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Emergency 101: What to Do if You Experience Difficulty Breathing

  • Category: Symptoms
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Alex Murray
Emergency 101: What to Do if You Experience Difficulty Breathing
​It can be very scary when you or someone you love starts having difficulty breathing. You may start to panic, thinking that there’s nothing that can be done to help. In turn, your panic can make the situation even worse. That’s why it’s important to remember that there could be many reasons as to why this is happening — anything from stress to the weather could be a reason why one has difficulty breathing

Even though it can be terrifying in the moment, you need to try to relax. A big reason people experience difficulty breathing is because of stress or anxiety. Panicking isn’t going to help the problem, regardless of what the problem is. If you take a moment and tell yourself to calm down, everything will start to go smoother. Taking the right steps to try and control your breathing may help significantly. 

That being said, doing nothing can also be dangerous. If the shortness of breath does not quickly go away after a period of rest, then there may be a more serious health issue at hand. That means it’s time to visit a nearby urgent care clinic or the emergency room. There are about 9,300 urgent care centers currently open across the United States, thousands more emergency departments, and about 50 to 100 new urgent care centers open up each and every year. Keep in mind that if you are the one suffering from shortness of breath or dizziness, you may need to enlist a friend or family member to safely transport you.

If going to an emergency room or urgent care center is the best option for you, make sure that you arrive prepared with a few things. Before you head out the door, write down all of the medications you are currently taking. This will ensure that you don’t forget anything you take when the doctor asks you what medications you are on. Also, create a list of allergies. It’s likely that the doctor will want to give you some medications, but it’s important for them to know what you can and can’t have. 

It’s also extremely important to bring your insurance card. If you don’t have your insurance card, it’ll be hard for you to get charged according to your specific plan. Lastly, if you don’t have your photo identification, there’s a high chance that you will not be able to be seen. Having your ID is the most important thing that you need to bring with you to your visit. In short, make sure you’re prepared for your visit so that your time at the doctor goes as smoothly as possible. 

While there are a few things you can try on your own to resolve this medical situation, don’t hesitate to visit a health center for immediate care. If these spells are happening regularly, it’s likely that the doctor will also recommend long-term changes to your lifestyle. If you smoke, consider quitting. If you’re overweight, try making moves to become more fit.