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When should you see a doctor because of shortness of breath?

ANSWER

If shortness of breath keeps you from doing your regular daily activities, that’s reason enough to call the doctor. But definitely schedule an appointment if you have trouble breathing along with any of these symptoms:

If your shortness of breath is severe or comes with other symptoms such as confusion, chest pain, jaw pain, or pain down your arm, call 911 right away.

  • Shortness of breath when you’re resting or lying down
  • Fever, chills, night sweats
  • Fast, fluttering heartbeats
  • Wheezing

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education: “Dyspnea.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Shortness of Breath.”

Merck Manuals: “Shortness of Breath.”

American Lung Association: “Diagnosing and Treating Shortness of Breath.”

Chest Foundation: “Tests and Diagnosis.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Chest X-Ray” and "Body Plethysmography (Pulmonary Function Test)

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Diagnostic Evaluation of Dyspnea.”

Mayo Clinic: “Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).”

Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library: “Pulmonary Function Tests.”

Medscape: "Pulmonary Function Tests."

 

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 13, 2018

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic Center for Continuing Education: “Dyspnea.”

Johns Hopkins Medicine: “Shortness of Breath.”

Merck Manuals: “Shortness of Breath.”

American Lung Association: “Diagnosing and Treating Shortness of Breath.”

Chest Foundation: “Tests and Diagnosis.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Chest X-Ray” and "Body Plethysmography (Pulmonary Function Test)

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Diagnostic Evaluation of Dyspnea.”

Mayo Clinic: “Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).”

Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library: “Pulmonary Function Tests.”

Medscape: "Pulmonary Function Tests."

 

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on August 13, 2018

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What tests are done to diagnose shortness of breathing?

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