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Waking up gasping for air, also known as Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea (PND), is a sign of heart failure. If you experience this kind of shortness of breath, you may find that you wake up coughing or wheezing with a rapid heart rate. You may also feel a sense of suffocation which generally eases after a few minutes of sitting up.

Shortness of breath is actually an early warning sign of heart failure, which worsens over time if left untreated. This is because the heart is unable to pump blood effectively, causing congestion in the heart and lung circulation, and making you feel breathless when you awake.

Heart failure can often be mistaken for sleep apnea, as there are overlapping symptoms and they are closely linked. However, heart failure patients may notice the additional symptoms of swelling in the ankles or lower legs during the day, frequent urination at night, weight gain and a dry cough. It is important to speak with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. A simple blood test can help to make the correct diagnosis. The CPAP Clinic has a network of 40 clinics nationwide, and works in partnership with Centurion Healthcare, a Respiratory & Sleep Specialist clinic group to provide comprehensive sleep care including:

  1. Respiratory & Sleep Specialist consultation – face-to-face and telehealth available
  2. Sleep studies – in-lab, home and contactless sleep studies available.

Bulk billing available for specialist telehealth consultations as well as sleep studies. Medicare criteria apply. Call 1300 76 29 39 or email info@thecpapclinic.com.au for more information.