Causes of Breathing Difficulty During Sleep or When Lying Down
Breathing difficulty while sleeping or when lying down can be caused by a variety of conditions. Symptoms can range from subtle to severe. For instance, you may notice that you sleep better when you lie down with your head propped up under several pillows. Others have more severe symptoms and may find it very difficult to breathe whenever they lie down.
Common causes of breathing difficulty include:
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a common lung disease that obstructs the breathing process. The most common cause of COPD is smoking
- Sleep Apnea is a condition in which air flow is obstructed causing pauses in breathing or decreased ability to breath during sleep. During sleep, all of your muscles relax, including muscles that keep your airway open allowing proper air flow. Individuals with a narrower throat passage are more susceptible to apnea when the upper throat muscles relax during sleep
- Cor Pulmonale is a condition in which the right side of the heart is not functioning properly, which can have a detrimental effect on airflow to the lungs. This condition is caused by ongoing high blood pressure in the right ventricle of the heart and the pulmonary arteries
- Panic Disorder is an anxiety disorder that can begin suddenly, and is commonly mistaken for a heart attack. One of the symptoms of this condition is shortness of breath
- Obesity – While being overweight does not directly cause breathing problems, it commonly leads to conditions that obstruct the airways making it difficult to breath
- Snoring – which can be caused by a number of conditions such as obesity, a blocked nose, nasal polyps, or a stuffed nose from allergies or the common cold—often produces loud breathing sounds during sleep, and can make it difficult to get a restful night’s sleep.
If you feel you are suffering from any of these or a similar symptom to cause difficulty breathing during sleep or when lying down, please contact us at ENT Clinic Sydney on 1300 123 368.