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This Is Why You Should Never Ignore Shortness of Breath

You run up some steps and you gasp for air, which is perfectly normal. If you find yourself short of breath when you’re not exerting yourself, or even lying down, this could be a warning sign of a far more serious heart-related condition.

Ongoing and unexplained issues with shortness of breath is a symptom you should never ignore, which is why Dr. Van H. De Bruyn and our team here at Heart Rhythm Associates decided to highlight the problem here.

Defining shortness of breath

As we mentioned, feeling like you’re gasping for air when you exert yourself or when you’re in high altitudes is perfectly normal, as your body tries to take in enough oxygen to meet the demand.

Ongoing shortness of breath, which is also called dyspnea, is another matter altogether. To give you an idea about what constitutes potential problematic shortness of breath, look for the following:

This last symptom is one that deserves emphasis. If you feel that you can’t breathe comfortably when you lie down or the problem wakes you during the night, it’s time to come see us.

Potential causes of shortness of breath

There are many health conditions that count shortness of breath among their primary symptoms, but lung and heart issues rank at the top of the list.

The relationship between your lungs and your heart is a direct one, as your blood flows through your lungs to pick up oxygen. This means that a problem in either of these organs can lead to difficulty breathing.

When it comes to your heart, one of our main concerns is heart failure, a disease in which your heart struggles to pump blood properly. There are many conditions that can lead to heart failure, such as:

Outside of heart failure, there are other heart-related conditions that can cause shortness of breath. An acute example of this is a heart attack, which comes on suddenly and leaves you gasping for air.

Seeking help is the best choice

Shortness of breath is an incredibly serious symptom and one that you should never ignore. If we find that your shortness of breath is related to a heart condition, there are many steps that we can take to restore your breathing and safeguard your heart health.

Managing heart disease is complex and depends on your unique circumstances, but rest assured, there are treatment options, which include:

We also offer surgery to correct valve issues or to regulate the rhythm of your heart.

The first step, though, is to contact our office in Little Rock, Arkansas, so that we can thoroughly evaluate your heart health.

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