Repeat Occurrence of Shortness-of-breath Symptoms & Causes

Understand repeat occurrence of shortness-of-breath symptoms, including 9 causes & common questions.

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  1. 9 Possible Causes
  2. Real-Life Stories
  3. Questions Your Doctor May Ask
  4. Statistics
  5. Related Articles

9 Possible Repeat Occurrence Of Shortness-Of-Breath Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced repeat occurrence of shortness-of-breath. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Congestive heart failure

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is no longer able to effectively pump blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure can affect the right side, left side, or both sides of the heart. It can be subcategorized as "heart failure with preserved ejection f...

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Condition involving severe trouble breathing

Severe trouble breathing is always considered a life-threatening medical emergency. Anyone who feels they cannot breathe should be taken to an emergency room or have 9-1-1 called for them.

Many conditions can cause serious breathing trouble, including respiratory infections such as pneumonia; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD;) severe allergies; and asthma.

Smoking is a risk factor because it damages the lungs and limits the amount of oxygen a person can take in, even without any other illnesses or conditions.

If a person is not breathing properly, symptoms will include short, shallow breaths (shortness of breath;) wheezing; gasping; a blue appearance to the lips and fingernail beds; and "tripoding," where the person sits or stands bent over and supports themselves with one arm while struggling to breathe. Confusion and loss of consciousness may follow due to lack of oxygen.

Anyone with trouble breathing must see a medical provider immediately, so that the exact cause can be determined and proper treatment can begin.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath at rest, blue skin that goes away when crying, hard testicle lump, severe pelvis pain

Urgency: Emergency medical service

Hyperventilation syndrome

Hyperventilation syndrome is a type of anxiety or panic attack, where the primary symptom is fast, shallow breathing that leads to a drop in carbon dioxide levels in the blood. This drops changes the body chemistry and causes the discomfort.

Any sort of fear or excitement that might provoke an anxiety attack can bring on hyperventilation syndrome.

Symptoms are worse in some patients than in others, but include anxiety; lightheadedness; pain and constriction in the chest; numbness and tingling of the extremities; and a feeling of suffocation.

It is important to seek treatment for hyperventilation syndrome, because the symptoms can be debilitating and interfere with quality of life.

Diagnosis is made through detailed patient history, as well as a complete physical examination and lab tests to rule out any other conditions.

Treatment involves showing that patient that, during an anxiety attack, simply breathing into a paper bag for a few minutes will ease the symptoms and allow recovery. Psychological counseling, with an emphasis on managing stress, is also helpful.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: anxiety, shortness of breath, dizziness, racing heart beat, chest pain

Symptoms that always occur with hyperventilation syndrome: rapid, deep breaths

Symptoms that never occur with hyperventilation syndrome: shortness of breath after a few stairs

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Adult-onset asthma

Asthma in adults is an under-diagnosed reason for a chronic cough. In general, asthma is caused by hyperactive inflammation of the lung's airways. This results in episodic dyspnea, coughing and wheezing which is triggered by for example exercise, cold air, pollen or dust.

Rarity: Uncommon

Top Symptoms: fatigue, wheezing, dry cough, shortness of breath at rest, shortness of breath on exertion

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Repeat Occurrence Of Shortness-Of-Breath Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your repeat occurrence of shortness-of-breath

Alport syndrome

Alport syndrome is an inherited genetic condition caused by a mutation in one of the genes that produces collagen, a building block of the body.

Alport syndrome can cause kidney problems, hearing loss, and eye pain and vision problems. It is also sometimes associated with certain types of ...

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Severe asthma attack

A severe asthma attack makes it incredibly hard to breathe and is a medical emergency. If possible, use a rescue inhaler ASAP.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: being severely ill, shortness of breath at rest, wheezing, irritability, cough with dry or watery sputum

Symptoms that always occur with severe asthma attack: shortness of breath at rest, being severely ill

Urgency: Hospital emergency room

Asthma attack

Asthma attack is also called asthma exacerbation. An attack causes the muscles of the airways to contract, the tissues to swell and produce mucus, and the bronchial tubes in the lungs to become narrow. This makes breathing very difficult.

Asthma is caused by an immune system that is too easily triggered by environmental factors, such as an upper respiratory infection (a cold or the flu;) tobacco smoke; dust; pets; cold air; and stress.

Most susceptible are those with repeated attacks, since the constant inflammation tends to cause further episodes.

Symptoms include wheezing, coughing, severe shortness of breath, chest tightness, chest pain, and inability to speak due to breathlessness.

A severe asthma attack is a life-threatening medical emergency. If the symptoms do not quickly respond to treatment with a fast-acting (rescue) inhaler, take the patient to the emergency room or call 9-1-1.

Treatment involves preventing colds, getting flu shots, and working with the medical provider to create a written set of instructions for whenever an attack might break out.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: shortness of breath, shortness of breath at rest, tight, heavy, squeezing chest pain, wheezing, cough with dry or watery sputum

Symptoms that always occur with asthma attack: shortness of breath

Symptoms that never occur with asthma attack: blue skin

Urgency: In-person visit

Panic disorder

Panic disorder is a chronic condition that involves repeated episodes of panic attacks, as well as worry about future attacks or consequences of attacks, or unhelpful changes in behavior to avoid the attacks. Panic attacks are episodes of sudden-onset fear, discomfort, and/or other symptoms tha...

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Panic or anxiety attack(s)

Panic or anxiety attacks are sudden feelings of intense fear or stress without true danger. Symptoms usually peak and then decrease within minutes. One may feel as if they are losing control or have physical symptoms like sweating or a racing heart. A panic attack can be a very scary experience and should be taken seriously.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms:

Symptoms that always occur with panic or anxiety attack(s): anxiety or anxiety/panic attacks

Urgency: Primary care doctor

Real-life Stories

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Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Repeat Occurrence Of Shortness-Of-Breath

To diagnose this condition, your doctor would likely ask the following questions:

  • Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Do you have a cough?
  • Do you notice your heart beating hard, rapidly, or irregularly (also called palpitations)?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions

Repeat Occurrence Of Shortness-Of-Breath Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your repeat occurrence of shortness-of-breath

Repeat Occurrence Of Shortness-Of-Breath Symptom Checker Statistics

People who have experienced repeat occurrence of shortness-of-breath have also experienced:

  • 4% Chest Pain
  • 4% Chest Pain
  • 4% Fatigue

People who have experienced repeat occurrence of shortness-of-breath were most often matched with:

  • 50% Condition Involving Severe Trouble Breathing
  • 28% Congestive Heart Failure
  • 21% Hyperventilation Syndrome

People who have experienced repeat occurrence of shortness-of-breath had symptoms persist for:

  • 36% Less than a day
  • 25% Over a month
  • 21% Less than a week

Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from Buoy Assistant (a.k.a. the quiz).

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