What Are The Conditions That Can Trigger Dyspnea?

Dyspnea can be triggered due to a number of health conditions. Know what the conditions that can trigger dyspnea.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Jun 19, 2021Updated at: Jun 19, 2021
What Are The Conditions That Can Trigger Dyspnea?

Shortness of breath can be because of multiple reasons. In the current scenario, if a person is suffering from shortness of breath, it is assumed to be a symptom of COVID. However, many other diseases can also result in shortness of breath. Dyspnea is a condition in which a person has difficulty in breathing. Dyspnea is a medical term for shortness of breath which can be very mild at most times but in some cases it turns severe. It gives a very uncomfortable feeling and if this goes for a while it can turn into a medical emergency as well. Let us know what conditions can affect Dyspnea. 

Inputs taken from Dr. Rakesh Tyagi, General Physician from BNK Hospital, Varanasi

Cause of Dyspnea

This condition is not always related to medical health of a person. Sometimes it can also be caused due to running for very long or after you get exhausted. A person can feel shortness of breath due to multiple reasons which can include-

  • Going to high altitudes
  • Major temperature changes
  • Intense exercises
  • Running or swimming


These are some common examples when shortness of breath cannot be termed as a medical condition as it comes naturally. But in other cases Dyspnea can be caused by health problems and diseases. Most common diseases that lead to dyspnea are asthma, heart failure chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease, pneumonia and psychogenic disorders usually related to anxiety. If shortness of breath occurs suddenly then the condition is called acute case of dyspnea. 

Conditions Leading to Acute Dyspnea

Here are some conditions due to which a person can have sudden shortness of breath. It is important for that person to take medical test and seek help to overcome disease or health disorders.

Acute Dyspnea could be because of-

  • Asthma
  • Pneumonia
  • Choking the passageway
  • Anemia
  • Allergic reactions
  • Hypotension
  • Loss of blood
  • Heart failure
  • Serious loss of sugar from the body
  • Extreme levels of carbon monoxide emissions
  • Anxiety
  • Collapsed lung
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Hiatal hernia


Dyspnea is common for people with terminal illness. People suffer from shortness of breath for long period of time and that can cause chronic dyspnea. It can lead to multiple health problems and result in following conditions like Asthma, COPD, heart problems, obesity, interstitial pulmonary fibrosis and traumatic lung injury. All of these can be a condition to chronic dyspnea. This can be critical because most of these health disorders are very serious issues and even slight complication can lead to severity and life-threatening consequences.

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What Can Trigger Dyspnea?

Here are some following conditions that usually trigger Dyspnea in most people especially kids. 

1. Environmental pollution and waste in air such as chemical, fumes, dust and smoke which makes it difficult for the person to breath. Youngsters and children are at even more risk because they can catch some serious health issues related to lungs and heart disorders. 

2. People with asthma may also find it comparatively difficult to cope up with allergens like pollen and mold which may later trigger serious condition of dyspnea. Dyspnea also occurs to be symptoms for asthma.


3. Tobacco smoking can cause serious harm to health; one can prevent himself from smoking and being in such areas. 

4. COPD creates problems with lungs and many patients of this obstructive lung disease have a chance of triggering emphysema and chronic bronchitis. 

5. Most people who visit doctors for dyspnea were or had been active tobacco consumers and hence it can be a trigger for dyspnea for sure.

Complications Of Dyspnea

Most of the complications have already been listed above as conditions leading to chronic or acute dyspnea. But there are some complications which can also arise due to dyspnea. Hypoxia and Hypoxemia are two complications which arise due to shortness of breath. It happens due to lower levels of oxygen in the body. This situation can lead to decreased consciousness among people suffering from it and other severe complications related to reaction time and mental health. Dyspnea also increases the chances of having permanent or temporary cognitive impairment if the condition worsens.

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Dyspnea is also referred as shortness of breath. There can be conditions where dyspnea cannot be termed as medical because shortness of breath can occur even after intense exercise or at high altitudes. However, it is also true that in most cases pollution and tobacco consumptions are the major cause of Dyspnea. This condition can become severe when it is connected to some other disease such as asthma, heart problems, hypotension and anxiety etc. If a person suffers from shortness of breath for a long time, then it is best to consult a doctor and get yourself tested.

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