The heart and lungs provide oxygen to your body’s tissues and remove carbon dioxide. Difficulty breathing can be caused by a problem with either of these organs. Depending on the cause, you may have a sudden onset of shortness of breath or recurring episodes of shortness of breath that can become chronic
Many conditions can cause shortness of breath, including the following:
Breathing may become difficult, labored or uncomfortable. You may also feel as though you’re not getting enough air. Other symptoms include:
Shortness of breath is not a disease in and of itself, so your doctor will look for an underlying lung or heart disease. Common tests for these diseases include:
Treatments for shortness of breath will vary depending on what’s causing it. If an underlying condition is causing difficulty breathing, treatment will address that problem.
Your doctor may also recommend medication, physical activity and breathing exercises to help you manage the sensation of breathlessness.