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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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What causes random shortness of breath

Answered by
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Dr. Shoaib Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 9409 Questions

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Posted on Thu, 21 Aug 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Question: I have shortness of breath daily random timez and really bad when I go to bed at night I have no heart problems or brain issues and no asthma what can cause this
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
?? stress, panic, anxiety attacks

Detailed Answer:
Hello sir and welcome.

Thank you for writing to us.

I have gone through your query with diligence and would like you to know that I am here to help.

If you do not mind me asking you, did you ever report to a doctor or clinic during any of these breathlessness episodes? If yes, was your SPO2 (oxygen blood saturation) ever measure during any visits to the doctor or clinic?

If yes, then could you please provide me with that information? If not, then could you try to report to a doctor or clinic and get your SPO2 checked (measured in percentage; usually above 95 % in a normal individual) as soon as (during) these episodes? Thank you so much for this.

I shall now explain this to you in a manner best understood by you sir. The SPO2 helps in indicating whether or not an individual is receiving the amount of oxygen required. If there are any abnormalities in the respiratory system, nervous system or cardiovascular system, there will be a drop in the SPO2 undoubtedly (eg. respiratory obstruction by foreign body, pneumonia, cardiac events, etc.).

But if the SPO2 is normal, and the breathlessness is still present there are only a very few conditions that can be suspected:
-Panic attacks
-Anxiety attacks
-High levels of stress (but this takes place less frequently)

So in my opinion, if everything else was found to be normal one of these conditions can be suspected. Do you experience a lot of anxiety, are under a lot of stress or panic easily? If you do, then this is most probably the cause for your presentation sir.

I hope you find my response helpful. Please write back to me with your view or information on my questions for you sir, I would be more than happy to assist you further.

Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Shoaib Khan 2 hours later
I just went and bought a oxygen level monitor is this the same thing that is at the doctors and the percentage has not gone under 95% for the spoc
doctor
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Then my suspicion was correct sir

Detailed Answer:
Hello once again sir.

Yes it is sir. And if the percentage has not gone below 95 %, then my suspicion is right. Your breathlessness is most probably due to stress, panic or anxiety sir. Have you experienced this anytime in the past?

Please schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist who will guide you further with management of your symptoms sir.

I hope you find my response helpful. Please feel free to write back to me anytime, I am always available to help.

Best of luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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