Reviewed by Andrew M. Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP

Sometimes dyspnea, or shortness of breath, is difficult to diagnose. If your condition is complicated, you may need to see specialists who focus on the heart and lungs. Treatment depends on the cause, but can include:

  • Medications
  • Using oxygen
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Reducing or giving up alcohol
  • Surgery
  • Detection and repair to coronary arteries (blockages in your heart's blood vessels)
  • Rehabilitation and exercise to get back into good physical shape and condition

Most of the time, shortness of breath can be treated easily with lifestyle changes or medications. But sometimes it is more complicated. Listen to your body. If you experience shortness of breath at a low exercise level or at rest, you need to see your doctor.

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