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Shortness Of Breath

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center

Cardiovascular Disease Specialists & Interventional Cardiologists located in North Houston, Tomball, TX

Though you may develop shortness of breath from a range of causes, it most often occurs when there’s a problem with your heart and lungs. At Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center in Tomball, Texas, Waqar Khan, MD, MPH, FACC, FSCAI, Alexander Trujillo, MD, and Steven Napierkowski, MD, offer comprehensive exams and state-of-the-art testing to determine the underlying cause of your shortness of breath. For expert care with exceptional service, call the office or book online today.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a frightening symptom that may make it feel as though you’re suffocating or unable to take in enough air.

Strenuous exercise, hot temperatures, and high altitudes are common causes of shortness of breath in healthy people. However, if you experience shortness of breath outside of these circumstances, then there may be an underlying medical condition causing your symptoms. 

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center is a state-of-the-art cardiac care facility, and the cardiovascular disease specialists can get you the answers you need. 


What causes shortness of breath?

Your heart and lungs deliver oxygen-rich blood throughout your body and remove and excrete carbon dioxide. Most medical causes of shortness of breath develop due to a problem with your heart or lungs.

The cardiovascular disease specialists at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center can determine if your shortness of breath is related to a cardiac or vascular condition, such as:

  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Heart attack
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Pericarditis
  • Cardiomyopathy

Other potential causes of shortness of breath may include asthma, allergic reaction, or pneumonia. A panic attack may also cause shortness of breath. 


How is shortness of breath diagnosed?

When you visit Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center with concerns about shortness of breath, you can expect a comprehensive evaluation focused on finding the root cause of your symptoms.

During the exam, your provider reviews your symptoms and medical history and performs a physical. To confirm or rule out a diagnosis, they may request diagnostic tests, such as:

  • Bloodwork
  • Hemodynamics
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • Stress test
  • Echocardiogram
  • Carotid ultrasound
  • Abdominal aortic ultrasound
  • Nuclear stress test
  • Vascular imaging
  • PET (positron emission tomography) scan

Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center also offers Holter and event monitoring, which measures electrical activity in your heart over a period of time, usually 24 hours. 


How is shortness of breath treated?

Your provider at Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center develops a personalized treatment plan for your shortness of breath based on your diagnosis, medical history, and overall health.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Diet modification
  • Exercise program
  • Stress management
  • Disease-specific medication

When needed, the cardiovascular disease specialists also perform surgical procedures, including minimally invasive endovascular procedures, to correct issues that lead to shortness of breath.

Shortness of breath is a symptom that may indicate a problem with your heart. For expert cardiac care, contact Lone Star Heart and Vascular Center by phone or online today.