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Sleep Disorders

Breathing Problem

07/06/2011

Question:

I wake up after 3 to 3 1/2 or 4 hours sleep & can not take a deep breath laying on either side. I have to stand or sit upright to be able to breath properly. Also get winded easily during the day with light activity. What kind of specialist should I see for these sypmtoms?

Answer:

My apologies for the late reply. This is unlikely to be a sleep breathing disorder such as sleep apnea and more likely to represent an underlying problem with either your heart or lungs. Sleep apnea typically does not cause problems with shortness of breath during the daytime.

Based on the information you provided, your problem should be further evaluated. A thorough medical interview, a physical exam and simple tests can help to determine what the cause for the symptoms you are experiencing are. I recommend you discuss your problems with your primary care doctor initially. Evaluation by a Cardiologist or Pulmonologist (lung specialist) may be necessary to determine how best to evaluate and treat your problem.

For more information:

Go to the Sleep Disorders health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Ziad  Shaman, MD Ziad Shaman, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University