treatment options for shortness of breathreally depend on the underlying condition. certainly treating the underlying causes bestwe can, whether that's inhaled medicines for conditions like copd or asthma, whether it'sdiuretics, water pills as they're known, for conditions like pulmonary hypertension orcongestive heart failure. sometimes corticosteroids are used for a variety of conditions. oxygen,for some people, is helpful from a symptomatic standpoint. it's not always. but there arewhat we call cognitive behavioral therapies that can help people to take control of theirown shortness of breath. as conditions progress, sometimes we use very low doses of medicationscalled opioids, which are traditionally used for pain. but again, at very, very low dosescan be helpful for shortness of breath. so
there are some conditions where shortnessof breath will improve over time. sometimes people have a blood clot in the lungs andover time the body can absorb that and the shortness of breath should improve. sometimespeople for a variety of reasons have fluid that builds up around the lungs, whether that'sfrom heart failure or infection or cancer. sometimes by treating the underlying infection,or cancer or heart failure we can help the body to get rid of the fluid on its on itsown. and sometimes it requires drainage either once or several times. sometimes people evenhave what we call indwelling catheters placed, a small tube that helps us to drain the fluidwhenever we need to to help that person feel better.