Shortness of breath is commonly caused by heart or lung disorders, according to Mayo Clinic. Heart conditions that cause breath shortness include cardiomyopathy, heart failure, heart arrhythmias and pericarditis, while lung disorders that cause the same include asthma, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism and pneumothorax.
The heart and lungs facilitate the transport of oxygen around the body and the elimination of carbon dioxide from the body, notes Mayo Clinic. As a result, any malfunction that affects these organs affects breathing. When faced with serious symptoms such as chest pain, nausea and fainting, the patient should seek immediate medical care so that the underlying problem can be diagnosed and treated.