Breathlessness also called shortness of breath is caused due to a no. of reasons which includes affecting the breathing passages and lungs or affecting the heart or blood vessels. An average adult who weighs (70 kilogram) breathes at an average rate of 14 breaths per minute when at rest. Excessively rapid breathing is referred to as hyperventilation and  shortness of breath is referred to as dyspnea.

Dyspnea also known to be a shortness of breath is a actually a state when someone feels that they cannot breathe well. Dyspnea is a usual symptom of heavy exertion but becomes pathological if it starts to occur in unexpected/sudden situations or light exertion.

Key Facts:

  • Shortness of breath is a common symptom. It may be related to serious diseases. Being physically out of shape could be a very big reason for that.
  • Medical evaluation should assess if lifestyle changes can be one of the possible ways to treat shortness of breath or not. These include losing weight or quitting smoking.
  • Serious conditions linked with shortness of breath are:
  1. Asthma
  2. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  3. Heart disease (heart attacks, heart failure)
  4. Anaemia
  5. Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolism)


  • Swelling in your feet and ankles.
  • trouble breathing when you lie flat.
  • High fever, chills, and cough.
  • Lips or fingertips turning blue.
  • An abnormal/unusual whistling-type sound that occurs when you breathe in or out, also known to be wheezing.
  • Strider, a high-pitched noise that occurs with breathing.
  • When the pre-existing shortness of breath gets more worse after using inhalers.
  • Breathing difficulty that doesn’t stop even after 30 minutes of rest.


  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Pneumonia
  • Anemia
  • Lung cancer
  • Inhalation injury
  • Anxiety
  • COPD
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hypertension
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Rib fracture
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

Other Causes Of Shortness Of Breath:

  • Chest Wall and Chest Muscle Diseases
  • Heart Diseases
  • Lung Tissue Diseases
  • Obstructions to Airflow
  • Other causes such as low oxygen environments, or high altitudes.

Investigations to find a causing reason for breathing difficulty/breathlessness comprises of a no. of tests which includes respiratory, cardiac and musculoskeletal systems. Blood tests ,electrocardiogram, chest x-ray ,  computed tomography (CT scan) , pulmonary function tests ,  echocardiography etc are also a few of the common tests done to examine the cause for breathlessness .

Dr. Satya takes extensive care of his patients while discussing the illness, treating them. He believes that the first step should be of making them comfortable, rather them bombarding them with suggestions, medications, and treatment procedures. This is why he’s among the best pulmonologists currently operating in Delhi, Saket.