A member asked:

Waking up gasping for air when i'm falling asleep. occasional localized pain in sternum. healthy ecg 2 yr ago, good bp, doc says heart & lungs sound good. do i still need to worry about heart failure?

7 doctors weighed in across 4 answers

Not really: I would be more concerned about the possibility of a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. You should mention this to your doc.

Answered 3/23/2013

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sleep obstruction?: It sounds more like sleep obstruction. Are you better if you sleep only on your side? Can you see the back of your throat when you open your mouth? Are you overweight? Do you get anxious easily.

Answered 3/22/2013

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Dr. Jerome Zacks answered

Specializes in Cardiology

Needs evaluation.: Waking up short of breath is just one of several possible symptoms of heart failure. But there are other possible explanations for this symptom. Therefore it would be prudent for you to see your doctor for a thorough examination, including the retelling of your medical history, a physical exam and a decision by your doctor as to what other tests might be appropriate to elucidate your problem.

Answered 5/17/2018

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Unlikely: You generally need an echocardiogram to evaluate for heart failure, but your symptoms and your age may make it more likely that you have obstructive sleep apnea and not heart failure. You may need a sleep study.

Answered 4/21/2018

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