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Paroxysysmal Nocturnal dyspnea (PSD)


I have paroxysysmal nocturnal dyspnea, or sudden onset breathing difficulty at night. The only solution seems to be sitting up. PND is usually associated with heart/lung failure, but I've been cleared of those.

Ventolin helps, and I'm wondering if anyone has experienced something similar to nocturnal shortness of breath with their asthma?

It's usually not a problem during the day and only starts after a couple of hours lying down. A couple of hours of sitting up and I return to normal. Happens every night. Ventolin often relieves symptoms more quickly, but not always.

Doctors have been of no help, only saying it doesn't sound like asthma (no wheeze) and my heart/lungs are fine.

Thanks in advance to anyone that can share similar experience 😀


  1. Hi Sean, and thanks for your post. While I am hopeful others in the community will read your inquiry and respond by sharing their own personal experiences, there is something I wanted to share with you as well.
    We do have two articles, published right here on, which focus on paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (PND). For you convenience, here are links to each of them.
    First, this article, by our own John Bottrell, which provides five possible theories for the condition:
    And next, this article, by Becky Greiner, which explores the connection between PND and sleeping positions:
    I do hope you find the information is helpful in a practical way.
    Wishing you well,
    Leon (site moderator

    1. Many thanks, Leon 😁

      1. It's my pleasure, Sean - looking forward to talking more with you moving forward as the need arises.
        Stay well,
        Leon (site moderator

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