Breathlessness or shortness of breath generally occurs when one has difficulty taking in enough air to breathe. This can often range from mild to intense.
Shortness of breath also has a medical term which is known as dyspnea and is known to be relatively common. Despite that, it can be distressing and an uncomfortable experience.
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That being said, it is possible to manage it at home if it consists of a symptom of a more serious condition. In this article, we shall explore a few remedies for dyspnea or shortness of breath, that people can try at home.
The following exercises can help ease breathlessness at home.
1. Deep Breathing: Breathing through the abdomen, deeply, can help improve one’s breathlessness. To try breathing properly at home one can,
– Lie down and place their hands on the abdomen area of the body.
– Take deep breaths through the nose, you inhale, expanding the abdomen and letting the lungs fill themselves with oxygen.
– make sure you hold your breath for about 4 to 5 seconds
– Breath out or exhale slowly through the mouth, emptying the lungs.
This can be done several times in a day or as often as you experience breathlessness. It is always recommended to breathe as slowly and easily and deeply as possible, instead of breathing quickly.
2. Pursed Lip Breathing: This is yet another breathing technique that helps relieve breathlessness or shortness of breath. This technique is known to be useful to reduce shortness of breath by slowing down the pace of one’s breathing. It is particularly used by people who have shortness of breath due to anxiety. To try the pursed-lip breathing technique at home, you must,
– Sit up straight on a chair making sure your shoulders are relaxed. Relaxed shoulders are very important, but no pressure whatsoever on the shoulder.
– Press your lips together and keep a small gap between them.
– Inhale through the nose for around 8 seconds.
– Exhale gently through the pursed lips for four counts.
– Make sure you repeat this pattern of breathing a couple of times.
3. Finding Your Comfortable Position: What can help someone relax and catch their breath is finding a supported or comfortable position to stand or lie. The following positions can help relax a person’s airways and improve their quality of breathing.
– Sitting on a chair, forward preferably, using a table to support the head.
– Lean against a wall so the back is supported to keep your back straight so that no extra weight is being put on the back at all.
– Stand with the hands supported on a table and take the weight off the feet.
– Lie down with your head and knees which will be supported by pillows.
A couple of more relief methods like using a fan, inhaling steam, drinking black coffee, or eating fresh ginger are also considered to relax one’s breathlessness. To identify the cause of breathlessness there may be some changes a person can make especially when it comes to their lifestyle, to avoid triggers. This in turn also eases their symptoms. Such changes include,
- Weight loss- obesity is one cause of any breathing condition.
- Exercising, to improve quality of fitness levels.
- Not doing exercise in hot conditions or at high altitudes.
- Avoid secondhand smoke or quit smoking.
- Avoid allergens and pollutants.
Stick to treatment plans for any conditions that are underlying.
A few common causes for breathlessness that happen occasionally can be due to being overweight or obese, smoking, exposure to any allergens or pollutants that roam in the air, extreme temperatures, strenuous exercise, and anxiety.
Some causes of shortness of breath include an allergic reaction, heart failure, choking, heart attack, blood clot in lungs, carbon monoxide poisoning, pneumonia, and a foreign object in the lungs.
How does one know if they have the condition, Dyspnea? People experiencing this might feel like taking a breath is not occurring naturally or as easily it should. Some might experience tightness in the chest which is also known to be linked to shortness of breath. They might feel lightheaded due to the lack of oxygen that is present in their lungs.