your respiration rate — the number of times you breathe in a minute — is one of the vital signs your doctor checks when you visit. you can measure your rate by counting the number of breaths you take in a minute. this common issue happens when you breathe faster than your body needs to and you get rid of too much carbon dioxide. it can make you feel dizzy, weak, or confused. the traditional treatment is to breathe into a paper bag so you breathe back in some of the carbon dioxide. this is when you feel “short of breath,” like your body can’t get enough air. it’s a common symptom of many heart and lung problems, and it can be a sign of something serious, like an asthma attack or heart attack.
in those cases, your doctor might recommend special breathing exercises, or they may give you oxygen. bradypnea can be a sign of a condition that affects your metabolism or another problem, like sleep apnea, carbon monoxide poisoning, or a drug overdose. it can be a sign of an illness that limits how much air your lungs can take in, like copd or pneumonia. you breathe faster to keep the same amount of oxygen flowing into your body. it can happen during exercise or because of a medical condition that makes it harder for your body to get oxygen, like heart failure or sepsis (a serious overreaction by your immune system). when you have diabetes, your body doesn’t use sugar for energy the way it should. your body tries to get things back into balance by getting rid of more carbon dioxide, so you breathe in faster and breathe out more deeply.
respiratory disorders, or lung diseases, are disorders such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lung cancer, mesothelioma, pulmonary hypertension, and tuberculosis. ut southwestern medical center’s program for lung disorders offers some of the most advanced interventional therapies and surgical procedures available to treat all forms of lung disease. our clinicians and researchers have made important contributions to improving the lives of patients, as well as developing diagnostic and therapeutic techniques that have advanced the science of lung disease.
there are various types of diagnostic and surgical tests and procedures used to diagnose and treat pulmonary conditions. at ut southwestern, we will help you understand your pulmonary diagnostic and surgical procedures, including an overview of the procedure, reasons for the procedure, risks of the procedure, what to do before the procedure, and what to expect during and after the procedure. if you are over 55 and have smoked the equivalent of a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years, your risk for lung cancer is high enough to be screened.
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