symptoms

Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea)


Whether with activity or at rest, chronic or acute, shortness of breath may be a sign of heart disease.

Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea)
Is your shortness of breath normal?

Known as dyspnea, feeling short of breath might be related to a heart or lung condition. Unexplained or sudden shortness of breath could be linked to a serious issue and requires immediate medical attention.

Symptoms

Shortness of breath may be experienced in many different ways. For some, it manifests as a difficulty in being able to catch your breath while others describe a tight sensation in the chest that leads to restricted breathing. Unless you’ve been engaged in an activity that would naturally lead to shortness of breath, any usual symptoms should be addressed by a medical professional.


The reasons you might experience difficulty breathing are quite varied and may be linked to a heart or lung condition. Sudden shortness of breath may be caused by heart failure, a pulmonary embolism, or a heart attack among other things. Chronic dyspnea may be the result of heart failure or heart valve disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, anemia, obesity, a lung infection, or a build-up of fluid around the heart or lungs.


Using state-of-the-art diagnostics and their substantial expertise, the specialists at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates can uncover the underlying cause of your shortness of breath and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Once the cause is known, guidance can be provided on how to prevent exacerbations of your symptoms.

Sometimes, shortness of breath can be accompanied by swelling in your feet or ankles, wheezing, a high fever, chills, and difficulty breathing when lying flat. It’s important that you discuss all of your symptoms when seeking medical care, as this will help when diagnosing the cause of your dyspnea.

Shortness of breath that is accompanied by nausea, fainting, chest pain, a blue tinge to the lips or nails, or a change in the mental state could be an indication of a heart attack or pulmonary embolism. If you notice any of these symptoms or your breathlessness comes on suddenly and is severe, call 911.

Causes & Risk Factors

The reasons you might experience difficulty breathing are quite varied and may be linked to a heart or lung condition. Sudden shortness of breath may be caused by heart failure, a pulmonary embolism, or a heart attack among other things. Chronic dyspnea may be the result of heart failure or heart valve disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, anemia, obesity, a lung infection, or a build-up of fluid around the heart or lungs.

While sporadic shortness of breath may not seem like anything to worry about, it’s wise to consult with a medical professional to ensure there are no underlying health conditions causing it.

Treatment & Prevention

Using state-of-the-art diagnostics and their substantial expertise, the specialists at Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates can uncover the underlying cause of your shortness of breath and develop an appropriate treatment plan. Once the cause is known, guidance can be provided on how to prevent exacerbations of your symptoms.

Cardiology and complete health care that fit your lifestyle.

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Cardiology and complete health care that fit your lifestyle.