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Shortness Of Breath Specialist

New York Cardiovascular Medicine

Dima Teitelman, MD

Cardiologist & Internal Medicine located in Forest Hills, NY

Struggling to breath is a frightening experience and a symptom you should take seriously. Shortness of breath is nearly always the sign of an underlying health problem that needs medical care. At New York Cardiovascular Medicine, Dima Teitelman, MD, has extensive experience diagnosing and treating the many cardiovascular problems that make it hard to breath. Don’t wait to get help for this difficult problem. Call the office in Forest Hills, New York, or schedule an appointment online today.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What causes shortness of breath?

You may experience shortness of breath during intense activities or at a high altitude, but that’s normal. In most other cases, shortness of breath signals a serious medical problem. 

Shortness of breath, or in medical terms, dyspnea, is a hallmark symptom of heart and lung conditions, including:

  • A heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Endocarditis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • A pulmonary embolism
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma

Beyond cardiovascular and respiratory conditions, difficulty breathing may also develop due to cancer, severe anxiety, a panic attack, obesity, and several other health problems.

What symptoms accompany shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath causes different sensations. You may feel like you can’t breath fast enough or that you can’t take in enough air. Sometimes patients feel a desperate urge to inhale before they finish exhaling.

Some patients notice that it takes more effort to expand their chest to pull in air. You may only have difficulty breathing when you’re active, but feel fine at rest.

When you have a hard time breathing, it’s common to experience other symptoms caused by the medical condition affecting your breathing.

You may have symptoms such as:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest pressure or tightness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling like you’re suffocating

If your shortness of breath comes on suddenly or it’s accompanied by symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, agitation, confusion, or loss of consciousness, you need emergency medical care. 

How is shortness of breath treated?

Your provider at New York Cardiovascular Medicine performs a complete physical examination and diagnostic testing to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. They will want to know when the problem started, whether your shortness of breath appeared suddenly or gradually, and if certain conditions make it worse.

You can have cardiovascular testing, such as an electrocardiogram (EKG) or echocardiogram, right in the office, so you have access to quick results.

Your treatment depends on your diagnosis and the cause of your breathing difficulty. If you have a cardiovascular condition, your individualized treatment plan may include lifestyle changes, prescription medication, or a minimally invasive procedure to repair the problem.

If you experience shortness of breath, the team at New York Cardiovascular Medicine can help. Don’t wait to call the office or schedule an appointment online.