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Shortness Of Breath

Heart One Associates

Board Certified Cardiologist, Vein Specialist, Peripheral Arterial Disease and Structural Heart Specialists located in Phoenix, AZ & Peoria, AZ & Buckeye, AZ

When you experience shortness of breath, it can cause severe anxiety and significantly affect the quality of your life. When your cardiovascular health impacts your breathing, the team Heart One Associates treats and manages your illness from one of their offices in Peoria, Buckeye, and Phoenix, Arizona. For expert assessment and treatment of your shortness of breath, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath (SOB) or dyspnea is a feeling of discomfort associated with breathing or feeling unable to get enough air. This feeling isn't always abnormal, as a healthy person can get short of breath from exertion, when they are excited or anxious, or with mild nasal congestion. 

Shortness of breath is a problem when you don't recover after exertion or have other associated symptoms, such as: 

  • Severe chest tightening
  • Chest pressure 
  • Air hunger
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Feeling of suffocation 

If your SOB is severe or comes on suddenly without an explanation, it is essential to get a medical assessment as soon as possible. If you have a history of cardiovascular or respiratory problems, that may be even more vital. 

Why do I have shortness of breath?

There are many conditions ranging from mild to severe that could cause SOB, including asthma, pneumonia, severe anxiety, and an allergic reaction. If diagnostic testing and expert assessment conclude your SOB is an indication of cardiovascular conditions, you could have: 

  • Heart failure 
  • Heart rhythm disorders, including atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Pericarditis or myocarditis 
  • Pulmonary hypertension 
  • Structural or valvular heart disease

Sudden onset of SOB with chest pain, nausea, and jaw or arm pain could indicate you are having a heart attack and need immediate, emergency medical treatment.  

What studies help diagnose my shortness of breath?

Diagnostic studies that may help diagnose the cardiovascular root cause of your SOB include: 

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)
  • Echocardiogram or echo
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
  • Heart catheterization 
  • Venous doppler 
  • Exercise stress test
  • Nuclear stress test
  • Multi-acquisition gated scan (MUGA)
  • Holt monitor or at-home EKG 
  • Arterial angiography 

These specialized tests help your provider understand why you feel short of breath and help them determine the best course of treatment for you. 

What are the treatments for shortness of breath?

The Heart One Associates team develops a care plan customized for the underlying cause of your SOB. Depending on your diagnosis, your treatment plan may include: 

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medications
  • Cardioversion or ablation 
  • Pacemaker or implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD)
  • Procedures, such as MitraClip™ or WATCHMAN™ procedure 
  • Remotely monitored devices, such as CardioMEMS™ 
  • Cardiac rehabilitation 

These are just a few of the treatments available for treating your SOB. Whatever the cardiovascular cause of your breathing struggles, the Heart One Associates team can help. 

For an expert assessment and personalized treatment plan for your shortness of breath, call or schedule a consultation online with Heart One Associates today.