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What are treatments for shortness of breath (dyspnea)?

There are various treatment options for shortness of breath—known medically as dyspnea. Treatment will depend on the specific cause of the condition.

Why it’s done

At Northwell Health, we provide the support you need to relieve your symptoms and treat any underlying illness. Our palliative care team will coordinate your care with your physician or surgeon to manage your treatment in a comprehensive plan.


Depending on your individual case, physicians may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Antibiotics to treat lung infections
  • Anti-anxiety medications to manage anxiety and panic
  • Opioids or other pain medications to reduce pain and ease breathing
  • Oxygen to help with breathing
  • Bronchodilator medications to open airways for easier breathing
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