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What is breathlessness?

Breathlessness is a symptom that is felt when a person’s magnitude of breathing feels disproportionate to the amount of effort they are expending when exerting themselves, or when severe even at rest.

What causes breathlessness?

There are many systems involved in the exercise response and can lead to breathlessness:

Any of these may result in either an increased need to breathe or increased effort to breathe.

Consultant Respiratory Physician, Professor Michael Polkey goes into more detail about the causes of being short of breath in this article.

How is breathlessness investigated?

Usually a clinical history can narrow down which system needs investigating further, but sometimes it is necessary to undertake a wider series of tests to pinpoint the cause. Only by achieving an accurate diagnosis can you expect to be given the most effective treatment(s). The tests frequently used to investigate breathlessness are:

Our group of leading consultant respiratory physicians and radiologists at OneWelbeck Lung Health work together using the latest diagnostic medical technology at custom-built, day-case facilities to investigate any symptoms and ensure you receive the best available care. They work closely with the cardiology team at OneWelbeck Heart Health to provide a seamless and integrated approach to your diagnostic pathway and management.