Experiencing shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of abnormalities in the body’s different organ systems, and some are relatively minor, such as high levels of activity, high altitude and extreme temperatures. If you experience breathlessness that is prolonged and persistent, it is most likely related to a cardiac problem.
Some clues of cardiac problems include:
Heart disease is a common cause of shortness of breath and other breathing problems. If your heart is not able to pump enough blood to supply oxygen to your body, your brain, muscles and other organs will be gasping for air. If you have sudden and severe shortness of breath with chest pain and tightness, you may be having a heart attack, may have a condition in which air gets trapped between the lungs and chest wall or may have a blood clot that moved from a leg to the lungs. Swelling of the feet and ankles along with difficulty breathing while lying down are symptoms of Congestive Heart Failure, a condition in which fluid builds up in the lungs and in the feet. Heart rhythm disturbances, including arrhythmias and atrial fibrillation, and congenital heart disease, a heart defect from birth, may also be suspect.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you need to seek immediate help. Dr. Ibrahim Helmy is a highly trained and experienced cardiologist and electrophysiologist in Los Angeles, California, and his practice provides a full range of diagnostic and interventional treatment for shortness of breath. Even if you need to be seen on short notice, Dr. Helmy is glad to fit you in, because he knows that shortness of breath is both frightening and potentially life threatening. Make Dr. Helmy your first call if you are finding it difficult to breathe—from prevention and early detection to diagnostic testing and advanced procedures, Dr. Helmy is your heart’s best defense.