Breathlessness is shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing. It can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- Lung conditions such as asthma or COPD
- Heart conditions
- Other conditions such as anaemia, kidney problems or thyroid conditions
Managing your breathlessness depends on what is causing it. It is often linked to a health condition but can be a result of pregnancy, a hard workout, being at a high altitude, wearing tight clothes or not moving around for long periods of time.
Your GP will assess your health and history to find the cause of your symptoms. Your GP will talk to you about your lifestyle habits. Your GP may also arrange for more tests to get a better idea of why you might feel this way. Depending on the results of these tests, your GP may ask you to take more tests or will let you know how to treat your symptoms.
Your GP may talk to you about completing a Shortness of Breath Action Plan. This will help you and those around you to manage your breathlessness.
Your GP may see you often to check your symptoms and see if you are feeling better. If you still have shortness of breath after your treatment, your GP may refer you to a specialist.