CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Most cases of shortness of breath are due to heart or lung conditions. Your heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to your tissues and removing carbon dioxide, and problems with either of these processes affect your breathing.
In the case of chronic shortness of breath, the condition is most often due to:
A number of other health conditions also can make it hard to get enough air. These include:
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Schwartzstein RM. Approach to the patient with dyspnea. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 6, 2013.
- Bozkurt B et al. Shortness of breath. Circulation. 2003;108:11-e13.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0.X0001-1--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed March 6, 2013.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 15, 2013.