Let's see if we can figure out what's causing your shortness of breath.
Select additional symptoms and we'll narrow your results.

What causes shortness of breath? 180 possible conditions

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



What is anxiety? Anxiety often manifests itself as an apprehension about daily life. Learn the basics with this overview of the types of anxiety disorders.

Read more »


COPD Overview

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is a lung condition usually caused by smoking. It makes breathing difficult, and wheezing, tightness in chest, and chest infections are common.

Read more »


RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) Infection

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common virus that causes infections of the lungs and airways. Common symptoms include fever, wheezing, and bluish skin from oxygen deprivation.

Read more »



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...

Read more »


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.

Read more »


The Atypical Facts About Atypical Pneumonia

Pneumonia is an infection that causes inflammation of the lungs. Atypical pneumonia is a kind that isn't caused by the bacteria that causes typical pneumonia.

Read more »


Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome

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

Adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe lung condition that occurs when fluid fills up the air sacs in your lungs. Common symptoms include labored breathing, fever, fast pulse, and blue skin or nails.

Read more »


Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is a condition chararcterized by persistent anxiety and recurrent panic attacks. Sweating or chills are possible signs of a panic attack.

Read more »


Swallowed (or Inhaled) Foreign Object

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

Anyone can swallow a foreign object. However, infants and toddlers have a natural tendency to put things in their mouths, which puts them at higher risk.

Read more »


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.

Read more »


Pulmonary Embolism

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

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that affects blood flow to the lungs. It can damage part of the lung due to restricted blood flow, decrease blood oxygen. The most common symptom is shortness of breath.

Read more »



Hyperventilation happens when you suddenly start breathing very quickly. Exhaling more than you inhale causes low carbon dioxide levels.

Read more »


Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a recessive genetic disorder that affects cells that produce mucous, sweat, and digestive juices. It may cause severe problems in the lungs, pancreas, liver, and intestine

Read more »


Hypertensive Heart Disease

Hypertensive heart disease refers to heart conditions caused by high blood pressure. Possible signs of acute hypertension include sweating and chills.

Read more »


Cor Pulmonare

Cor pulmonale causes the right ventricle to enlarge and pump blood less effectively than it should. Shortness of breath, chronic cough, and a blue tint to the mouth and fingernails are all symptoms.

Read more »


Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Overview

CAD occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries begin to narrow due to the build-up of cholesterol and plaque. The blockage of one of these arteries leads to a heart attack.

Read more »



Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more. BMI is calculated using a person's weight and height. It can lead to other conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Read more »


Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm and into your chest cavity. Common symptoms include heartburn, belching, and abdominal discomfort.

Read more »


Atrial Fibrillation and Flutter

Atrial fibrillation and atrial flutter are irregular heart rhythms that occur when the upper chambers of your heart (the atria) beat too fast.Atrial fibrillation can be sustained or can occur in bursts. It creates a...

Read more »


Spinal Cord Injury

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

A spinal cord injury, or damage to the spinal cord, is an extremely serious type of physical trauma. It will likely have a lasting and significant impact on most aspects of daily life. According to the Nationa...

Read more »

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