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Shortness of Breath in Adults

November 24, 2020

Welcome to our Health Decision Guide on Shortness of Breath.

By answering a short series of questions, you will learn about the possible reasons why you have recently developed mild to moderate shortness of breath.

Severe shortness of breath and shortness of breath accompanied by certain symptoms requires immediate medical attention. If you have one or more of the following symptoms, it is a medical emergency:

  • severe shortness of breath

  • difficulty talking in full sentences

  • chest pain with shortness of breath

  • swelling in the face or abdomen with shortness of breath (a possible allergic reaction).

Do you have any of the symptoms listed above?

Yes, I have one or more of these symptoms.

No, I don't have any of these symptoms.

That's good. However, even if your symptoms are not severe, difficulty getting air in or out of the lungs is a symptom that always requires evaluation by your doctor.

Now you are ready to start the guide.

Click here to begin.

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As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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