If you’re having trouble breathing, there are many things that could be wrong with your heart. It could happen all at once or over time. It can also happen only when you’re doing something physical or when you’re in a stressful scenario.

Unexplained breathlessness should never be ignored because it could indicate a significant underlying health problem.

A visit to a cardiologist is essential if you have cardiac problems. Heart disease symptoms vary widely, necessitating a thorough examination to diagnose and address issues.

Shortness of breath may be a symptom that your heart isn’t working as it should.

The following is a list of heart problems that can cause Shortness of Breath and are frequently diagnosed.

Shortness of breath could be a warning sign of Coronary Artery Disease

The Left and Right coronary arteries are the two primary arteries that deliver blood to the heart. These arteries may develop issues, potentially resulting in serious and life-threatening disorders.

Most people in the US have coronary artery disease (CAD), which happens when plaque builds up in the walls of the coronary arteries, causing them to narrow and eventually close off.

These cholesterol-rich fatty deposits (plaques) reduce blood flow to the heart muscle, causing Angina and increasing the risk of a heart attack. Symptoms may not develop until blood flow has been significantly reduced.

Shortness of breath, especially after exercise, is an atypical Angina symptom that could be caused by underlying CAD.

Breathlessness could also indicate Heart attack risk

It happens when the heart muscle lacks oxygen and nourishment.

Unfortunately, you may not notice any signs or symptoms of coronary artery disease until you have a heart attack. As a result, it’s critical to establish a solid, collaborative relationship with your physician for heart disease prevention and early detection. This is especially true if you have CAD risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, smoking, or a family history of the illness.

While chest pain is the most typical sign of a heart attack, patients, particularly women, may experience shortness of breath and exhaustion that worsens.

You may notice a loss of energy or breathlessness after light exercise, which you may ascribe to aging, lack of physical activity, or weight increase, but these could be early indicators of heart disease or a heart attack.

It could be symptoms of Heart failure

A condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood, oxygen, and other nutrients is known as heart failure. This can be caused by a sick heart muscle that is too weak to pump enough blood to the body (heart failure with reduced ejection fraction) or a thick, stiff heart muscle that does not relax sufficiently to be filled with blood (heart failure with reduced ejection fraction) (heart failure with preserved ejection fraction)

The most common sign of heart failure is shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is an uncomfortable sensation that can make you feel suffocated. It begins with exercise but can worsen to the point where it happens at rest in extreme situations. It’s usually worst while you’re resting flat on your back, and sufferers will occasionally wake up and sit up to regain their breath.

CAD, long-term hypertension, and a damaged heart are all causes of heart failure. Cardiomyopathy is a condition of the heart muscle that can be genetic or related to disorders such as hypertension, coronary artery disease, and sarcoidosis. Infections that directly harm the heart (myocarditis) can also impair the heart muscle. For example, there have been several accounts of Covid 19 producing myocarditis and finally cardiomyopathy and heart failure.

It is critical to detect and treat heart failure as soon as possible. There are tests available to assist determine the cause of heart failure, as well as treatments that have been demonstrated to enhance quality of life, minimize hospitalizations, and reduce heart failure-related death.

Cardiac arrhythmia

Shortness of breath can be caused by heart rhythm abnormalities, which are conditions in which your heart beats irregularly, out of step, too fast or too slow.

An arrhythmia could be a sign of something little or something more dangerous. Shortness of breath and dizziness are common symptoms that require a specialist’s attention.

Shortness of breath could be due to Valvular Heart Disease

The usual function of heart valves is to execute two tasks. 1. Allow blood to flow freely. 2. Keep blood flowing in one direction while preventing blood from spilling in the opposite direction.
When the heart valves do not fully open, a narrowing of the valvular opening is known as stenosis.

If this is severe, it can cause shortness of breath due to valve illness or because it leads to cardiomyopathy and lung disease. Regurgitation occurs when a valve becomes sick and does not close entirely, allowing blood to seep backwards.

If severe enough, regurgitation can cause shortness of breath. A comprehensive physical exam and procedures such as an Echocardiogram can easily diagnose valvular heart disease.

Early treatment of heart valve disease, before patients develop cardiomyopathy and other irreversible complications of valvular heart disease, such as lung illness, is more effective.

Shortness of breath could be a symptom of Pericarditis

Pericarditis is an inflammation of the pericardium, which is made up of two thin layers of tissue that surround the heart. You may have chest pain and shortness of breath if you have pericarditis. Pericarditis can be caused by viral infections or autoimmune diseases.

Pericarditis usually goes away on its own, but because it can be severe or chronic, it’s critical to figure out what’s causing it and treat it.

Image Credit: Getty

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