taking aspirin). Once the anemia was dealt with the panting stopped (and she also had heart problems).
 

SWMBO1950

Registered User
Nov 17, 2011
2,076
0
Essex
Thanks everyone. My mother takes Aricept and Fybogel (bowel problems) but no other drugs at present - not bad for 98 ay? The lack of mobility suggestion is a good thought and quite feasible but she does however do it without exertion and whilst sitting still.

Heart failure comes to my mind as at her age things certainly wont be working as well and lung problems also crossed my mind. She has always coughed for as long as I can remember which is a throwback from having TB as a teenager.

I will of course get her to the doctors just to check as it is a very recent thing, but I wanted to see if anyone else had seen this develop.

Thank you again :)
 

wobbly

Registered User
Feb 14, 2012
313
0
Mid Wales
My Datd does this repetitive thing that sounds like he is breathless but he's not....seems to be more of an anxiety thing.....
 

Nebiroth

Registered User
Aug 20, 2006
3,510
0
Shortness of breath at rest is never normal unless it is an established condition of known cause, so it should be checked out as a matter of urgency by a doctor.

There are certainly many, many causes ranging from a simple infection to, as you say, problems with the heart.

The latter is the reason it should be checked out urgently.

Sudden shortness of breath can be a sign of a "silent" heart-attack; this is a heart attack that does not produce the classic symptoms of chest pain. Up to one fifth of all heart attacks are "silent" and they are more common in women. They also tend to be more dangerous, not in what they do, but because people delays seeking medical attention.

The usual procedure would be for the doctor to listen to the chest but usually unexplained shortness of breath at rest will result in a chest x-ray. As your mother previously had TB her lung capacity may have been restricted already, and capacity diminishes with age (this is normal, it falls after peeking at around age 20 or so), it may now have reached the point where it is leaving her a little breathless.

It is also possible to develop asthma or an allergy at any age.
 

Helen33

Registered User
Jul 20, 2008
14,697
0
My late husband developed shortness of breath and it was discovered that he had cancer and died not long later. Before the shortness of breath he was as fit as a fiddle. I also am experiencing serious shortness of breath which could be down to my illness or side effects to medication. Shortness of breath could be caused by umpteen things and therefore it is vitally important to have the medics involved. Upon physical check ups with my husband the GP's said there was nothing wrong but I knew there was and so when the third GP was called I insisted that something was wrong, even if only minor, and this led to him having an X-ray which showed up a very serious problem.

Love
 

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