ⓘ Shortness of breath

                                     

ⓘ Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath, also known as dyspnea, is the feeling that one cannot breathe well enough. The American Thoracic Society defines it as "a subjective experience of breathing discomfort that consists of qualitatively distinct sensations that vary in intensity", and recommends evaluating dyspnea by assessing the intensity of the distinct sensations, the degree of distress involved, and its burden or impact on activities of daily living. Distinct sensations include effort/work, chest tightness, and air hunger.

Shortness of breath is a normal symptom of heavy exertion but becomes pathological if it occurs in unexpected situations or light load. In 85% of cases due to asthma, pneumonia, cardiac ischemia, interstitial lung disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or psychogenic causes such as panic disorder and anxiety. The treatment usually depends on the cause.

                                     
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