Common Causes for Shortness of Breath

Breathing is an important part of everyday life. Every cell in our body depends on this subtle, but vital function. Unfortunately, some may experience frequent problems with breathing and even shortness of breath. According to the CDC, almost 16% of American experience breathing problems. For some, breathing problems are only acute – meaning short term. For others, the problems may be more chronic. Depending on your situation, you may want to seek help from a specialist like Dr. Shukla who can assist you in understanding and managing your breathing problems. It is important to determine some of the most common causes for shortness of breath to determine if you should seek help from a specialist.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD)

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, also known as COPD is a type of lung disease. Common cases of COPD include emphysema and bronchitis. COPD makes it exceedingly difficult for sufferers to breathe and they may experience wheezing and a tightness in the chest. They may also experience a chronic cough or need to constantly clear their throat. Often, these conditions are caused by smoking and exposure to irritants in the air. Sadly, there is no cure for more serious COPD conditions, but treatments can ease breathing problems and improve quality of life.


Asthma is an inflammatory disease which affects the lungs. Those affected with asthma often experience tightness of the chest, coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. This happens because the lining of air passages become inflamed and the muscles tighten around them. There are various types and degrees of severity when it comes to asthma. The most common types include allergic and non-allergic asthma and exercise-induced asthma. The cause of asthma is often unclear, but genetic and environmental factors can influence the severity of this condition. Since asthma is often chronic, it is important to seek out appropriate treatment options to manage your symptoms. This can help make breathing easier and reduce the risk for serious lung damage. For professional asthma treatment from the premier asthma doctor in New York City, click here.


Sinusitis is a minor condition which can cause breathing problems. The condition occurs when the lining of the sinuses in the nose cavity become inflamed. Often, sinusitis is caused by a viral infection and excessive mucus production which drains through the nose. Other sinusitis symptoms include headache, toothache, fever, and tenderness felt in the cheeks and forehead.

Congestive Heart Failure

Various heart problems can also lead to breathing issues. Congestive heart failure is a chronic condition which affects your heart’s pumping ability. This typically leads to fluid buildup within and around the heart which, eventually, leads to this fluid being pumped into other parts of the body, including the lungs. Hence, the fluid buildup can cause serious breathing problems. Congestive heart failure is a serious, life-threatening condition which should be addressed as early as possible for the best treatment path.

Asthma Doctor in New York City

Although these are the most common causes for shortness of breath, other causes include anemia, lung cancer, anxiety, pneumothorax, obesity, and various other conditions. While shortness of breath can be a result of minor or environmental circumstances, it is important to understand your symptoms and take appropriate action, when necessary. If you suspect your shortness of breath is indicating a more serious condition, contact Dr. Shukla today.

About Dr. Shukla: For over 15 years as an asthma doctor in NYC, Dr. Mayank Shukla has successfully worked as a pulmonologist who utilizes a unique approach to help treat patients suffering with asthma, allergies, and sleep disorders. Although he treats both adults and children in the NYC area, he finds it particularly fulfilling to help children breathe easier and manage their unique variety of conditions.

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