Shortness of Breath
Symptoms/Conditions
Symptoms/Conditions

Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is a symptom that can be related to many different underlying conditions. Because there are many causes of shortness of breath, an investigation to determine the cause usually includes a cardiac evaluation. This may include an echocardiogram of the heart to look at the overall function of the heart and heart valves, and an exercise test to monitor for symptoms during exercise. Shortness of breath can include getting out of breath when climbing stairs. Certain types of shortness of breath are worse in a recumbent position and may be exacerbated when the individual is sleeping at night. Other types of shortness of breath occur secondary to anxiety. An evaluation by a cardiologist can be useful in determining whether there is any underlying structural heart disease causing this symptom.

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