Difficulty Breathing Out

What Causes Difficulty Breathing Out?

Difficulty breathing out can have various causes, just like most other symptoms.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose difficulty breathing out, we could:
  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "difficulty breathing out" as a symptom.  Here are two possibilities:
  • COPD
  • Asthma

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
recent productive cough
shortness of breath when at rest
wheezing
blue/bluish fingernails
COPD
slightly elevated eosinophil count
easily becoming short of breath
high air pollution exposure
difficulty breathing in cold weather
chest tightness
highly elevated basophil count
asthma
... and so on

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of difficulty breathing out:
Cause Probability Status
COPD 99% Confirm
Asthma 64% Possible
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having breathing problems, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Does it take significantly longer, or more effort, for you to breathe out than to breathe in?
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ No, breathing out is just as easy as breathing in
→ I sometimes have more difficulty breathing out
→ I usually have more difficulty breathing out
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate absence of difficult exhalation, intermittent difficult exhalation or difficult exhalation, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)
COPD causes the lungs to undergo permanent changes that affect one's ability to exhale properly.  These changes usually worsen over time.
... and also rule out issues such as: