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A to Z: Dyspnea

A to Z: Dyspnea

May also be called: Shortness of Breath; Breathing Difficulty; Breathlessness

Dyspnea (disp-NEE-uh) is difficult or labored breathing.

More to Know

Many things can trigger an episode of dyspnea, including respiratory tract infections, asthma, exercise, stress, allergic reactions, higher altitudes, obesity, and certain medications.

A small amount of breathing difficulty can be expected from time to time and usually is not a cause for concern.

Keep in Mind

Dyspnea is a common condition and most episodes of breathing difficulty are brief. If breathing difficulty is severe, persists, or flares up regularly, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition and should be checked out by a doctor.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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