Shortness Of Breath Specialist

Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists

Cardiovascular Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in Downriver Area, Southgate, MI

When you unexpectedly and suddenly have a hard time breathing, you should always take it seriously. Shortness of breath is a common sign of heart problems that need treatment to prevent serious complications. The physicians at Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists offer on-site diagnostic testing to identify the cause of your symptoms. Then they provide the treatment you need to restore optimal health and help you get back to life. To schedule an appointment, call the Downriver area office in Southgate, Michigan, or use the online booking feature today.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What causes shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath naturally occurs under certain conditions, such as when you exert yourself during exercise or you’re at a high altitude. But if you’re not in a circumstance that explains the problem, shortness of breath signals a health problem.

Difficulty breathing is the top symptom of heart and lung conditions, including:

  • Heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Endocarditis
  • Arrhythmia
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pleural effusion
  • Pneumonia
  • Asthma

A heart attack and advanced lung cancer can also cause difficulty breathing.

What other symptoms accompany shortness of breath?

The heart conditions that cause shortness of breath often cause other symptoms. You may experience:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest pressure or tightness
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Cough
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Wheezing

You should seek emergency medical attention if your shortness of breath appears suddenly or you also have the signs of a heart attack, such as chest pain, confusion, dizziness, or pain in your neck, back, arm, or jaw.

How is shortness of breath treated?

Your Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists provider first determines the health condition responsible for your shortness of breath. They assess your symptoms, complete a physical exam, and perform additional testing based on the results of your exam.

You can get your specialized testing done in the office. For example, they perform echocardiograms, electroencephalograms (EEGs), vascular ultrasound, and nuclear testing. In addition to the convenience of getting all your care in one location, on-site diagnostics also mean you don’t need to wait to learn your results.

Each person’s treatment plan is customized, but Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists starts with conservative therapies. Your provider identifies lifestyle changes you can make, such as eating a healthier diet, getting more exercise, and stopping smoking.

Your provider also treats any underlying problems that contribute to heart disease. Many people who experience shortness of breath also have hypertension, high cholesterol, or diabetes.

If your underlying condition doesn’t improve, or if it’s already at an advanced stage, then your provider recommends the appropriate treatment or minimally invasive procedure. You may need one or more of the following:

  • Medications
  • Angioplasty and stenting
  • Atherectomy
  • Pacemaker
  • Implantable defibrillator
  • Cardiac rehab
  • Peripheral rehab
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Inferior vena cava filter
  • Bypass surgery

To learn why you have shortness of breath and receive personalized care, call Downriver Heart and Vascular Specialists, or book an appointment online today.