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Respiratory & Chest Specialist Malaysia

Breathing Problems

An explanation of breathing problem conditions, what causes them, their symptoms and what treatment options you have in  Malaysia.

Respiratory & Chest Specialist Malaysia

Breathing Problems

An explanation of breathing problem conditions, what causes them, their symptoms and what treatment options you have in  Malaysia.

What Are Breathing Problems?

Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

A breathing problem is often described as ‘shortness of breath’ or ‘difficulty to breathe’

Some patients may describe it as ‘panting episodes’.

The symptom can be due to diseases of the lungs, heart, blood or hormones. Hence, it is very important to describe in details on the characteristics of your breathing problem.

Usually there will be triggering factors that will initiate the symptoms.

For example, among asthmatic patients, the common triggering factors for their shortness of breath are cold temperature, exposure to dust, smoke and pollen.

Conditions That Can Cause Breathing Problems



Asthma is a disease in which your airways narrow and swell and may produce extra mucus and secretions. This can cause breathing difficulty and trigger symptoms such as cough, whistling sound (wheezing) when you breathe out and shortness of breath.

For some people, asthma is a minor nuisance. For others, it can be a major problem that interferes with daily activities and may lead to a life-threatening asthma attack.

Asthma symptoms can be controlled, but unfortunately, it can’t be cured. Because asthma often changes from time to time, it’s important that you discuss with your doctor on how to track your signs and symptoms and adjust your treatment as needed.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.  Symptoms include breathing difficulty, cough, mucus (sputum) production and wheezing.

It’s typically caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. People with COPD are at increased risk of developing heart disease, lung cancer and a variety of other conditions.

Although COPD is a progressive disease that gets worse over time, COPD is treatable. With proper management, most people with COPD can achieve good symptom control and quality of life, as well as reduced risk of other associated conditions.


Pneumonia is an infection that affects the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing. A variety of organisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, can cause pneumonia.

Pneumonia can range in seriousness from mild to life-threatening. It is most serious for infants and young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.


Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious infection that usually attacks your lungs. It can also spread to other parts of your body, like your brain and spine.

Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a type of cancer that occurs in the lungs. The lung cancer can originate from the lungs, or it can also originate from other organs that subsequently spread to lungs.

Pleural Effusion

Pleural Effusion

Pleural Effusion, sometimes referred to as “water in the lungs,” is the build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the lung coverings (pleura) outside the lungs.

The pleura are thin membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity and act to lubricate and facilitate breathing. Normally, a small amount of fluid is present in the pleura.


A Pneumothorax is a condition that occurs when air leaks into the space between your lungs and chest wall, and they are trapped there. This air then pushes the outer part of your lung and makes it collapse.

Pneumothorax can be a complete lung collapse or a collapse of only a portion of the lung.

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolism

Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is a blockage of main blood vessel (pulmonary artery) in the lungs by a substance that has moved from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream (embolism).



Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), causing them to become irritated and inflamed.



Bronchiectasis is a disease in which there is permanent enlargement and dilatation of parts of the airways of the lung.

Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension (PH or PHTN) is a condition when there is an increased blood pressure within the arteries of the lungs.

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection

Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI)

The upper respiratory tract includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx. These structures direct the air we breathe from the outside to the trachea and eventually to the lungs for respiration to take place.

An upper respiratory tract infection, or upper respiratory infection, is an infectious process of any of the components of the upper airway.

Upper respiratory infections are one of the most frequent causes for a doctor visit with varying symptoms ranging from runny nose, sore throat, cough, to breathing difficulty, and lethargy.

HyperActive Airway

Hyperreactive Airway

People with Hyperreactive Airway disease have bronchial tubes that overreact to some sort of irritant. The term is most commonly used to describe a person who is wheezing or having a bronchial spasm, but who has not yet been diagnosed with asthma.

There are some medical professionals who use the term in the same way they use the term asthma. The two are very similar. However, the term reactive airway disease is commonly used as a placeholder until the diagnosis of asthma can be made.



Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in young children and infants.

It causes inflammation and congestion in the small airways (bronchioles) of the lung.

Bronchiolitis is almost always caused by a virus.

Typically, the peak time for bronchiolitis is during the rainy seasons.


Treatments Available

Chest Clinic

Respiratory Clinic

Upon your first visit to the clinic we’ll conduct a thorough history taking, physical examination and lab investigation, to diagnose your actual lung disease quickly and accurately.



Choose the appropriate diagnostic plan and procedures such as Chest X Ray, CT scan, PET scan, Bronchoscopy, Pleuroscopy, Sleep study, TB, etc, to come to the correct diagnosis.


Treatment & Rehab

Working closely with my pharmacists, physiotherapists, or your personal physio, to suggest specific therapeutic options to allow the best and quickest relief from your condition.


Administer a customised treatment plan to suit your specific needs and effective recovery. Procedures may include: Anti-TB medications, inhalers, antibiotics, CPAP treatment, etc.

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Dr. Nurul Yaqeen

Consultant Respiratory & Internal Medicine Physician. MBBS, MRCP, Respiratory Medicine Fellowship, International Sleep Disorders Specialist.

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