home
RSS
February 19th, 2009
09:00 AM ET

Why do I awaken with shortness of breath?

As a new feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers’ questions. Here’s a question for Dr. Gupta.

Asked by Lucinda, Manhattan, Kansas

"I wake up several times a night with shortness of breath. This happens almost every hour during the night. I don't sleep on my back. What could this be?"

Answer:

First of all, without knowing your full health history, I can’t make a diagnosis. But, Lucinda, let me say right off the bat that you should probably make an appointment with your doctor right away. And, let me tell you why.  From what you’ve described, it appears you may be experiencing something known as paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea, or PND for short.

When a person suffers PND, he or she begins to experience shortness of breath several hours after going to bed. It then strikes suddenly and frequently during sleep, causing a person to wake up. Others experience shortness of breath only when they lie down on their back. This is known as orthopnea.

Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea is an abnormal condition that warrants some investigation. It can be a frequent symptom of a serious cardiovascular and respiratory problem. Again, you should make an appointment with your health-care provider as soon as possible to be evaluated, and if anybody is reading this with similar symptoms here are a few things to look for.

Before your appointment, begin writing down how often your are waking up experiencing shortness of breath, how long the attacks last, whether you have associated swelling in your feet and legs and the positions you are sleeping when it occurs. Also track what provides relief, if anything, for example, sleeping slightly propped up with pillows.

Bottom line, Lucinda, is these symptoms are your body’s way of alerting you something may be wrong. Being evaluated by your doctor is your best bet.


soundoff (763 Responses)
  1. joann fabrics near me

    Good information. Lucky me I recently found your site by chance (stumbleupon). I have book-marked it for later!

    http://www.rutadeviaje.com/librovisitas/go.php?url=https://masternearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 03:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. wells fargo near me

    http://www.thevorheesfamily.com/gbook/go.php?url=https://bestlocalnearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 05:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Service And Repair Near Me

    http://www.debray-jerome.fr/index.php?redirect/&url=https://www.ocrv.today

    June 24, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Electrical Repair Near Me

    http://allagaroo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.life

    June 24, 2021 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. hồng nhung

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp Bóng Đá kuĐội tuyển futsal nước Việt Nam đã có được một trận đấu đồng ý được trước đối thủ cạnh tranh đầy sức mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước ta.

    https://naija5.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV Repair Orange County

    https://dbprimary.com/service/util/logout/CookiePolicy.action?backto=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 24, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. k+pm hd

    Links Xem Trực Tiếp đá Bóng Futsal Việt Nam Vs Lebanon Vòng Chủng Loại World Cuppsg vs muĐây có lẽ rằng là trường hợp “của đi thay cho nhân viên" khá như ý đối với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã có thể gặp gỡ tai nạn nghiêm trọng. Cập nhật kết trái trận nước ta vs Lebanon thuộc play-off vòng chủng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.

    https://chiefscreolecafe.com/detail/vtv5-bong-da-truc-tiep-34684.html

    June 24, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Ac Repair Near Me

    I must thank you for the efforts you've put in writing this blog. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade content from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own website now 😉

    https://thecloud.net/service-platform/redirect/?url=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Leave a Reply to Myopia Control


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.