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Moderate to Severe Difficulty Breathing in Adults and Older Children

Moderate to Severe Difficulty Breathing in Adults and Older Children

Difficulty breathing can occur when the body's lungs or heart are not working well.

Moderate trouble breathing means:

  • It's hard to talk in full sentences.
  • It's hard to breathe with activity.

Severe trouble breathing means:

  • You cannot talk at all.
  • You have to work very hard to breathe.
  • You feel like you can't get enough air.
  • You do not feel alert or cannot think clearly.

Last Revised: December 21, 2011

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD

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