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

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  2. Acute kidney failure
  3. Acute lymphocytic leukemia
  4. Acute myelogenous leukemia
  5. Albuterol side effects
  6. Allergies
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  8. Allergy medications: Know your options
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  10. Alpha-gal syndrome
  11. Amniotic fluid embolism
  12. Amyloidosis
  13. Anemia
  14. Angina
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  18. Aortic dissection
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  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
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  32. Asthma: Colds and flu
  33. Asthma medications
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  35. Asthma treatment: 3 steps
  36. Atrial fibrillation
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  38. Atrial septal defect (ASD)
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  40. Avoid rebound nasal congestion
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  57. Video: Valve-Sparing Aortic Root Replacement
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  260. Somatic symptom disorder
  261. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
  262. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
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