Breathlessness

Breathlessness

Is breathlessness always asthma? From a cardiac point of view, the onset of being out of breath, or becoming easily fatigued during exertion, can occur without the typical heart symptoms of chest discomfort or exertion (known as angina).

But it may not be simply a case of “I’m so unfit”: it may be a subtle presentation of angina or blocked arteries.

If you are breathless, and over 60, it is not always asthma. Nor is feeling fatigued and low on energy always due to stress at work or home.

So, causes of breathlessness on exertion may be:

Respiratory  –   asthma, smoking, or pulmonary embolism;   or

Cardiac           –   heart failure, or an angina variant.

Causes of breathlessness at rest may be:

A severe manifestation of cardio-respiratory sleep disorders;

Neurological, with central damage;   or

Psychological, with anxiety levels not “allowing air in”‘.

Our investigation will usually involve:

  • a lung function test (spirometry);
  • an oxygen saturation test (oximetry);
  • a test of heart function (exercise stress test);   and
  • a test of heart structure (echocardiograph).

If you have concerns about breathlessness, or unexplained fatigue, call Cardiac Dynamics for a “CD Breathaliser” investigation.

 

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