Shortness of breath should always be taken seriously because it’s usually a sign of an underlying lung or heart problem. Vikas Sayal, MD, FCCP, at Pulmonology Group LLC Lung Specialist has extensive experience determining the underlying cause of your shortness of breath and developing an individualized treatment based on your unique health needs. If you experience shortness of breath, don’t wait to seek treatment. Call the office in Henderson, Nevada, or book an appointment online.
Shortness of breath, which is medically known as dyspnea, can be caused by extreme hot or cold temperatures, high altitude, and strenuous exercise. But in most cases, it’s the sign of an underlying health problem.
Dyspnea can also signal a medical emergency. If you experience sudden, severe dyspnea, and especially if you also have chest pain or nausea, call 9-1-1 right away.
Although shortness of breath sounds self-explanatory, you may experience different sensations. You may feel like you can’t catch your breath or as if you can’t take a deep breath. Some patients feel their chest tighten, while others describe it as feeling hungry for air. In severe cases, shortness of breath may feel like you’re suffocating.
In many cases, shortness of breath develops during everyday activities like walking up the stairs or when you stand up after sitting for a while. If the underlying cause if heart failure, shortness of breath can worsen when you lie down.
Shortness of breath together with a cough may be a sign of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or interstitial lung disease. If you have dyspnea, chills, a fever, and coughing, you could have pneumonia.
Acute shortness of breath is often a medical emergency caused by:
Chronic shortness of breath occurs when your dyspnea lasts longer than one month. Common causes include:
Untreated anemia and anxiety disorders can also cause chronic dyspnea. While chronic shortness of breath may not be an immediate medical emergency, all of these conditions progressively worsen without appropriate medical care.
The first step is to determine the underlying cause of your dyspnea. After reviewing your medical history and examining your lungs, Dr. Sayal may perform a chest ultrasound or lung function testing, which are both offered in the office. Then your treatment is based on the cause and severity of your dyspnea.
Don’t wait to get medical care for shortness of breath. Call Pulmonology Group LLC Lung Specialist or book an appointment online.