Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston
Cardiologists located in Houston, TX & Cypress, TX
Underlying issues with your heart or lungs can lead to occasional or persistent episodes of shortness of breath. At the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston, with offices in Houston and North Cypress, Texas, the cardiologists offer onsite diagnostic testing. They work to uncover the root cause of your breathing issues and customize a treatment plan to address lung disease, heart disease, or lifestyle factors that contribute to shortness of breath. Call the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston office nearest you to schedule a diagnostic evaluation or request an appointment online today.
Shortness of Breath Q & A
What causes shortness of breath?
Shortness of breath describes the sensation that you can’t take in enough air to breathe. You may experience sudden shortness of breath when you engage in strenuous activities or feel strong emotions or anxiety. Obesity can also contribute to shortness of breath.
You might also develop difficulties breathing gradually over time due to underlying lung or heart issues. Some of the underlying causes of shortness of breath that may require medical intervention include:
- Heart attack
- Heart disease
- Low blood pressure
- Arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
- Blood clot in the lung (pulmonary embolism)
Shortness of breath is also a common side effect of chronic lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and pulmonary hypertension.
A common cause of shortness of breath the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston treats is congestive heart failure. This condition develops when your heart can’t pump enough blood to supply the rest of your body. As a result, excess fluid builds-up and can cause leg swelling and chronic fatigue.
How is shortness of breath diagnosed?
To diagnose the underlying cause of your shortness of breath, the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston takes time to review your personal and family medical history. Your cardiologist also discusses any other symptoms you might be having along with your breathing issues.
They also physically examine you, listening to your lungs and heart for signs of infection, obstructions, or an irregular heartbeat. You may need blood work to rule out infections or a pulmonary function test that measures how much air you can move in and out of your lungs.
If your shortness of breath relates to congestive heart failure, you may need an echocardiogram or stress test to measure your heart’s activity.
How is shortness of breath treated?
Once the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston determines the root cause of your shortness of breath, you receive a customized treatment plan to improve your breathing. Treatment options may include:
If you struggle to breathe due to obesity, your cardiologist can help you make lifestyle and dietary modifications to help you lose and maintain a healthy weight.
Medications may be necessary to eliminate excess fluid in your body that causes leg swelling and interferes with your breathing. You may also need medications to treat asthma, lung disease, and low blood pressure.
If you have an arrhythmia, you may need a permanent pacemaker to regulate your heart if it’s beating too fast, too slow, or erratically.
If your shortness of breath relates to heart failure not treatable with medications, you may need bypass surgery to open blocked arteries or surgery to repair or replace damaged valves.
To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for shortness of breath, call the Heart Care Center of Northwest Houston office nearest you or request an appointment through the online booking system today.