You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

15 Reasons You're Short of Breath

Health Logo By Amanda Gardner of Health | Slide 1 of 14: Shortness of breath can be caused by something as innocent as exercise to more serious issues like pneumonia, asthma, and even heart failure or lung cancer. Acute shortness of breath comes on very suddenly, while chronic shortness of breath means the symptom builds more slowly and can last a long time. Acute and chronic shortness of breath are very different entities. “If you develop sudden and severe shortness of breath, head to the emergency room,” says Norman Edelman, MD, senior scientific officer of the American Lung Association. “If you have more progressive shortness of breath that gets worse over weeks and months, certainly see your doctor.” Definitely get medical help if you have shortness of breath plus other respiratory symptoms like chest pain or coughing up blood. Learn the more common reasons for shortness of breath below so you can get help. RELATED: Here’s Why You Get Out of Breath Walking Up Stairs (Even Though You’re Fit)

What causes shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath can be caused by something as innocent as exercise to more serious issues like pneumonia, asthma, and even heart failure or lung cancer.

Acute shortness of breath comes on very suddenly, while chronic shortness of breath means the symptom builds more slowly and can last a long time. Acute and chronic shortness of breath are very different entities.

“If you develop sudden and severe shortness of breath, head to the emergency room,” says Norman Edelman, MD, senior scientific officer of the American Lung Association. “If you have more progressive shortness of breath that gets worse over weeks and months, certainly see your doctor.”

Definitely get medical help if you have shortness of breath plus other respiratory symptoms like chest pain or coughing up blood.

Learn the more common reasons for shortness of breath below so you can get help.

RELATED: Here’s Why You Get Out of Breath Walking Up Stairs (Even Though You’re Fit)

© South_agency/Getty Images

More From Health

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon