Shortness Of Breath Specialist

Craig R. Peterson, MD -  - Cardiologist

Eastern Shore Heart Center

Craig R. Peterson, MD

Cardiologist located in Fairhope, AL

Shortness of breath is the persistent inability to get enough oxygen, often leaving you feeling as if you’re suffocating. And it’s a scary feeling. If you’re experiencing shortness of breath outside of normal circumstances, it may be a sign of a much larger problem, and you mustn't ignore it. As a cardiologist, Dr. Craig Peterson of Eastern Shore Heart Center has the necessary diagnostic tools at his practice in Fairhope, Alabama to get to the bottom of your issue, allowing you to breathe easier again. If you’re struggling to get oxygen, call or book an appointment online.

Shortness of Breath Q & A

What is shortness of breath?

If you’ve just engaged in a strenuous activity that leaves you momentarily breathless, the issue is resolved quickly as your body works to take in the necessary oxygen. Shortness of breath, on the other hand, is characterized by the following:

  • A heavy feeling in your chest
  • A feeling of suffocating
  • The inability to take in a large gulp of air

Unexplained shortness of breath can be very scary, sometimes even leading to panic, which is why seeing Dr. Peterson gives you much-needed peace of mind.

What causes shortness of breath?

The main two culprits behind shortness of breath are your lungs or your heart. Either way, shortness of breath is signaling the fact that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen, so the condition is serious.

When it comes to your heart, several conditions cause shortness of breath, including:

  • Cardiac tamponade, or fluid around your heart
  • Heart failure
  • Heart attack

The only way to find out what’s at the root of your problem is to have Dr. Peterson test you. He can either rule out or confirm the involvement of your heart.

What tests will be performed to determine why I have shortness of breath?

If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, the first crucial step is to see Dr. Peterson. The earlier, the better because if your heart is involved, Dr. Peterson can take immediate steps to remedy the situation.

During your appointment, Dr. Peterson works with a host of assessment and diagnostic tools that help pinpoint the problem. To start, Dr. Peterson gathers information on your medical history, the extent of your shortness of breath, and your lifestyle. From there, he orders a series of tests, which may include:

  • Treadmill stress testing
  • Nuclear stress testing
  • 3D echocardiogram
  • Ambulatory electrocardiographic (Holter) monitoring

Dr. Peterson also works up your blood to check for any signs of heart disease.

Once Dr. Peterson tests you and rules out or finds a heart problem, you can embark on a treatment plan or seek the help of another medical doctor if your heart isn’t causing your shortness of breath.

If you’re struggling to get air, don’t wait; call Eastern Shore Heart Center or book an appointment online.