Dyspnea is shortness of breath, which normally occurs with exercise or exertion. When dyspnea is chronic and not caused by physical exertion, it may be a symptom of an underlying cause. Pulmonary conditions that can cause dyspnea including asthma, chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, pneumonia, pulmonary edema, pulmonary hypertension, and other conditions.

Dyspnea also may be caused by a number of heart conditions, including:

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF), the inability of the heart to supply sufficient blood flow to the rest of the body. CHF may be caused by a variety of heart conditions.
  • Ventricular dysfunction, a condition with one of the heart's ventricles, compromises the heart's ability to pump blood.
  • Diastolic dysfunction, a condition of one or both of the heart's ventricles that occurs during the diastolic phase, when the heart fills with blood before pumping it out to the body.
  • Cardiomyopathy, which is any disorder that affects the heart muscle and its ability to pump blood effectively.

For patients seeking treatment for dyspnea caused by a cardiovascular condition, Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in Boston provides state-of-the-art treatment in a world-class facility.

Learn more about the dyspnea treatment at BWH.

Treatment for dyspnea at BWH

The physicians who treat patients at the The Lung Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) provide expert care, collaborating with specialists in pulmonary and critical care medicine, thoracic surgery, cardiovascular medicine, neurology and cardiovascular and thoracic imaging. This collaboration ensures that patients experiencing shortness of breath will get prompt answers about the cause of their symptoms and will receive targeted treatment.

Dyspnea patients benefit from the clinical team and the wide range of specialists at The Lung Center and Heart & Vascular Center, including pulmonary and critical care medicine, thoracic surgery, cardiovascular medicine, neurology and thoracic and cardiovascular imaging. This collaboration ensures world-class, comprehensive care for dyspnea — as well as its underlying causes.

Learn more about Dyspnea Diagnosis and Treatment at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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