What is shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath is medically known as dyspnea, which is a disturbing condition that makes it difficult to breathe deeply enough to fill your lungs with air. It may be mild or severe, and the experience may be very distressing and cause anxiety, especially if it is a new condition.
This may be particularly disturbing if it happens during sexual intercourse. Fortunately it is not a sign of a more serious medical condition, and should it occur during intimate times, don’t panic – you are not having a heart attack. It is a fairly common condition which you can control yourself, mostly brought on by anxiety.
What are the symptoms of dyspnea or shortness of breath?
Common symptoms of shortness of breath:
- A common symptom is suddenly being unable to take a deep breath.
- Uncomfortable breathing in periods of anxiety.
- A feeling that your breath is catching in your throat and that you may be choking.
- A feeling of tightness or discomfort in the chest area.
- Pregnancy, although dyspnea is a normal occurrence during pregnancy.
These symptoms do not usually require a trip to the doctor, unless they get worse and cause you to become concerned.
What causes shortness of breath?
This condition is mainly caused by stress and anxiety, much of which is lurking in the subconscious mind, and is brought into the conscious mind by certain triggers which may cause you to panic. If you are able to identify the triggers and how to avoid them, you will go a long way to controlling the dyspnea.
Unfortunately, if your sex life is taking strain due to performance anxiety, low libido, or erectile dysfunction issues, the anxious moments are sure to result in a major shortness of breath experience during a sexual encounter.
When to see a doctor
There are some causes of shortness of breath which could require emergency medical treatment. Here are the symptoms which, when in conjunction with dyspnea, may indicate a serious health concern.
- Severe chest pain.
- Fainting or blacking out.
- Light-headedness, and weakness in the arms or legs.
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Shortness of breath which starts suddenly, severely affecting your ability to breathe.
If you have any of these symptoms, see a doctor for a check-up as soon as you can.
Treating shortness of breath at home
If your shortness of breath is not caused by a medical emergency, there are several types of home treatments that can help to relieve the condition.
Here is a list of some of them
- Deep breathing. Breathing in through the abdomen can help ease breathlessness. Breathe in deeply through the abdomen, filling the lungs with air, hold for a few seconds, and then breathe out through the mouth. Repeat for about 5 minutes. You can do this exercise as often as you like, or particularly when you feel breathless.
- Pursing your lips. This exercise helps to reduce shortness of breath by slowing the pace of a person’s breathing, especially during periods of anxiety. Do this each time you feel short of breath, but remember to breathe slowly.
- Using a fan. Studies have shown using a handheld fan to blow air across the face may reduce the feeling of being breathless. The sensation of air moving over the face will make it feel that air is getting into the lungs.
- Sleeping in a relaxed position. Many folk experience breathing problems while they sleep. This often leads to disturbed sleep, as struggling to breathe will wake you up.
- Lifestyle issues. There are certain lifestyle factors which may increase the severity of dyspnea. These include: Obesity, heavy smoking, and a lack of exercise. Making an effort to ditch these habits will help a lot to improve your breathing difficulties.
These are easy ways you can practise at any time to time, as often as you like, to help manage any shortness of breath problems you may suffer.
Dealing with the problem will help reduce and anxiety in general, and help you to cope with anxiety about sexual issues which may be causing shortness of breath during a sexual encounter.
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