Breathing difficulty - lying down

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

Breathing difficulty while lying down is an abnormal condition in which a person has a problem breathing normally when lying flat. The head must be raised by sitting or standing to be able to breathe deeply or comfortably.

A type of breathing difficulty while lying down is paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea. This condition causes a person to wake up suddenly during the night feeling short of breath.

Breathing

Breathing consists of two phases. The first phase is the inspiration phase. Inspiration allows air to flow into the lungs. The second phase is expiration. Expiration involves gases leaving the lungs. During inspiration, the diaphragm and intercostal muscles contract allowing air to enter the lungs. During expiration, the inspiration muscles relax forcing gases to flow out of the lungs.

Considerations

Causes

Home Care

When to Contact a Medical Professional

What to Expect at Your Office Visit