What Causes Heavy Breathing?

There are multiple causes of heavy breathing, according to WebMD, and common problems include allergies, asthma and sinusitis. Both chronic and acute conditions cause heavy breathing.

Other heavy breathing causes include:

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes bronchitis and emphysema
  • Lung cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung conditions arising due to HIV/AIDS

The majority of breathing problems arise because of chronic conditions, especially asthma. The leading cause for asthma is allergies, such as to pollen and dust. Doctors can diagnose the cause of heavy breathing by performing physical examinations, such as pulmonary function tests. They may also request a patient's family history and look at their medical history and lifestyle.