- Difficult or labored breathing; shortness of breath. Dyspnoea is a sign of serious disease of the airway, lungs, or heart. The onset of dyspnoea should not be ignored but is reason to seek medical attention. The word dyspnoea comes the Greek "dys-", difficulty + "pnoia", breathing = difficulty breathing. Dyspnoea is the British spelling. The American is dyspnea.
* * *n.laboured or difficult breathing. (The term is often used for a sign of laboured breathing apparent to the doctor, breathlessness being used for the subjective feeling of laboured breathing.) Dyspnoea can be due to obstruction to the flow of air into and out of the lungs (as in bronchitis and asthma), various diseases affecting the tissue of the lung (including pneumoconiosis, emphysema, tuberculosis, and cancer), and heart disease.
Medical dictionary. 2011.