Shortness of Breath at Night & What It Could Mean

sleeping problem, bedtime and insomnia concept - stressed indian man sitting on bed at night at home

If you’re experiencing shortness of breath at night, you’re probably wondering what could be causing it. After all, you want to find the appropriate solution to stop or reduce such an uncomfortable symptom. Fortunately, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is here to help. What causes shortness of breath at night? Let’s break it down:

Lung Conditions

Lung conditions aren’t uncommon, and there are a variety of them that can cause shortness of breath at night, including:

  • Asthma – It’s possible that your sleeping position can put pressure on your diaphragm, causing difficulty breathing at night, especially for those with asthma. Asthma can also be triggered by environmental conditions, like dust that could potentially be lingering in your sleeping space.
  • COPD – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease causes blocked or narrow airways that may make breathing more difficult. Common symptoms include coughing, mucus production, wheezing, and tightness in the chest.
  • Pneumonia – Pneumonia can inflame your lungs, causing breathing problems. It can develop because of a virus, bacteria, or fungi.

Other Conditions

Some other conditions that can cause difficulty breathing at night include:

  • Heart conditions – Shortness of breath can be a symptom of heart failure. This would likely be accompanied by chest pain and tightness, swelling, nausea, and fatigue.
  • Allergies – If you experience allergies and find yourself having shortness of breath at night, consider deep cleaning your sleeping environment and checking for dust, mold, and pet dander.
  • Sleep apnea – Sleep apnea occurs during sleep and causes narrow airways and low oxygen levels. Symptoms include having to gasp for air during the night and waking up in the morning feeling tired.
  • Anxiety – As much as you take care of your physical health, you should also take care of your mental health. Anxiety and panic attacks can cause breathing problems at any time, including at nighttime.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Care

If you can’t catch your breath when lying flat, experience worsening or prolonged shortness of breath that won’t go away, or have additional symptoms like blue lips or fingers, flu-like symptoms, wheezing, or swelling, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Symptoms like these require emergency care, so either call 911 or get to a nearby hospital as quickly as possible.

Get the Help You Need at PhysicianOne Urgent Care

If you’re not experiencing emergent symptoms, consider seeking help from PhysicianOne Urgent Care. Whether you know what causes your shortness of breath at night or need help figuring it out, you can count on our expert team to provide you with assistance. We have a variety of exceptional locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York. Plus, we’re open 365 days per year at flexible hours, so you can come in when it’s convenient for you. Best of all, no appointment is necessary. Simply walk into any of our local urgent care centers and we’ll be able to give you the quick and effective treatment you need.

Our top-notch medical professionals will take detailed notes of your symptoms, perform an examination if necessary, and help determine the best next steps to get you feeling better as quickly as possible. We even offer a 24/7 telemedicine service if you want to speak with one of our professionals from the comfort of your own home.

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