What Is Respiratory Distress?

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Any way you look at it, breathing is critical to survival. With each breath in, your body is able to extract vital oxygen from the air and send it throughout your body. This process, known as respiration, is an automatic action completed without any thought on your part no matter what else you are doing.

Unfortunately, there are times when your body is unable to draw enough oxygen from the surrounding environment, or when it has to work much harder to get the supply it needs. You then enter a state called respiratory distress. Here are 10 facts about respiratory distress that can help you stay informed.

1. Types of Respiratory Distress

Respiratory distress is a critical condition that can seriously affect your quality of life. Since your body is unable to get enough oxygen to supply vital organs and may also struggle to eliminate carbon dioxide, it should be addressed immediately for the best outcomes. The two main types of respiratory distress are characterized by their duration.

Chronic respiratory failure is a prolonged condition where the lungs are not able to exchange sufficient oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. This is commonly found in people with underlying lung conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or lung cancer, and treatment can be conducted at home. Acute respiratory distress is a sudden and short-lived medical emergency which may resolve with treatment in a hospital setting.

Respiratory Distress

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