The inability to take deep breaths can be a result of lung problems, bronchiolitis, panic attacks, allergies and heart attack, explains Scripps. Mild and strenuous exercise, from climbing up the stairs to running a mile, can also cause an inability to take deep breaths.
Asthma is a very common lung disease that causes the inflammation and narrowing of airways, notes the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Bronchiolitis is usually the result of a viral infection and causes the swelling and mucus buildup of air passages in the lungs, according to WebMD. Panic attacks result in a shortness of breath when individuals experience intense fear. An allergic reaction to mold, dander or pollen can also affect a person's breathing because lungs can become clogged. A heart attack is one of the most severe causes of shortness of breath, and in worst cases, it can result in death.