Connect with others who understand.

sign up log in
About MyHeartDiseaseTeam

Shortness of Breath and Heart Disease

Posted on October 09, 2019


Members of MyHeartDiseaseTeam often describe shortness of breath (also known as SOB) as one of their most common - and most frustrating - symptoms. “I have shortness of breath,” said one member. “Very annoying. Walking upstairs, going for walks, doing the dishes, anything physical. Has been going on for a very long time.” “I get short of breath if I bend over to take off my shoes and sit back up again,” wrote another member. If you have trouble with shortness of breath, you’re not alone.

Many members on MyHeartDiseaseTeam experience shortness of breath as a direct symptom of heart disease. In heart failure, an advanced form of heart disease, the heart can no longer pump blood effectively to supply the body with enough oxygen. Some MyHeartDiseaseTeam members notice worsening shortness of breath when their doctor measures a lower ejection fraction (the percentage of blood that is pumped out of the heart with each contraction). “Had an angiogram in November and my heart muscle is only operating at 35%,” said one member. “Very good indication why I have shortness of breath.”

Respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are also common in MyHeartDiseaseTeam members. Those who live with both heart disease and a lung condition may be even more likely to experience shortness of breath. “I have COPD and congestive heart failure. And today I feel like someone is sitting on my chest, like it feels thick. Hard to get a clean, easy breath,” described one member.

Some MyHeartDiseaseTeam members associate shortness of breath with certain medications. “Some of the meds that I take list shortness of breath as a side effect. I would rather have that than angina,” commented one member. “Just a part of heart disease.” Beta blockers, a class of drugs commonly prescribed for heart disease, sometimes list shortness of breath as a potential side effect.

Many MyHeartDiseaseTeam members recognize the importance of exercise for improving breathlessness. At the same time, SOB sometimes makes exercise more difficult. One member wrote, “I haven't been able to walk more than 15 minutes without getting extremely breathless for months.”

Several MyHeartDiseaseTeam members describe ways they have found to improve their shortness of breath:

  • Cardiac rehab: “Rehab will put you on the road to recovery. Keep @ it. 👍”

  • Slow walking: “Instead of my usual break-neck speed, I walked at a slow, easy pace. I managed 25 minutes!!!!”

  • Yoga: “I’ve been doing restorative yoga with simple stretching which has been extremely helpful…”

  • Surgery: “All the shortness of breath is gone after mitral valve replacement and triple bypass done 5/10/17.”

  • Acupuncture: “Had an acupuncture treatment last Thursday, which kept shortness of breath at bay for about three days.”

On MyHeartDiseaseTeam, the social support network for people living with heart disease, shortness of breath is a frequent topic of conversation.

 

Here are some conversations about shortness of breath:

 

Here are some question-and-answer threads about shortness of breath:

 

How do you cope with shortness of breath? Have you found anything that helps? Share below or post on MyHeartDiseaseTeam

All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

Related articles

People with atrial fibrillation, or AFib, have an increased risk of stroke. A stroke is a medical...

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib) and Stroke: How To Recognize and Respond to a Stroke

People with atrial fibrillation, or AFib, have an increased risk of stroke. A stroke is a medical...
Symptoms of heart disease vary from person to person. Symptoms are influenced by the type of...

Symptoms of Heart Disease

Symptoms of heart disease vary from person to person. Symptoms are influenced by the type of...
The past several weeks have been unprecedented in our lifetime. Social distancing, sheltering in...

COVID-19 and Heart Disease: Are You At a Greater Risk?

The past several weeks have been unprecedented in our lifetime. Social distancing, sheltering in...
Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? You’re not alone. Insomnia affects up to 44...

Insomnia and Sleep Problems with Heart Disease

Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep? You’re not alone. Insomnia affects up to 44...
“Legs are cramping so bad I am almost in tears.” A MyHeartDiseaseTeam member “I still cope with...

Leg Cramps and Heart Disease

“Legs are cramping so bad I am almost in tears.” A MyHeartDiseaseTeam member “I still cope with...
By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay ReporterWEDNESDAY, Oct. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Brisk autumn...

Cold, Windy Days Can Strain the Heart

By Dennis Thompson, HealthDay ReporterWEDNESDAY, Oct. 24, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Brisk autumn...

Recent articles

Lifestyle modifications are meant to supplement medical and surgical treatment for hypertrophic...

Lifestyle Changes With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Lifestyle modifications are meant to supplement medical and surgical treatment for hypertrophic...
Reducing your intake of certain foods can help you manage heart conditions like atrial...

Foods To Avoid When You Have Heart Disease

Reducing your intake of certain foods can help you manage heart conditions like atrial...
Many treatments are available for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and new treatments are on...

How Is Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Treated?

Many treatments are available for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), and new treatments are on...
The food you eat affects your blood pressure. If you live with high blood pressure, making...

Foods To Avoid With High Blood Pressure

The food you eat affects your blood pressure. If you live with high blood pressure, making...
Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) is a rare condition that can cause an arrhythmia, or...

Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome: Your Guide

Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (WPW) is a rare condition that can cause an arrhythmia, or...
Our bodies need magnesium to function properly, but its importance is often overlooked. Several...

Is Magnesium Good for Heart Disease? A Review of the Evidence

Our bodies need magnesium to function properly, but its importance is often overlooked. Several...
MyHeartDiseaseTeam My heart disease Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close