Shortness of Breath Overview

Shortness of breath refers generally to breathing difficulty. It may refer to mild breathing symptoms, such as being out of breath or short of breath after exercise (although the symptom may be mild, it can still indicate serious disease; see breathlessness after exertion). There are many different causes of shortness of breath including respiratory infections (e.g. pneumonia), respiratory blockages (e.g. choking, pulmonary embolism), heart disorders (e.g. heart failure), emotional disorders (e.g. panic attack), metabolic disorders (e.g. diabetic ketoacidosis), and many other possibilities. Refer to the causes of breathing difficulty. Very severe cases of shortness of breath may lead to respiratory distress and respiratory failure. Many causes of shortness of breath can be life-threatening and any breathing symptoms need immediate medical care; some cases may need immediate emergency medical attention. Read more about: Breathing Difficulty, Breathing Symptoms, Breathing Disorders

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