Suddenly feeling unable to catch your breath is a frightening experience, and it’s often the sign of an underlying condition that needs medical attention. At The Woodlands Heart & Vascular Center, Jasmine Khan, MD, and the cardiology team have extensive experience determining the cause of your shortness of breath and developing an individualized treatment plan that gets to the source of the problem. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, call the office in Shenandoah and Sugar Land, Texas, or easily request an appointment online.
Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, can occur during strenuous exercise, due to extreme temperatures, or at a high altitude. In most cases, however, shortness of breath is caused by an underlying medical problem.
Though shortness of breath can arise from a long list of possible health conditions, it’s most often associated with heart and lung conditions such as:
Shortness of breath is a common symptom in nearly every type of heart condition. Beyond problems with your cardiovascular and respiratory systems, difficulty breathing may also appear if you have cancer, severe anxiety, a panic attack, or some neuromuscular conditions.
Shortness of breath sounds like a straightforward symptom, but you may experience different sensations, as well as other symptoms. You may feel like you just can’t catch your breath. Or you may be able to take in air but feel unable to take a deep breath or breathe in enough air.
Depending on the cause of your difficulty breathing, you may also experience:
Difficulty breathing is usually a symptom that needs medical attention, especially if it comes on suddenly and is accompanied by other problems such as wheezing or chest pain.
To diagnose shortness of breath, the team at The Woodlands Heart & Vascular Center reviews your health history and conducts a comprehensive exam. If necessary, they might also order additional tests like chest X-rays or an electrocardiogram.
Treatment of shortness of breath depends on the underlying cause and severity of your symptoms.
If you have a heart condition, your customized treatment may include lifestyle changes and medications. If your symptoms occur due to asthma, you might benefit from a quick-relief inhaler.
When shortness of breath persists, surgery might be necessary. That’s particularly true if your shortness of breath is due to a blood clot or a more serious condition.
If you regularly experience shortness of breath, don’t hesitate to call The Woodlands Heart & Vascular Center to make an appointment or book online.