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Breathlessness

Shortness of Breath

Not being able to get enough air is one of the most frightening sensations we can experience. Shortness of breath is mainly described as an overwhelming tightening in the chest, difficulty in getting enough air and gasping for air. Although this can occur at rest, it is often associated with exertion. Breathlessness that occurs when performing usual daily activities or mild exercise tends to be sign of underlying health problems, usually affecting the heart or the lungs. 

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Treatment of breathlessness is aimed at addressing both the underlying cause and improving patients’ symptoms. Medical therapy also plays an important role at reducing hospital admissions and prolonging patient survival. Occasionally, invasive treatments are required to address the underlying pathology which can include the treatment of heart valve and coronary artery disease, pacemaker implantation and ablation procedures.

Examples of how shortness of breath can be experienced in different individuals can be found here 

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Adults who lead an ordinary life but undertake little or no exercise
aerobic exercise
Fit adults who routinely undertake aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming and high-intensity interval training (HIIT): 
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Senior adults, usually independent of their daily activities, who gradually have to reduce what they can do because of breathlessness:

At the Cambridge Cardiology Clinic, a consultation with one of our cardiology consultants can help you go through your symptoms and guide further investigations, and treatment, if required.

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