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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Brenner Children’s pediatric emergency department has moved back to its original location. Learn more

In order to help protect patients, family members and health care workers from the spread of COVID-19, no visitors are allowed at any of Wake Forest Baptist Health’s outpatient or inpatient facilities, except in certain situations.
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A to Z: Dyspnea

A to Z: Dyspnea

What's in this Article?

A to Z: Dyspnea

May also be called: Shortness of Breath; Breathing Difficulty; Breathlessness

Dyspnea (disp-NEE-uh) is difficult or labored breathing.

More to Know

Many things can trigger an episode of dyspnea, including respiratory tract infections, asthma, exercise, stress, allergic reactions, higher altitudes, obesity, and certain medications.

A small amount of breathing difficulty can be expected from time to time and usually is not a cause for concern.

Keep in Mind

Dyspnea is a common condition and most episodes of breathing difficulty are brief. If breathing difficulty is severe, persists, or flares up regularly, it could be a sign of a more serious medical condition and should be checked out by a doctor.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.