Few sensations are as frightening as not being able to get enough air. Shortness of breath — known medically as dyspnea — is often described as an intense tightening in the chest, air hunger, difficulty breathing, breathlessness or a feeling of suffocation.

Very strenuous exercise, extreme temperatures, obesity and higher altitude all can cause shortness of breath in a healthy person. Outside of these examples, shortness of breath is likely a sign of a medical problem.

If you have unexplained shortness of breath, especially if it comes on suddenly and is severe, see your doctor as soon as possible.

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June 13, 2020

See also

  1. Acute coronary syndrome
  2. Acute kidney failure
  3. Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  4. Acute myelogenous leukemia
  5. Albuterol side effects
  6. Allergies
  7. Allergies and asthma
  8. Allergy medications: Know your options
  9. Allergy-proof your home
  10. Alpha-gal syndrome
  11. Amniotic fluid embolism
  12. Amyloidosis
  13. Anemia
  14. Angina
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  16. Aortic aneurysm
  17. Aortic calcification: An early sign of heart valve problems?
  18. Aortic dissection
  19. Aortic valve regurgitation
  20. Aortic valve stenosis
  21. Aplastic anemia
  22. ARDS
  23. Asbestosis
  24. Ascariasis
  25. Aspergillosis
  26. Aspirin allergy
  27. Asthma
  28. Asthma and acid reflux
  29. Asthma attack
  30. Asthma diet
  31. Asthma inhalers: Which one's right for you?
  32. Asthma: Colds and flu
  33. Asthma medications
  34. Asthma: Testing and diagnosis
  35. Asthma treatment: 3 steps
  36. Asthma treatment: Do complementary and alternative approaches work?
  37. Atrial fibrillation
  38. Atrial fibrillation and managing stress
  39. Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  40. Automated external defibrillators: Do you need an AED?
  41. Avoid rebound nasal congestion
  42. Blood clots during menstruation: A concern?
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  44. Mitral valve clip to treat mitral regurgitation: Bob's story
  45. Bradycardia
  46. Mitral valve overview
  47. Aortic Surgery: What Patients Need to Know — Mayo Clinic
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  52. Mayo Clinic offers congenital heart care: Marcus' story
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  57. Video: Valve-Sparing Aortic Root Replacement
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  250. Robotic or minimally invasive cardiac surgery for adult-adolescent congenital heart disease
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  258. Sick sinus syndrome
  259. Silent heart attack
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  264. Somatic symptom disorder
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