Skip to main content

Shortness Of Breath Specialist

Apex Cardiology Consultants -  - Interventional Cardiology

Apex Cardiology Consultants

Interventional Cardiology & General Cardiology located in Inglewood, CA

Heart problems are a common reason for shortness of breath, with more than 60% of people with congestive heart failure experiencing this symptom. At Apex Cardiology Consultants in Inglewood, California, interventional cardiology specialists Jack Farahi, MD, FACC, and Mason Weiss, MD, FACC, offer the full spectrum of cardiology care. Apex Cardiology Consultants is an established leader in high-tech cardiology within the Los Angeles area, so call the office or schedule an appointment online.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What is shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath means you struggle to take in adequate air. You may wheeze, gasp, or feel like a fish out of water when you have shortness of breath. Some people also experience chest tightness or a feeling of pressure in their chest. 

What causes shortness of breath?

Shortness of breath can happen for many different reasons, typically involving the lungs or heart. Some of the lung problems that may cause shortness of breath include asthma, allergies, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), interstitial lung disease, and anaphylaxis. 

Many different heart problems can cause shortness of breath, including:

  • Congestive heart failure 
  • Coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Heart attack
  • Cardiomyopathy
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Heart valve disease
  • Heart muscle weakening due to toxins 
  • Tachycardia
  • Pericarditis

Breathing difficulties can also happen for a variety of other reasons, including extra weight, pregnancy, kidney problems, liver disease, anxiety, and poor physical conditioning, among many others. 

Heart-related shortness of breath commonly (but not always) accompanies other symptoms such as tiredness and extremity swelling. With congestive heart failure in particular (the most common heart-related cause of shortness of breath), it's common to have difficulty breathing when lying down.

How do you diagnose the reason for shortness of breath?

Apex Cardiology Consultants uses highly advanced testing methods to diagnose the cause of breathing difficulties during your cardiology consultation. Your evaluation includes a medical history, family history, symptom review, and physical exam. 

You may need blood tests to evaluate your overall health and find hidden problems. It normally takes 24 hours or less for lab processing. 

In most cases, you need diagnostic testing like electrocardiogram (EKG), stress testing, echocardiogram (ultrasounds), computed tomography (CT) coronary angiogram, or nuclear cardiology tests to definitively diagnose the cause of your shortness of breath.

How is heart-related shortness of breath treated?

Your treatment depends upon what causes your heart problem as well as any co-occurring conditions you have:

Heart failure

For heart failure, you may need oral medications like angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, beta-blockers, diuretics, digoxin, or a combo drug, hydralazine and isosorbide dinitrate (BiDil). 

Surgical options for heart failure include coronary bypass, valve surgery, and implanted left ventricular assist device. Heart transplants are for final-stage heart failure after exhausting other options.  


For arrhythmia, you may need medication to control the heart rate or blood thinners to prevent blood clots. 

Other arrhythmia treatment options can include vagal maneuvers or cardioversion. Surgical options can include a pacemaker, catheter ablation, an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator, or coronary bypass.


CAD treatment includes lifestyle changes like healthy eating, increased physical activity, and stopping smoking. You may need medications to manage cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce chest pain, and reduce blood clot risk. 

The most common interventional procedures for CAD are angioplasty and stenting. Coronary artery bypass graft surgery is another option. 

These are just a few of the many different treatment options. Apex Cardiology Consultants uses the most advanced treatment approaches to resolve your shortness of breath while improving other symptoms and overall heart health.

Call Apex Cardiology Consultants or click on the online booking link to schedule an evaluation.