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Shortness of Breath and Dizziness, Should I Be Worried About It?

Nov 30, 2021 | Blog, Shortness of breath and dizziness

Shortness of breath and dizziness are two things that almost everyone has been through in their lives at least once. There are various reasons for these issues to occur, ranging from asthma, and stress to anemia. These issues do not mean that you take a hike to the emergency room every time.

However, dizziness and shortness of breath may indicate a more grave condition like a blood clot in the lungs’ arteries or maybe even a heart attack. A dizzy person has a sensation of vertigo, room revolving, or moving around. This can cause balance issues and instability. Presyncope makes a person lightheaded and may give fainting feels, with nausea or blurred vision.

What Can Cause Shortness of Breath and Dizziness 

There are various reasons associated with the two symptoms stated above; let us look at them in detail. Starting with emergency conditions that require immediate medical attention. 

Pulmonary Embolism 

It is a condition that occurs when a blood clot formed in other part of the body detaches from its parent place and travels to the lungs. Usually, blood clot which reaches the lung is originated from the deep veins of the legs. Rarely, any other part.

Clots settle in the blood vessels and obstruct flow in that area. Therefore, the clots settling in the arteries of the lung are considered deadly. To avoid this issue from rising, one must take measures to prevent the clots from forming.


The intensity of symptoms depends upon the size of the clot or clots lodged and the extent of lung involvement. Some signs are:

  • Shortness of breath – Difficulty in breathing comes and goes in the form of short impulses or episodes. It gets worse with disease progression. 
  • Dizziness – hindrance in proper movement and stability is seen.
  • Chest tightness, along with shortness of breath and dizziness – may give you a feeling of having a heart attack. A stinging pain sensation comes along with deep inhalation, causing it to stop midway. 
  • Cough – bloody sputum upon coughing. 
  • Leg swelling – one or both of the calves may have swelling due to clotting. 


In order to treat pulmonary embolism, we need to get rid of the blood clot. Therefore the medications used are:

  • Blood thinners – scientifically known as anticoagulants- interfere with the clotting cascade and halt the function of clotting factors present naturally inside the body. Heparin is a common choice. 
  • Clot dissolvers – also referred to as thrombolytics actively work on the clot and increase the speed of their dissolving. Since these can cause sudden bleeding, they are considered only in fatal cases. 

Heart Attack 

Feeling lightheaded, and signs such as sudden shortness of breath and dizziness indicate that the person is having a heart attack. The reason for this is inadequate reach of oxygenated blood to the heart muscles, leading to their death.

Why does this happen? The answer is plaque buildup, not the kind which builds on your teeth. This plaque accumulates in the arteries, which lead to restriction in blood flow to the heart.
The main symptom of a heart attack is chest pain and shooting stinging sensation up and down the arm, neck, or jaw. Other signs that tag along are dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, or vomiting.


It is a medical emergency and requires a doctor’s attention immediately. Restoration of blood flow involves the usage of blood thinners or clot dissolvers, along with a drug called nitroglycerin to expand the vessel. 

Other Reasons for the development of Dizziness and Shortness of Breath


Stress silently deteriorates the human body and impacts almost every system; nervous, respiratory, and heart system. Our brain is programmed to release certain hormones in response to stressful conditions. An individual undergoing stress may feel dizziness, shortness of breath, sweating, trembling, etc.


Asthma is inflammation of the airways that blocks the airflow in and out of the lungs. During an attack, the individual may have dizziness, wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, etc. This condition is common. Various elements can trigger the reaction, such as dust mites, chemicals, exercise, or any other strenuous activity. 

Take Out

The symptoms of shortness of breath and dizziness can indicate a variety of conditions. At Pulmonary Medical Consultants we specialize in dealing with such situations and ensure the provision of quality services. Contact us at 2813571300 to fix an appointment.


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