Shortness of breath, also known as dyspnoea, can be a warning sign of an underlying health problem. Dyspnoea can happen as a result of overexertion, spending time at high altitude, or as a symptom of a range of conditions. The onset of dyspnoea should not be ignored and is reason to seek medical attention.
If shortness of breath starts suddenly, it is called an acute case of acute dyspnoea. It typically indicates acute and severe conditions that may be life-threatening.
Chronic dyspnoea has been defined as shortness of breath lasting longer than a month and usually has a different set of causes from acute dyspnoea.
Learn how to distinguish between acute and chronic dyspnoea, so you can manage symptoms when they occur and find the appropriate treatment you need.
Feeling short of breath can be an uncomfortable or frightening experience, especially if it has never happened to you before. If you are having shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, go to the A&E department immediately.