Updated: 2018-05-24


Don't smoke, and avoid secondhand smoke.

When to seek immediate medical care

See a doctor immediately if:

  • Sudden onset of shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Severe shortness of breath with rapid heartbeat, cough, and fluid retention

When to make a doctor's appointment

Make an appointment to see a doctor if:

  • Shortness of breath at rest or after slight activity
  • Shortness of breath that doesn't get better quickly after activity
  • Shortness of breath or a sense of choking when waking up