3 Heart Problems That Cause Shortness of Breath

3 Heart Problems That Cause Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath isn’t always a cause for concern, but there are times that breathlessness signals heart trouble. When your heart is pumping away normally, it’s barely noticeable. However, the heart has ways of letting you know when something isn’t quite right.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, and it affects over half of all American adults. You can prevent complications by recognizing warning signs and knowing the risk factors.

The team at CA Heart and Vein Specialists specializes in diagnosing and managing a broad range of heart conditions. If you're having symptoms, the longer you wait to get them checked out, the greater the risk of something going wrong.

A thorough evaluation is necessary to get to the root of your symptoms and make an accurate diagnosis. In this post, we cover three common heart problems that can cause shortness of breath. 

Heart failure

The term "heart failure" doesn’t mean the heart has failed or stopped, but rather that one or more chambers of the heart can’t keep up with the volume of blood flowing through. A range of underlying disorders and health issues can cause heart failure.

The left, right, or both sides of your heart can be affected. Each side of the heart has two compartments; the upper chamber is called an atrium, and the lower chamber is known as a ventricle. Any one of these four compartments could be overwhelmed by the amount of blood flowing through it.

In addition to shortness of breath, heart failure may cause:

It’s important not to ignore any of these symptoms. Schedule a doctor’s visit as soon as possible. 

Coronary artery disease 

Coronary artery disease (CAD) occurs when damage, blockage, or disease develops in your heart's primary arteries. Cholesterol deposits accumulating in the coronary arteries is the most common cause of CAD.

The coronary arteries supply your heart with nutrient-rich, oxygenated blood. Plaque development can restrict these arteries, reducing blood flow to the heart, which can result in chest pain and shortness of breath.

You can take steps to prevent and treat coronary artery disease. 


Cardiomyopathy is a term that describes disorders that affect your myocardium — the muscle layer of your heart. It causes scar tissue and causes your heart to stiffen, expand, or thicken. 

As a result, your heart is unable to adequately pump blood throughout your body. Shortness of breath is a common symptom. Cardiomyopathy worsens with time. Treatment can help you live a better life by slowing the progression.

Taking care of your heart

The body may send you signals that your heart requires attention — signs that you shouldn’t ignore. Chest pain, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and dizziness are some warning signs that it’s time to see a doctor. 

Take charge of your heart health and partner with a specialist. If you’re having symptoms give us a call at our Huntington Beach, California, office to schedule a heart health checkup. You can also request an appointment online today.

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