Shortness of breath while lying down or that occurs after several
hours of sleep can be a sign of heart failure. Shortness of breath may be a
result of buildup of fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema).
When a person is standing or sitting upright, gravity helps keep the
lung area relatively free of excess fluid. The effect of gravity is lost and
fluid can easily build up in the lungs when a person lies down.
There’s no cure for congestive heart failure -- not yet anyway. But if you or a loved one is among the 5.8 million Americans living with heart failure, even if it’s advanced, you should know that simple self-care measures can effectively help curb fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, and other symptoms.
In addition to improving their quality of life, heart failure patients who practice good self-care are less likely to wind up in the hospital.
“Heart failure is a progressive disease, but the...
In heart failure, the heart is not able to handle the increased
volume of returning blood. When lying down, fluid from the backed-up blood
collects in the lungs, causing shortness of breath or a feeling of
Primary Medical Reviewer
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer
George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
July 28, 2010
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 28, 2010
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