Shortness of breath is a condition that relates to heart & lung problems. This condition is also well known as dyspnea. Dyspnea happens in different conditions but you have to treat it as soon as possible before it gets worse. To be able to treat it, you have to know the reasons of shortness of breath.

What causes shortness of breath? It can be various. It relates to the types of shortness of breath which happens.

Types of Dyspnea
In relation to the causes of shortness of breath, it is divided into some types. Here are some of the kinds of dyspnea:

  1. Acute Dyspnea
    Dyspnea belongs to acute condition when it suddenly develops about hours to days.

  2. Chronic Dyspnea
    Dyspnea is considered chronic when it occurs during long periods. It can be weeks or months.

  3. Sudden Dyspnea
    Dyspnea sometimes happens suddenly so that you cannot recognize the symptoms. If this condition happens to you, it may indicate a serious medical disorder. It may also relate to anxiety.

  4. Intermittent Dyspnea
    This shortness of breath is associated with animal dander or cold air. It may also suggest asthma.

  5. Work-related Dyspnea
    This shortness of breath condition may indicate occupational asthma.

  6. Dyspnea following Upper Respiratory Tract Infection
    This condition of shortness of breath indicates chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.

  7. Dyspnea when Lying Down
    This shortness of breath condition is also called as orthopnea. If it happens to you, you need to use multiple pillows or sleep in sitting position to get the better feel. This condition relates to heart failure.

  8. Nocturnal Episodes of Dyspnea
    This is also called as paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. This can also be a symptom of heart failure. Usually, the patients always awaken from sleep.

  9. Trepopnea
    This condition is where patients experience shortness of breath when lying on the right or left side.

  10. Platypnea
    This is a kind of dyspnea which only happens in upright position.

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Causes of Sudden Shortness of Breath

If the shortness of breath happens suddenly, it can be caused by the following common factors:

  • Upper airway obstruction
  • Sudden blood loss
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pneumothorax
  • Pneumonia
  • Low blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiac tamponade
  • Carbone monoxide poisoning
  • Asthma

Causes of Chronic Shortness of Breath

If the shortness of breath happens and lasts for weeks / months, it means you experience chronic shortness of breath. The causes include:

  • Obesity
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Heart dysfunction
  • Deconditioning
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Asthma

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Other Health Problems That Cause Shortness of Breath

There are still some other factors that can cause shortness of breath. In relation to lung problems, it may include tuberculosis, sarcoidosis, pulmonary hypertension, pulmanory fibrosis, pulmanory edema, pleurisy, lung cancer, and croup.

It may also relate to heart problems. For examples are pericarditis, heart failure, heart arrhythmias, and cardiomyopathy. Some other health problems that may cause shortness of breath are such as myasthenia gravis, guillain-barre syndrome, generalized anxiety disorder, foreign object inhaled: first aid, epiglottitis, choking: first aid, broken ribs and anemia.