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Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Shortness of Breath in Adults

You have decided to explore what might cause a person to have shortness of breath with exertion. This is sometimes a symptom of heart failure from fluid backing up in the lungs because of abnormal heart function.

Do you have any of the following symptoms?

  • shortness of breath or a cough that is worse when lying down

  • need to prop yourself up with pillows to fall asleep

  • swollen legs

  • history of heart disease.

Yes, I have one or more of these symptoms.

No, none of these apply to me.

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