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Shortness Of Breath Specialist

Cardiac Care Consultants -  - Cardiology

Cardiac Care Consultants

Cardiology & Electrophysiology located in Peoria, AZ & Sun City West, AZ

Struggling to catch your breath when you’re not exerting yourself could be an indication of underlying heart problems. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, the experienced physicians at Cardiac Care Consultants in Peoria, Glendale, Sun City West, and Wickenburg, Arizona, can help. They use state-of-the-art diagnostic testing to find out what’s causing your shortness of breath and provide a range of cutting-edge treatments to relieve your symptoms. To find out why you have shortness of breath and how to overcome it, call Cardiac Care Consultants today or schedule an appointment online.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath (dyspnea) is the feeling that you can’t take in enough air. It’s normal to experience shortness of breath when you’re physically active, have nasal congestion, or feel strong emotions like fear and excitement. However, you should recover quite quickly with no harmful effects.

However, shortness of breath can sometimes be a symptom of underlying health problems. This could be the case if you don’t recover well after exertion or you feel short of breath and have additional issues such as severe chest tightness, a sensation of pressure in your chest, syncope (fainting), chest pain, and extreme fatigue.

Other signs of underlying conditions include experiencing shortness of breath for no reason (when you’re at rest, for example) or getting very short of breath with minimal physical exertion. You might even have such difficulty breathing that you feel like you’re suffocating.

These feelings can be due to problems like asthma and allergies, pneumonia, or a panic attack. However, as they are often signs of a cardiovascular problem, it’s vital to get a prompt diagnosis.

What heart conditions cause shortness of breath?

If your shortness of breath is due to a heart condition, some of the more likely problems include:

  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Pericarditis
  • Myocarditis
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Structural or valvular heart disease

If your shortness of breath begins suddenly and you have symptoms like nausea with chest pain that radiates into your arm or jaw, you could be having a heart attack. Immediate medical treatment is essential, so you should call 911.

How is the cause of shortness of breath diagnosed?

Several diagnostic procedures can help identify the root cause of cardiovascular shortness of breath, including:

  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Echocardiogram (heart ultrasound)
  • Transesophageal echocardiogram (TEE)
  • Venous Doppler
  • Exercise stress test
  • Nuclear stress test
  • Angiography
  • Holter or event monitor
  • Multi-acquisition gated scan (MUGA)

After reviewing the results of your tests, your symptoms, and your medical history, your provider at Cardiac Care Consultants can determine why you’re suffering from shortness of breath and recommend an appropriate treatment.

What treatment might I need for shortness of breath?

The Cardiac Care Consultants team develops a treatment plan customized to your unique needs. Depending on the cause of your shortness of breath, your plan may include:

  • Medication
  • Cardioversion
  • Cardiac ablation
  • Balloon angioplasty with stenting
  • Atherectomy 
  • Pacemaker or ICD (implantable cardioverter-defibrillator) implantation
  • MitraClip™ implantation
  • WATCHMAN™ implantation
  • CardioMEMS™ implantation
  • Cardiac rehabilitation

Lifestyle changes are almost always recommended as well, such as weight loss, quitting smoking and drinking, improving diet, and exercising regularly.

If you’re experiencing unusual shortness of breath, visit Cardiac Care Consultants for an expert diagnosis and treatments that work. Call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.