There are few conditions that are more nerve-wracking than shortness of breath. The feeling (or reality) that you’re not getting the oxygen you need is uncomfortable at best and life-threatening at worst.
That’s why you should see one of the heart specialists at St. Louis Heart and Vascular at the first signs of shortness of breath. For your convenience, there are six locations in St. Louis, Des Peres, St. Charles, and Bridgeton, Missouri, and Granite City, Illinois. Please call any of these offices to get your shortness of breath checked out.
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Shortness of Breath Q&A
What is shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath is a frightening condition as you may feel your chest tighten and you gasp for air, rarely feeling like you’re getting enough. You may only notice it when you’re involved in a physical activity or climbing stairs, or it may be a nagging and persistent problem.
Whatever the case, you should see the cardiovascular specialists at St. Louis Heart and Vascular to find out if there’s a problem with your heart or blood vessels.
It’s important to note that if shortness of breath comes on suddenly, and you’ve not experienced it before, you should seek immediate medical help.
What causes shortness of breath?
There are a number of issues that can cause shortness of breath, including:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Airway obstruction
- Fluid in your lungs
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Pulmonary embolism
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the heart)
How is shortness of breath diagnosed?
Because of the number of possibilities that exist for causing shortness of breath, the doctors at St. Louis Heart and Vascular leave no stone unturned when they diagnose you. The fact is that shortness of breath should never be ignored, and it can often signal something much larger at play, so your doctor starts by figuring out whether your shortness of breath is caused by your heart, lungs, or anemia.
To determine this, your doctor may turn to one of the following tests:
- Chest X-ray
- CT scans
- Pulmonary function tests
These diagnostic tools are essential in figuring out what’s causing your shortness of breath, which is why the doctors at St. Louis Heart and Vascular are equipped with the latest imaging and functional testing technologies.
How is shortness of breath treated?
It’s hard to provide a satisfactory answer to this question, since it depends upon what’s causing your shortness of breath. Rest assured that your doctor’s primary goal is to help you get the air you need. If it turns out that you have a problem with your lungs, the team at St. Louis Heart and Vascular is happy to point you in the right direction for medical help.
To get to the bottom of your shortness of breath, call St. Louis Heart and Vascular at one of their six locations.