Shortness of breath

Overview: Shortness of breath (dyspnea), is a feeling that one cannot breathe adequately. 



Shortness of breath (SOB), also called dyspnea, is common in HCM. It is often described as feeling intense tightening in the chest, difficulty breathing, breathlessness, like "an elephant sitting on your chest", or suffocation. SOB does not always mean that a person is ill. It can occur in a healthy person because of strenuous exercise, extreme temperatures, or high altitudes. Some atmospheric pollutants can also cause SOB. 

Shortness of breath occurs when too little oxygen is being taken up through the lungs. It can also occur when too little carbon dioxide is being exhaled. If you are short of breath and it is a new symptom, you need to pay attention to it! If you have been exercising too strenuously you need to rest and breathe. If you are at very high elevation, you need to descend. If you are in temperatures that are unusually hot or cold, you need to seek an environment that is more moderate for you. 

Mayo Clinic. (2020, July 13). Shortness of Breath. Shortness of Breath - Mayo Clinic. Retrieved November 1, 2020, from


HCMA 6/2021

Man having short rest to take a breath after running in urban park. Adult man having rest after jogging.