What symptoms, along with shortness of breath, are serious?
Here are 3 signs that your breathing difficulties need immediate medical intervention:
- Chest pain, nausea, fainting – if your shortness of breath is accompanied by any of these 3 symptoms, you could be experiencing a heart or vascular episode.
- Acute or severe – if your shortness of breath comes on suddenly, you need to see a doctor immediately.
- Interferes with life – if you are unable to continue to function due to shortness of breath, you need to go to Advance ER right away.
Having shortness of breath can be a normal part of life. If you’ve been exercising or been physically active, it’s common to experience some temporary changes in breathing. However, when shortness of breath comes on suddenly and you’re not sure what’s wrong, then it’s time to go to Advance ER where board-certified physicians are ready to help you at a moment’s notice.
What causes shortness of breath?
Here is a short list of many different things that could be causing your breathing difficulties:
- Fluid around the heart
- Low blood pressure
- Blood clot
- Heart failure
- Blockage in airway
- Heart or lung disease
What tests will be run by my Advance ER doctor?
Your physician will immediately treat your breathing problem if you are in distress. “After the patient’s breathing is more stable, we will do a complete physical exam including blood pressure, listening to the heart and lungs and checking the abdomen,” said Advance ER Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nick Peters. “After that, we will do a blood test to check for infection and pulmonary function tests to check oxygen levels and more. These tests will help us narrow down the cause of your breathing problem.”
I’ve had breathing problems off and on for a long time. Is this something to worry about?
“If you’ve been experiencing a chronic case of shortness of breath—especially with chest pain, wheezing, coughing, swollen ankles or other symptoms—it could be one of several serious conditions,” said Dr. Peters. “It’s a good idea to come in right away if you are having trouble breathing so we can try to help you. If it’s a disease or long-term condition, you need to know how to treat it as soon as possible.”
Advance ER is available in two locations for your convenience:
Advance ER – Galleria Area
Advance ER – Park Cities
Meet Dr. Nick Peters
Nick Peters, M.D., FACEP, is board-certified in emergency medicine. He received his medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine, Omaha, NE, and he completed two emergency medicine programs from LAC King/Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, and University of Arizona Medical Center, Tucson, AZ.
Dr. Peters’ two decades of experience includes his past positions as the Medical Director and Chairman of Emergency Medicine for a major hospital, Regional Medical Director, and Vice President of Medical Operations for a national health care provider. He transitioned from corporate medicine to become a founding Managing Partner and the Chief Medical Officer for Advance ER where his commitment to quality patient service continues.