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Understanding Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is often described as difficulty breathing or a feeling of suffocation. 

Higher altitudes, strenuous exercise, extreme temperatures, and obesity can all cause shortness of breath, even in people without underlying conditions. Outside of these examples, difficulty breathing can be a sign of a serious medical issue. 

Our specialists at Sure Medical PC, located in Elmhurst, New York, often treat patients who are dealing with shortness of breath. To help you out, we asked them about the causes of this symptom, when to seek medical attention, and how shortness of breath is treated.

Conditions that cause shortness of breath 

Many conditions can cause difficulty in breathing. The most common causes include:

All of these conditions should prompt you to seek medical care at Sure Medical PC as soon as possible, especially if your difficulty breathing is accompanied by the following symptoms:

If your shortness of breath is severe and impairs your ability to function, seek emergency medical care by calling your local emergency number. Fainting, nausea, and loss of consciousness can be signs of heart failure or a blood clot in the lungs.

Preventing complications 

Your lifestyle contributes greatly to your symptoms. Pollution, cigarette smoke, and extreme temperatures can worsen symptoms. Also, when you travel, keep elevation in mind, as going to higher altitudes may present challenges to you. 

Exercising and dieting can be of help, especially if you’re overweight or obese. Carrying extra pounds on the chest and abdomen can increase the load on your breathing muscles, making it harder for you to breathe at rest or when performing light activities at work or around the house.

Where you live also has an impact on your respiratory health. Air pollution in urban areas is the ninth biggest risk factor for cardiopulmonary mortality.

Treat your shortness of breath with us

Shortness of breath can be the consequence of something as small as an undetected allergy or of a much bigger issue, such as an infection or heart problem. 

Get peace of mind by contacting us to schedule an appointment. Our specialists can diagnose and treat your shortness of breath with the help of the latest medical innovations.

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