» Dyspnea , shortness of breath (SOB), or air hunger, is the subjective symptom of breathlessness.
It is a normal symptom of heavy exertion but becomes pathological if it occurs in unexpected situations. In 85% of cases it is due to either asthma, pneumonia, cardiac ischemia, interstitial lung disease, congestive heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or psychogenic causes. Treatment typically depends on the underlying cause.
The American Thoracic Society defines dyspnea as: "A subjective experience of breathing discomfort that consists of qualitatively distinct sensations that vary in intensity." Other definitions describe it as "difficulty in breathing", "disordered or inadequate breathing", "uncomfortable awareness of breathing", and as the experience of "breathlessness" (which may be either acute or chronic).
Dyspnea is distinct from labored breathing, which is a common physical...