Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the feeling that you can’t get enough air into your lungs.
Shortness of breath is a common symptom usually due to a heart or lung condition. As these organs are so closely linked, it’s sometimes both. Your heart uses the oxygen supplied by your lungs to replenish your blood, and your lungs remove carbon dioxide. Problems with these processes can result in shortness of breath.
Heart-related shortness of breath could be due to a heart attack or conditions like congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy (a heart muscle disease), or pericarditis (inflammation of the pericardium, a layer of tissue surrounding your heart).
Shortness of breath connected to lung problems could be caused by:
You could also suffer shortness of breath if you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) or suffer a panic attack.
If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, the first step is to find out if you have a lung condition. Dr. Weinberg has fully-equipped facilities for diagnosing lung conditions. Following a physical exam, medical history review, and a discussion of your symptoms, he might arrange lung function testing for you. Possible tests include:
After evaluating your test results, Dr. Weinberg creates a personalized treatment plan for you.
The treatment you need for shortness of breath depends on the cause. You might take medications like antibiotics to treat a bacterial infection. If you have asthma or COPD, drugs that open your airways and reduce inflammation can be helpful.
To find out why you’re experiencing shortness of breath and get effective treatment, call Barry J Weinberg, MD, today or book an appointment online.