Breathing difficulty – lying down

Alternative Names

Waking at night short of breath; Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea; PND; Difficulty breathing while lying down; Orthopnea

Definition of Breathing difficulty – lying down

Breathing difficulty while lying down is an abnormal condition in which a person must keep the head elevated (by sitting or standing) to be able to breathe deeply or comfortably. The condition may also cause a person to wake up suddenly during the night feeling short of breath (paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea).

Review

Linda Vorvick, MD, Family Physician, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 2/22/2009

Breathing

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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