What is Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is the uncomfortable sensation of not getting enough air to breathe. This may occur when walking, climbing up stairs, running or even when sitting still.

Key Points

Shortness of breath symptoms include:

  • Swelling in your feet and ankles
  • Trouble breathing when you lie flat
  • High fever, chills, and cough
  • Lips or fingertips turning blue
  • Wheezing – abnormal whistling type sound when you breath in or out
  • Stridor – a high pitched noise that occurs with breathing
  • Worsening of pre-existing shortness of breath after using your inhalers
  • Breathlessness that does not go away after 30 minutes of rest

General Overview

Most cases of shortness of breath are due to heart or lung conditions. Your heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to your tissues and removing carbon dioxide, and problems with either of these processes affect your breathing

Am I at Risk

  • Having prior lung diseases
  • Muscle weakness
  • Low hemoglobin
  • Being out of shape from lack of exercise or illness
  • Severe obesity
  • Continued exposure to asthma triggers are some examples
  • Smoking is a major risk factor as it causes diseases that result in shortness of breath

For more information please call (603) 347-8810