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What does it mean if I'm suddenly short of breath?

ANSWER

It’s normal to get out of breath if you’re more active than usual. But if you feel winded for no reason or all of a sudden, don’t brush it off. It could be a sign there’s a problem with your airways or heart.

For instance, an asthma attack can make it hard to get enough air into your lungs. Shortness of breath that comes out of the blue can also signal a problem with how your heart beats or pumps blood. If that happens to you, get medical help right away.

SOURCES:

NHS Choices: “Shortness of Breath,” “Chest Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Wheezing.”

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?”

National Sleep Foundation: “COPD and Difficulty Breathing.”

Victoria State Government/Better Health Channel: “Breathing to Reduce Stress.”

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: “Sleep Apnea – Overview & Facts.”

American Society of Hematology: “Iron-Deficiency Anemia.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 12, 2018

SOURCES:

NHS Choices: “Shortness of Breath,” “Chest Pain.”

Mayo Clinic: “Wheezing.”

National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “What Is COPD?”

National Sleep Foundation: “COPD and Difficulty Breathing.”

Victoria State Government/Better Health Channel: “Breathing to Reduce Stress.”

American Academy of Sleep Medicine: “Sleep Apnea – Overview & Facts.”

American Society of Hematology: “Iron-Deficiency Anemia.”

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 12, 2018

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What does it mean if I have chest pain while breathing?

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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.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.