Possible Causes of Shortness of Breath

Possible Causes of Shortness of Breath
Source: lybrate.com

Shortness of breath is a common symptom that can happen to anyone. A person with shortness of breath may have chest pain, wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing. Shortness of breath may be temporary or last for weeks or months. If you notice shortness of breath symptoms, it is essential to see your doctor as soon as possible so that you can receive proper treatment for the condition causing your symptoms. Patients can get treatment for shortness of breath – Midwood.

Shortness of breath is a symptom of many different diseases and conditions. Some of the most common causes are:

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Shortness of breath is a symptom of asthma. Asthma causes shortness of breath because it is a chronic disease that constricts airwaves, making it difficult for you to get enough oxygen into your body and clear out carbon dioxide. The constriction also causes swelling in your airways, making breathing even more difficult. You may feel lightheaded or dizzy when standing up after sitting still for too long or strain yourself while walking or running.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that obstruct airflow through the lungs for long periods. The most common causes of COPD include:

  • Smoking
  • Exposure to dust and fumes
  • Certain types of pneumonia and bronchitis
  • Some types of cancer

The symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, fatigue, cough, wheezing, and chest tightness or pain.

Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a severe blood clot that forms in the lungs. The clot can travel to other body parts, including your heart and brain. If you have PE, you may have shortness of breath and chest pain.

PE can happen when blockages in your blood vessels supply oxygenated blood to your lungs. Blockages can form from a broken blood vessel or a piece of a vein that has become dislodged. They can also develop due to an air bubble in the lung.

If you have PE, you may experience shortness of breath without any known reason. You may also have chest pain and difficulty breathing if there is an air bubble in your lung called a pneumothorax.

Heart attack

A heart attack occurs when a blood clot forms on a coronary artery, often due to atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of the arteries. Coronary artery disease results from years of plaque buildup in your arteries that narrow them, restricting blood flow. The plaque may break off and cause a blood clot to form. If this clot breaks off and travels to your lungs, it can cause shortness of breath.


Pneumonia is a bacterial infection and is one of the most common causes of shortness of breath in adults. Many people who have pneumonia don’t realize it because they don’t feel very sick, but they can develop signs and symptoms of pneumonia, including shortness of breath. Pneumonia may also cause coughing, fever, chills, and chest pain.

Shortness of breath is a common symptom of many diseases and conditions, including lung cancer, heart disease, allergies, and asthma. In addition to providing relief from the discomfort of shortness of breath, doctors can also help diagnose and treat the underlying cause. If you experience shortness of breath, you may contact New York Medical and Vascular Care to schedule an appointment with a specialist so you can get medical help as soon as possible.