Labored breathing is working hard to breathe.
Labored respiration, struggling to breathe.
Labored breathing is a medical emergency. Breathing is an automatic process, regulated in the brainstem. Working to breathe is usually a sign of a serious medical problem requiring immediate intervention.
A complete history and physical by a qualified provider to assess and treat any underlying condition will be needed to determine the cause of labored breathing. Diagnostic studies may include chest x-rays, CT scan, blood test, arterial blood gases, or ventilation/perfusion scan of the lungs. Treatment will depend on the findings, with the immediate goal of adequate ventilation.
For labored breathing, especially if accompanied by: