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Moderate to Severe Difficulty Breathing in Adults and Older Children

Difficulty breathing can occur when the body's lungs or heart are not working well.

Moderate trouble breathing means:

  • It's hard to talk in full sentences.
  • It's hard to breathe with activity.

Severe trouble breathing means:

  • You cannot talk at all.
  • You have to work very hard to breathe.
  • You feel like you can't get enough air.
  • You do not feel alert or cannot think clearly.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David Messenger, MD
Last Revised December 21, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 21, 2011
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.