I’ve started to feel out of breath. Should I be worried?

Mowing the lawn

I turned 65 this year and I’ve started to feel out of breath when I mow the lawn. Should I be worried?

Professor Peter Weissberg says:

It’s easy to ignore breathlessness as a sign that we’re simply getting old or unfit. When you do moderate-intensity exercise like cycling or brisk walking, it’s normal to breathe a bit harder – although you should still be able to speak.

It’s important to take breathlessness seriously

But feeling out of breath while doing everyday activities, especially if you haven’t experienced this before, could be a sign of a potentially serious heart condition.

Common, treatable heart conditions such as coronary heart disease (the cause of heart attacks), heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms like atrial fibrillation can all cause breathlessness.

It’s important to take breathlessness seriously and talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Most heart disease is treatable, but it is important to have it diagnosed before it is too late. 

Professor Peter WeissbergMeet the expert

Professor Peter Weissberg is the former Medical Director of the BHF and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist to Addenbrooke’s Hospital. He has a special interest in atherosclerosis.

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