Reasons for Consult

NYC Shortness of Breath / Difficulty Breathing (Dyspnea) Treatment

Male runner suffering from shortness of breath

Shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, also known as dyspnea, is a worrisome sensation. It can be accompanied by the feeling that normal breathing is difficult or that breathing may require more effort than usual. In other cases, the amount of air you are able to breathe in may feel inadequate. Shortness of breath can occur suddenly, while walking, when talking, after exercise, at rest, and more. Dyspnea can also be accompanied by anxiety, fatigue, and chest pain. There’s a wide range of possible causes that can contribute to shortness of breath. The sensation may occur one-time, may sporadically come and go, or it may be constant.

No matter the cause of your shortness of breath, a consultation at MXBowen, Physician, P.C., Health & Breathing Center is the first step to diagnosing your condition. We know just how distressing and unsettling this sensation can feel. That is why our practice is committed to personalized care and providing the full range of in-office diagnostic tests so that our pulmonologist Dr. Bowen can evaluate your symptoms, get to the bottom of your condition, and determine the appropriate shortness of breath treatment. If you are having difficulty breathing, contact us for an evaluation.

What causes dyspnea (shortness of breath)?

Shortness of breath or dyspnea may result from a long list of possible causes – from issues involving the respiratory system, the heart, the esophagus, the sinuses, or even emotional and psychological factors, among other things. In many cases, disorders of the cardiac or respiratory systems are at the root of the problem.

Potential causes of dyspnea may include:

  • AsthmaReversible airway obstruction associated with wheezing
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)Including chronic or asthmatic bronchitis, and other smoking-related diseases
  • EmphysemaIrreversible airway obstruction
  • Pulmonary fibrosisScarring of lungs
  • Pulmonary hypertensionVascular/circulatory diseases of the lungs
  • Pulmonary embolismBlood clots in the lungs
  • Pulmonary edemaExcess water in the lungs
  • Pulmonary infectionsIncluding acute bronchitis and pneumonia, leading to mucous obstruction and poor oxygenation
  • PneumothoraxLung collapse
  • Pleural effusionWater around the lungs
  • Upper airway obstructionAssociated with infections or tumors of the respiratory tract
  • Lung cancerPrimary malignancy or metastatic disease from other cancers spreading to the lungs
  • Chronic lung infectionsIncluding tuberculosis and fungal infections
  • Cardiovascular diseasesIncluding heart failure and coronary artery disease
  • Obstructive sleep apneaAlong with other sleep disturbance syndromes
  • Rheumatologic and other metabolic disorders – Inflammatory interstitial lung diseases
  • Neuromuscular disordersIncluding diaphragmatic paralysis, respiratory muscle weakness and skeletal deformities of the chest

What symptoms may coincide with shortness of breath/dyspnea?

Along with shortness of breath, it’s also possible that you may experience other related symptoms, such as:

  • Chronic cough
  • Frequent respiratory infections
  • Wheezing
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Heart palpitations (fast heart rate)
  • Dizziness or light headedness

There are many things that can contribute to difficulty breathing and it’s critical that you seek an evaluation from an experienced pulmonologist and breathing specialist to get to the bottom of your particular symptoms. Whether your shortness of breath just came on suddenly or it has been an ongoing problem, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bowen as soon as possible. We can provide effective and long-term shortness of breath treatment.

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225 East 57th Street | New York, NY 10022

Phone: 212-480-4062

Fax: 646-582-1434

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