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Heart Rhythm Problems: Symptoms - Topic Overview

Shortness of breath

A feeling of shortness of breath, which doctors call dyspnea, frequently happens during arrhythmias. This symptom can be very difficult for people to describe and may be referred to as:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tightness in the chest.
  • Being winded.
  • Feeling tired from walking.

What causes shortness of breath?

When an arrhythmia causes the heart to beat too fast, the heart doesn't pump effectively. Specifically, there may not be enough time between heartbeats for the heart to fill with blood, causing blood to back up into the lungs. The increased pressure and fluid in the lungs results in the feeling of shortness of breath.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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