When you experience shortness of breath, it can feel like you can’t get enough air. It might feel like an asthma attack, but it can also be caused by various other conditions. Dr. Marc Bowen of New York, NY, is a pulmonologist who can help you understand the cause of your shortness of breath and discuss appropriate treatments.
What can cause shortness of breath?
- Asthma is a common and problematic medical condition which affects the lungs and airways. When you have asthma, your airways narrow and swell, making breathing difficult. Asthma attacks are typically triggered by several factors, including dust mites, pollen, smoke, and exercise. If you have asthma, it’s important to see an allergist or pulmonologist to get proper treatment and medication.
- Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways that can be caused by a viral infection or exposure to irritants like smoke or pollution. When you have bronchitis, you might experience a cough, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Most cases of bronchitis resolve on their own, but some people may need medication to help manage the symptoms.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, is a group of conditions that make breathing difficult. COPD includes medical conditions including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. People with COPD often have a history of smoking, but there are other risk factors as well. If you have COPD, you might experience shortness of breath, a cough, and fatigue. There is no cure for patients with COPD at this time, but some effective treatments can help manage the symptoms.
- Pulmonary Embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a severe blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries. This blockage can be caused by a blood clot that has traveled from another part of the body. Pulmonary embolisms are serious and can be life-threatening. Symptoms include sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing up blood. If you believe you may have a pulmonary embolism, it’s essential to seek medical help immediately.
Learn more about the cause of your shortness of breath
Dr. Marc Bowen is a pulmonologist in the New York, NY area who can assist in diagnosing the cause of shortness of breath and providing effective treatments when possible. Call 212-480-4062 to request a consultation visit and initial evaluation at his office.