CA Heart and Vein Specialists
Heart Specialists and Vein Clinic located in Huntington Beach, CA
If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, it could be a sign you’re suffering from a heart-related condition. At CA Heart and Vein Specialists in Huntington Beach, California, Dr. Majed Chane specializes in a variety of services to ensure your heart is functioning properly. To schedule an evaluation with Dr. Chane, book an appointment online or call the office directly.
Shortness of Breath Q & A
What causes shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath, medically known as dyspnea, can be scary. The sensation is often described as feeling like you’re suffocating, accompanied by a tightness in your chest. While there are external factors that can cause shortness of breath, like altitude or exercise, unexplained symptoms are usually a sign of a medical problem.
In most cases, shortness of breath is the result of either a lung or heart condition. Symptoms that come on suddenly are often an indication of a potentially serious medical issue, such as:
- Collapsed lung
- Pulmonary embolism
- Sudden blood loss
- Upper airway obstruction
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Fluid around your heart
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Low blood pressure
A number of chronic conditions can also cause shortness of breath, like heart dysfunction, lung disease, or obesity. You should pay attention to any change in your ability to breathe and seek medical attention to make sure your heart and lungs are performing properly.
What heart problems are associated with shortness of breath?
Since your heart plays a vital role in supplying oxygen and removing carbon dioxide from your tissues, shortness of breath can be a sign of several heart conditions.
Cardiomyopathy is a form of heart disease that makes it hard for your heart muscle to pump and circulate blood. It can eventually lead to heart failure.
Heart arrhythmias are irregularities in the electrical impulses that coordinate your heartbeats. They can cause your heart to beat too slowly or too quickly.
Congestive heart failure means your heart isn’t pumping your blood properly. It’s caused by conditions like narrow arteries or high blood pressure.
Pericarditis is swelling and irritation of the membrane surrounding your heart. It can cause shortness of breath when you’re lying down.
Shortness of breath may also be a sign that you’re having a heart attack, especially for women. If your heart isn’t properly pumping blood, your tissues aren’t able to receive enough oxygen, so you feel fatigued and breathing can be difficult.
When should I see a doctor?
It’s important to have Dr. Chane evaluate you if you’re experiencing shortness of breath that’s accompanied by additional symptoms, like:
- Fever with chills and a cough
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Trouble breathing while lying down
If your shortness of breath is so severe that it’s impacting your ability to function, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. This is especially true if you’re also experiencing chest pain, nausea, or fainting — all signs that you may be having a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism.
If you have any questions or concerns about shortness of breath and how it could potentially relate to a heart condition, call or schedule an appointment with Dr. Chane online today.