Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a scary sensation that makes it feel as though you’re suffocating. It may also cause chest tightness, difficulty breathing, or inability to catch your breath.
You may develop shortness of breath after engaging in strenuous exercise or during the hot, humid days of summer. However, shortness of breath may also be a symptom of an underlying disease or illness that affects the normal functioning of your heart or lungs.
No, shortness of breath doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. Many health conditions and infections cause shortness of breath, including asthma, the flu, and bronchitis.
However, shortness of breath is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, which is a disease that affects your respiratory system. It’s caused by the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Though there are many types of coronaviruses, SARS-CoV-2 spreads easily and causes serious infections that may be life-threatening in people with preexisting health issues such as asthma, diabetes, or obesity.
COVID-19 symptoms vary in type and severity. Shortness of breath is one of the most common symptoms. Other common symptoms include:
COVID-19 symptoms usually appear within 2-14 days of exposure to the virus.
Not everyone who experiences shortness of breath needs to be tested for COVID-19. Your primary care provider or the team at Test 4 Free determines if you should get tested after reviewing your symptoms and exposure risks.
Test 4 Free offers no-cost COVID-19 testing for patients with and without insurance. The test is efficient and takes only about five minutes.
The team performs a nasal swab to collect your specimen and uses the molecular-based rT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test because it carries the highest sensitivity for virus detection. With the molecular-based rT-PCR test, you’re less likely to get a false negative.
After collecting your specimen, the team sends your swab to the lab. Results take only a couple of days. The team provides detailed information about when you can expect your results and recommends you self-quarantine until you have your answer.
To discuss COVID-19 testing for your shortness of breath, call Test 4 Free or book an appointment online today.