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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

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We have covered the more common reasons for shortness of breath. There are still other possibilities to consider. For example, shortness of breath can occur if fluid accumulates around the lung, called a pleural effusion.

Another rare cause of shortness of breath is a nerve or muscle disease that weakens the diaphragm and chest muscles. With a nerve or muscle disease, there will almost always be other areas of the body involved. For example, you might notice that your legs or arms are weak or you may have numbness and tingling.

Contact your doctor for advice and to arrange an appointment.

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