“I’m getting more and more breathless. Is it my age doctor?”
Breathlessness must always be taken seriously. We must always do everything possible to be sure of its cause.
It is undoubtedly the earliest sign of serious heart disease. As the heart gets weaker, gets more and more ‘furred’ arteries, or changes rhythm, we get breathless.
We all recognise chest pain, palpitation and coughing but it takes a while to own up To breathlessness. We first of all slow down to compensate for it. Then when asked We may say that we are alright because we have learned not to bring it on. This is one way in which we prevent the early diagnosis of heart disease being made.
Can you not now walk and talk?
Do you get breathless lying flat?
Have you become breathless all of a sudden?
These are all situations to be regarded as URGENT. It’s true, it may only be due to overweight and unfitness. However, if you are over 40 and have a family history of heart or lung disease - get checked ASAP!
For an accurate diagnosis you will almost always require specialist testing: lung function, chest X-ray, ECG, exercise test, echocardiogram etc.