Shortness of breath and heart failure

Depending on the stage of heart failure, shortness of breath may occur:

  • With exertion or exercise.
  • At rest.
  • While lying down (orthopnea). This often is relieved by sitting up or standing.
  • At night and may be accompanied by waking up coughing and/or wheezing, rapid heart rate, and a feeling of being suffocated (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea).

Last Updated: December 12, 2008

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