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Some people with Parkinson's Disease may experience shortness of breath. There is no clear cause underlying respiratory dysfunction in Parkinson's, its frequency or the effect that medications have on respiration. Several reasons for shortness of breath in Parkinson's Disease include:
  »  "Wearing Off" is a common experience among people with Parkinson's who have been taking Levodopa for several years. These occur when the medication benefit wears off and Parkinson's symptoms return before the next dose.
  »  Respiratory Dyskinesia refers to an occurrence of irregular and rapid breathing when levodopa medications reach their peak effect. These may be accompanied by involuntary body movements, typically experienced as dyskinesia.
  »  Anxiety is a common symptoms of Parkinson's Disease that may also exacerbate shortness of breath, whether by itself or as a consequence of wearing off of the medication.
  »  Aspiration Pneumonia is a pneumonia that develops after food or liquid "goes down the wrong pipe". Advanced Parkinson's can increase the risk of swallowing difficulties, choking and aspiration pneumonia.
  »  Non-Parkinson's Disease Help Issues include conditions such as asthma, allergies, lung disease, heart disease and other conditions that may cause shortness of breath.

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Treating breathing difficulties in Parkinson's Disease depends on identifying their cause. There is no specific therapy for shortness of breath among people with Parkinson's and tests may shown that everything is normal. Still, it may help to discuss your medications with your doctor.

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