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Breathing Problems

Summary

When you're short of breath, it's hard or uncomfortable for you to take in the oxygen your body needs. You may feel as if you're not getting enough air. Sometimes you can have mild breathing problems because of a stuffy nose or intense exercise. But shortness of breath can also be a sign of a serious disease.

Many conditions can make you feel short of breath:

If you often have trouble breathing, it is important to find out the cause.

Start Here

  • (American Thoracic Society) - PDF
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (American Heart Association)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Blood Oxygen Level From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in
  • (American Thoracic Society) - PDF
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) Also in
  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Living With

Related Issues

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Cancer Institute) Also in
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Scoliosis Research Society)

Specifics

  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)

Videos and Tutorials

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (American Association for Respiratory Care)
  • (Nemours Foundation)

Seniors

  • (AGS Foundation for Health in Aging)

Patient Handouts