What are the causes of shortness of breath in the morning?

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What are the causes of shortness of breath in the morning?
Asthma can cause shortness of breath in the morning. (BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Shortness of breath is also known as dyspnea. It is usually the symptom of something else, including cardiac and pulmonary diseases. Shortness of breath causes a discomfort in breathing that may be seen as abnormal for the level of fitness, age and state of health of the sufferer. Shortness of breath in the morning may be the result of several conditions.

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Asthma

Asthma restricts the airways by causing them to narrow and swell. It also induces an extra production of mucus, further reducing the ability of the sufferer to breathe normally. This leads to wheezing, coughing and a feeling of chest constriction. Asthma also causes shortness of breath, which often occurs early in the morning or late at night. Asthma usually develops during childhood, but also affects teenagers and adults. Asthma is a lifelong disease that has no cure.

Emphysema

Emphysema is a pulmonary disease that causes the air sacs in the lungs to gradually erode. The main symptom of emphysema is shortness of breath, which is a constant condition for those who have it. The shortness of breath may come in the morning, when the person is resting or at any time at all. The main reason for the shortness of breath is the destruction of the air sacs. This reduces the oxygen that reaches the bloodstream through the lungs, causing the sufferers to gasp for breath as they try to replenish the level of oxygen in their bodies. Once emphysema damages any part of the respiratory tract, the damage is irreversible.

Heart Arrhythmias

Heart arrhythmia is a condition that causes the heart to beat irregularly. The heart may either beat too fast, too slow or a combination of the two. One of the symptoms of heart arrhythmia is shortness of breath, which may occur at any time, including the morning. Arrhythmia may be harmless or life threatening. If the heart rate slows down significantly, the heart will not be able to pump enough blood to the body. This may lead to brain and heart damage, or the damage to other parts of the body.

Anemia

Anemia is the lack of healthy red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues. If the anaemia is mild, the condition may not produce noticeable symptoms. But if the anaemia progresses without treatment, the body will strive harder to maintain adequate levels of oxygen. One of the symptoms of anaemia is shortness of breath, which may occur in the morning or at any time.

Pregnancy

Shortness of breath is quite common during pregnancy. During the third trimester, the lungs and diaphragm are slightly constricted by an expanding uterus, which makes it a little hard to take a deep breath. Shortness of breath may occur in the morning or at any other time.

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