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What does it mean if you have trouble breathing or shortness of breath if you have heart failure?

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When your heart can’t properly fill and empty, blood backs up in your veins. This causes fluid to leak into your lungs. Your doctor may call it pulmonary edema. This can make it hard to breathe during activities, rest, or even sleep. A sudden lack of breath might wake you up. You may need to prop yourself up with extra pillows to breathe easier. This constant search for air can leave you tired and anxious.

SOURCES:

CDC: “Heart Failure Fact Sheet.”

American Heart Association: “About Heart Failure,” “Warning Signs of Heart Failure.”

University of California, San Francisco Medical Center: “Heart Failure Signs and Symptoms.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Don’t Delay When Heart Failure Threatens.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on September 6, 2019

SOURCES:

CDC: “Heart Failure Fact Sheet.”

American Heart Association: “About Heart Failure,” “Warning Signs of Heart Failure.”

University of California, San Francisco Medical Center: “Heart Failure Signs and Symptoms.”

Harvard Health Publications: “Don’t Delay When Heart Failure Threatens.”

Reviewed by James Beckerman on September 6, 2019

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What does it mean if you get fatigue if you have heart failure?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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