Shortness of Breath: 3 Signs You Need to See a Doctor

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Oftentimes, experiencing shortness of breath from time to time is not something that you should be worried about. If you’ve been exercising or maintaining an active lifestyle, it’s common to experience some changes in your breathing. Shortness of breath can be a normal result of being physically active or a sign of needing more exercise.

However, when you develop shortness of breath all of a sudden without reason, it’s always a good idea to arrange an online medical consultation with a professional doctor.

Shortness of breath can be a symptom or warning sign of a more serious underlying health condition. To help you determine whether or not it’s time to see a doctor, below are some indications that your difficulty in breathing requires medical attention.

1. When you are hyperventilating

As mentioned earlier, experiencing temporary difficulty in breathing isn’t usually serious. It can be caused by a change in the weather, the use of certain household cleaning products or common cold that typically goes away in a few days. However, if your breathing problem makes you hyperventilate, consulting a doctor is strongly advised.

Commonly, acute shortness of breath can be caused by respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. These infections can be dangerous and fatal if left untreated.

When you’re always finding it hard to breathe, especially while lying down, it’s an indication that your breathing problem is severe enough to require medical attention.

2. When it is starting to interfere with your life or work 

Excessive exercising or engaging in physical activities can cause you to have difficulty in breathing, albeit only for a short while. This is usually temporary and should not affect your daily activities.

However, if your breathing problem is a result of something more serious, there’s a possibility that it can interfere with your life and work, especially if left neglected.

If you’ve been diagnosed with conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), you may experience severe shortness of breath that can hinder you from going about your everyday routine. In this case, it’s a good idea to seek professional help right away, so your condition can be accessed and treated as soon as possible.

3. When it is accompanied by other serious symptoms

Your breathing problem can just be one of the several symptoms you are experiencing due to a serious health condition. There are various conditions you may have if your shortness of breath is accompanied by other significant symptoms.

For example, if your difficulty in breathing is accompanied by a tightening pain in your chest (angina), this could be a sign of coronary artery disease.

On the other hand, if you are experiencing difficulty breathing with a persistent cough, chest discomfort or pain, and other heavy sensations around the upper body, you may be at risk of having lung cancer.

Shortness of breath is a common symptom in lung cancer patients who are in the advanced stages of the disease. To be sure, be aware of changes in your body and other accompanying symptoms you are experiencing aside from breathing difficulty. 


For most people, shortness of breath isn’t usually a cause for alarm. Breathing problems may just be temporary and a normal effect of lifestyle changes. However, if it has already become severe to the point of keeping you from performing your daily activities, or if it comes with other symptoms, it’s highly recommended that you consult a doctor online in Singapore.

MyCLNQ is a telehealth app in Singapore that addresses all your telehealth needs in one place – from booking a private ambulance to seeing a doctor and purchasing your medications online, MyCLNQ provides you with the medical assistance you need in an instant!

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