I have been asked many times by parents to define aspiration in reference to GERD and how to prevent it. Aspiration occurs in 10-20% of patients with GERD and is the inhalation of stomach contents into the respiratory symptoms.
The lumen of the right main broncus of the lung is most likely to be where aspirated contents wind up because it is slightly wider than the left side.
Some people who aspirate will have no consequences and will cough any foreign material out on their own. Others can wind up with infections that range from mild to life threatening pneumonias. When the stomach contents are highly acidic, as it can be in poorly treated acid reflux, there can be immediate trauma to the tissues exposed.
Symptoms of aspiration include: Coughing, choking, wheezing, rapid breathing and bad breath. Should it progress to aspiration pneumonia the symptoms can include: difficulty breathing, fever, chest pain, worsening cough, chest congestion, rapid heart rate, excessive fati...
Definition Breathing difficulty involves a sensation of difficult or uncomfortable breathing or a feeling of not getting enough air. See also: Difficulty breathing - first aid Alternative Names Shortness of breath; Breathlessness; Difficulty breathing; Dyspnea Considerations No standard definition exists for difficulty breathing. Some people may feel breathless with only mild exercise (for example, climbing stairs), even though they do not have a medical condition. Others may have advanced lung disease but never feel short of breath. Wheezing is one form of breathing difficulty in which you make a high-pitched sound when you breathe out. See also: Apnea Breathing difficulties - first aid Breathing difficulties - lying down Lung diseases Rapid breathing Common Causes Shortness of breath has many different causes: A blockage of the air passages in your nose, mouth, or throat may lead to difficulty breathing. Heart disease can cause breathlessness if your heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply ox...
Breathing difficulties can be described in several different ways. You may be short of breath, unable to take a deep breath, gasping for air, or feel like you are not getting enough air.
See also: Choking
Difficulty breathing - first aid; Dyspnea - first aid; Shortness of breath - first aid
If you are having difficulty breathing, it is almost always a medical emergency (other than feeling slightly winded from normal activity like exercise or climbing a hill).
Difficulty breathing has many potential causes. Some of the most common are:
, which can happen if you have emphysema or asthma, but may also happen spontaneously in young, healthy people
, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or heart failure
High altitudes, which can be a problem even in young people
Injury to the ne...
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