Treatments for Shallow Breathing
Treatments for Shallow Breathing:
Treatment plans for shallow breathing are individualized depending on the underlying cause, the presence of coexisting diseases, the age and medical history of the patient, and other factors. Treatment generally involves a multifaceted plan that addresses the cause, decreases the risk of developing serious complications, and helps a person to breathe deeper and rest comfortably.
If shallow breathing results in low levels of oxygen in the blood, supplemental oxygen is generally used.
When shallow breathing is caused by a viral infection, such as viral pneumonia, the treatment includes rest, increased fluids and using a vaporizer. When shallow breathing is caused by a bacterial infection, such as in bacterial pneumonia, antibiotics are prescribed as well.
When shallow breathing is caused by asthma, medications may include corticosteroids and bronchodilators, which are breathed in via inhalers and nebulizers. Other respiratory diseases that cause shallow breathing may require additional intravenous medications, hospitalization, intensive care and possibly life support measures.
Shallow breathing caused by the pain of such conditions as rib fractures or pancreatitis may be helped by pain medications. Shallow breathing caused by narcotic overdose can be reversed by the medication naloxone [Narcan]. Shallow breathing caused by hyperventilation or an anxiety attack can be treated by breathing into a paper bag. Shallow breathing caused by a sleep disorder may be treated with a device called a CPAP machine.
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