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Dyspnea is the medical term for shortness of breath, a common symptom of heart and lung problems. Orthopnea is when shortness of breath occurs when lying down. The even can be severe or mild and can include chest pain or slight discomfort. It is most commonly a sign of a serious underlying heart problem. People experiencing orthopnea should see their doctor to determine the underlying cause and begin the appropriate treatment.

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1. What Exactly is Orthopnea?

Orthopnea is shortness of breath that occurs only when lying flat. It is a specific form of dyspnea. When a person experiencing orthopnea sits or stands, the shortness of breath resolves. It is not a primary diagnosis, meaning there is always a larger reason for orthopnea. In some cases, orthopnea is symptomatic of serious health issues.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.