Why You Should Never Ignore Shortness of Breath

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a symptom of numerous illnesses or chronic health conditions, ranging from anxiety to carbon monoxide poisoning to abnormal curvature of the spine (kyphoscoliosis).  Most often, however, shortness of breath is related to your lungs or heart, sometimes both.

The team at Premier Cardiology Consultants is well known for offering advanced cardiac diagnostic studies and outstanding care to people throughout New York City. Read what these board-certified cardiologists say about shortness of breath, its link to heart disease, and when you should call the doctor.

What exactly is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath, known medically as dyspnea, is often described as air hunger that may be accompanied by moderate to severe chest tightness, creating the sensation that you’re suffocating. It can come on suddenly, develop over days to weeks, or become chronic and interfere with your daily routine.

Non-cardiac shortness of breath may be related to the following:

Although not related to your heart health, many of these conditions become life-threatening without appropriate medical care.

Heart problems that cause shortness of breath

Cardiac-related shortness of breath often comes on suddenly and may be related to the following:

Some heart conditions cause lung problems. For instance, pleural effusion is related to fluid buildup around the lungs leading to shortness of breath. The accumulating fluid is often a sign of cardiomyopathy that’s progressed to heart failure.

When should you see a doctor for shortness of breath?

Our Premier Cardiology team recommends seeing your physician whenever you develop new or worsening shortness of breath, especially if you have a history of asthma, COPD, or other non-cardiac illnesses that can cause dyspnea.

Shortness of breath with squeezing chest pain, cold sweats, nausea, or pain radiating into the neck, jaw, and upper back may signal a looming heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention for these symptoms.

Otherwise, schedule a cardiac evaluation at Premier Cardiology Consultants sooner rather than later if you experience shortness of breath with activity or at rest alongside the following:

These symptoms, along with shortness of breath, may signal heart failure, arrhythmia, and other potentially serious cardiovascular diseases requiring specialty care.

Schedule a visit at Premier Cardiology Consultants today by calling the office or requesting an appointment online.

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