Causes and Symptoms of Shortness of Breath

There have been several times that you feel that you are short of breath for a while. This especially happens when you are doing some rigorous activity or when you are depressed. However, there can be a medical condition called shortness of breath or dyspnea that is more complicated. It is very important to deal with the situation effectively and immediately when you find the symptoms of shortness of breath.

Here are few very common and noticeable symptoms:

A person with shortness of breath will:

1. Breath very fast

2. Sometimes feel dizzy

3. Mostly they breathe through pursed lips

4. Unable to speak or feel winded

5. Sometimes sit with hands on the knees

6. Use chest or neck muscles to breathe

7. Sometimes he complains of chest pain

8. Coughing can start with shortness of breath

9. His face and hands might get blue

10. There are signs of wheezing and weakness

Basically, they look like a person after running a sprint. However, the runner can stop and breathe properly while a victim can’t rest and breathe properly. He has to be given some medical help. The first thing that you must do, when you find any of the above symptoms is to call 911 and take the person to the hospital under the supervision of a physician. Along with that, you should make the person sit in the upright position as it will be the most comfortable position. If a person has been using an inhaler, bring it and encourage him to use that inhaler. While waiting for the ambulance to come, try to pacify him so that he doesn’t get afraid.


Sometimes shortness of breath can be life-threatening. It can even result in heart attack and death due to congestion in breathing process. This is the reason it is always said to be prepared in case there is someone in the household who has gone through any of the causes of shortness of breath.

There are various reasons that can lead to this medical situation.

To name some of the causes are:

1.      Chest injuries

2.     Persisting asthma problem

3.     Some sort of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

4.     In case of heart attack or congestive heart failure

5.     Conditions like pneumonia, collapsed lungs, or pulmonary embolism

6.     Carbon monoxide poisoning

7.      Anaphylaxis

8.     Hyperventilation syndrome

9.     Exertion or over-exercising

10.  Obesity

11.  Anxiety or stress

12.   Sometimes pregnancy

13.  Tension or depression

14.  Going to high altitude location like mountain climbing

A person suffering from any of these situations should be precautious as they can lead to shortness of breath. In case the reason is less severe, try to rest and pacify, and in case of a very severe situation, the people around should call 911 immediately.

A healthy lifestyle is very necessary to avoid these types of medical situations. Most of the time shortness of breath is the result of improper eating habits and ignoring the overall health.

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