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What causes shortness of breath and sore throat? 15 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.


Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, is your body's response to specific allergens. It causes uncomfortable symptoms like sneezing and itchy eyes.

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Cold and Flu Overview

Common colds and influenza are contagious infections that affect the respiratory system. Both are airborne illnesses, spread through coughing and sneezing. Shared symptoms include headache, cough, sore throat, and more.

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This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Epiglottitis is characterized by inflamed tissue in your epiglottis. It's a potentially life-threatening illness. The epiglottis is at the base of the tongue.

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Chronic Bronchitis

People often develop acute bronchitis after a viral chest infection. Blue-colored lips ankle or foot swelling can result.

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Swine Flu

Swine flu, also known as H1N1, is a highly contagious virus with symptoms similar to common influenza types. It spreads quickly from person to person, and can linger on tables and surface areas.

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Allergic Asthma

If you ever have trouble breathing during allergy season, you may have allergic asthma. Allergic asthma is asthma caused by an allergic reaction. It is also called allergy-induced asthma. People with allergic asthm...

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Chronic Laryngitis

Laryngitis occurs when your voice box (larynx) and vocal cords become swollen and irritated. This fairly common condition often causes hoarseness or loss of voice. A range of issues can cause laryngitis, includin...

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Bird Flu

Bird flu, also called avian influenza, is a viral infection that can also infect humans and other animals. However, most forms of the virus are restricted to birds. H5N1 is also the most common form of bird flu. No...

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Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis, or "mono," is a group of symptoms caused by the Epstein-Barr virus. One potential symptom is a pink rash that looks like the measles.

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Croup is a viral condition that causes swelling around the vocal cords. It is characterized by breathing difficulties and a bad cough that sounds like a barking seal. Many of the viruses responsible for croup also caus...

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Diphtheria is a sometimes fatal bacterial infection that affects the nose and throat's membranes. Diptheria of the skin may show up as a red rash.

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Chlorine Poisoning

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Chlorine poisoning can occur when you swallow or inhale chlorine. It reacts with water inside and outside of the body to form dangerous compounds. It can cause digestive, respiratory, skin, and circulatory problems.

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Neutropenia occurs when a type of white blood cell called neutrophils that protects your body from infections is low. It can cause symptoms like gum inflammation and mouth sores.

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SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome)

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is a particularly serious form of viral pneumonia. In addition to fever, dry cough, breathing problems, and several other symptoms, one symptom of SARS is a rash.

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Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus that attacks the body's nervous system. It is most likely to be contracted by children under five years old.

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This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.