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Symptom Checker

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Shortness of Breath in Adults

The sensation of not getting enough air can be caused by a variety of conditions including

  • anxiety and panic disorder

  • obstruction to airflow in the bronchial tubes, such as asthma or bronchitis

  • a process that fills up air sacs in the lungs, such as pneumonia

  • fluid in or around the lungs

  • impaired movement of blood through the lungs so less oxygen gets picked up (for example, blood clots in the lungs)

  • a low red blood cell count (anemia) with low hemoglobin levels that can't carry enough oxygen to the body

  • a weak diaphragm and weak chest wall muscles that won't pull enough air into the lungs (muscle or nerve diseases).

Let's first address whether you have symptoms of an infection, such as bronchitis or pneumonia.

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