Some people may experience short periods of shortness of breath. Some may experience it long-term - several weeks or more.
You may experience shortness of breath if:
You have lung disease such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer or COVID-19
- Sensing a change in temperature, for example from a warm room to a cooler outdoor environment
- Experiencing anxiety, panic or extreme stress
- In an area with a high level of air pollution
- At high altitude
- They are fat
Shortness of breath sometimes starts suddenly. In this case, it can easily become a medical emergency that requires immediate care. Possible causes are:
- carbon monoxide poisoning
- low blood pressure
- Asthmatic attacks
- Allergic reaction
- A blood clot in the lungs, known as a pulmonary embolism
If someone is concerned about their ability to breathe, they or others should seek medical attention. If breathing problems persist, this can lead to low blood oxygen levels and can quickly become a life-threatening emergency.
Here are nine home remedies you can use to reduce shortness of breath:
Wipe your cursed lip
This is a simple way to control breathing due to panic, COPD or hyperventilation. This helps to quickly reduce the pace of your breathing so that each breath is deeper and more efficient. If you experience difficulty breathing after exercise, you should seek medical attention.
How to do continuous lip breathing:
Relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
Take two slow breaths through your nose, close your mouth.
- Put your lips together when you are about to cry.
- Breathe slowly and slowly purse your lips to the count of four. Sitting forward Sitting comfortably helps relax the body and makes breathing easier.
- Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor and your chest slightly forward.
Gently rest your elbows on your knees or hold your chin with your hands. Remember to keep your neck and shoulder muscles relaxed.
This position is a form of "standing tripod" that aims to create more space in the chest cavity of the lungs. This can help if you have COPD, and you may find yourself doing it without even thinking about it. Not suitable for people with a high degree of obesity.
Sit forward with support on the table
Sit more comfortably so you can breathe.
Sit in a chair with your feet on the floor facing the table.
Raise your chest slightly forward and place your hands on the table. Place your head on your forearm or a pillow.
This position is another form of three-legged breathing that creates more space for the lungs in the chest.
Stand with backrest
Standing also helps relax your body and airways.
Stand against a wall, face down and lean your hips against the wall.
Place your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands on your thighs. With your shoulders relaxed, lean forward slightly and stretch your arms out in front of you.
As with the other forms of tripod breathing above, this position creates more space in your chest for your lungs.
Stand with your arms supported
Stand at a table or other flat, stable piece of furniture below shoulder height.
Rest your elbow or hands on a piece of furniture, keep your neck relaxed.
Rest your head on your forearms and relax your shoulders. In the classic "tripod" position, you do this by placing a stick on the floor in front of you and leaning on it with both hands.
Sleep in a relaxed position
People with sleep apnea experience shortness of breath during sleep. This can cause you to wake up more often, reducing the quality and length of your sleep.
Try lying on your side with a pillow between your legs and support your head with a pillow and keep your back straight. Or lie on your back with your head up and knees bent, with a pillow under your knees. These two positions help relax your body and airways and make breathing easier. Ask your doctor to evaluate you for obstructive sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine if they recommend it.
To try this breathing technique:
Sit in a chair with your knees and shoulders bent and your head and neck relaxed.
Place your hand on your stomach. Breathe slowly through your nose. You should feel your belly move under your hand.
Tighten your muscles as you exhale. You should feel your stomach drop inward. Breathe through your mouth with pursed lips. Focus more on exhaling than inhaling. Hold your breath longer than usual before slowly exhaling again Repeat for 5 minutes.
A 2019 study found that a combination of these breathing strategies helped increase chest size in a group of people with COPD and reduce the number of breaths they needed.
Use the fan
Many experts recommend using a fan to blow cool air to help reduce shortness of breath, and some old research supports this. A small portable fan aimed at your face can help provide relief
The first study showed that caffeine relaxes the muscles in the airways of people with asthma, which can help improve lung function for up to 4 hours.
But ask your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake. Excessive caffeine consumption can be harmful for its stimulating effects on health, especially if you suffer from heart disease.
Lifestyle changes to treat shortness of breath
There are many possible causes of shortness of breath, some of which are serious and require medical attention. If you know why it's difficult to breathe and your symptoms are mild, you can take steps to get relief at home.
Lifestyle changes you can make to prevent shortness of breath include:
- Quit smoking and stay away from tobacco smoke
- Avoid exposure to pollution, allergens and environmental toxins
- Body weight management
- Avoid exertion in high places
- Stay healthy by choosing food, exercise and sleep See a doctor for any underlying health problems
- Vaccination against influenza, COVID-19 and other diseases
- Follow the recommended treatment plan for any underlying condition such as asthma, COPD or bronchitis
Learn as much as you can about breathing, why it affects you, and what your options are.
- Remember that only a doctor can correctly diagnose the cause of shortness of breath.
- Learn how to prepare for higher altitude if you have COPD.
When you see a doctor about shortness of breath, they'll start by looking for underlying medical conditions that may be causing the problem. If they find a specific cause, they will recommend the appropriate treatment.
Medicines for shortness of breath
Medications for shortness of breath include:
Inhaled medicines that help open the airways
- Medicines to treat certain conditionsPills or liquids to help reduce mucus and clear the lungs
- Medicines to treat allergies
- Treatment of heart diseases
- Pulmonary rehabilitation
Some people with lung disease benefit from a type of treatment known as pulmonary rehabilitation. The therapist will teach you ways to cope with breathing. They can also give advice on lifestyle choices such as improving your health and quitting smoking if appropriate.
Pulmonary rehabilitation can help you manage your breathing and can improve your overall health and quality of life.
People with severe breathing problems may need oxygen. Doctors can administer oxygen in a hospital, but some people use it at home. Do not use oxygen at home unless advised by a doctor, and if you do, always follow the instructions. When can you see a doctor?
Call 911 or go to the emergency room right away if:
You suddenly or unexpectedly feel short of breath without knowing why
- You have trouble breathing and feel like something is stuck in your throat
- Your breathing will not be felt right after the problem starts
- You have chest pain or other symptomsY
- ou should also see your doctor if your shortness of breath is accompanied by:
- Swollen feet and ankles Difficulty breathing while lying down
- Fever with cough and whooping cough
- Worsening shortness of breath
Studies show that some people don't want to ask for help. For example, those who use tobacco may feel that they have a debt and do not want to bother others. But experts insist that anyone concerned about their breathing should seek help.
Your doctor can help you find ways to reduce shortness of breath. If they know the root cause, they can provide appropriate treatment.
Shortness of breath can occur for many reasons, and relief may depend on the underlying cause. Home remedies, such as deep breathing, using a hand fan, or changing your position, can help you get your breathing back.
But shortness of breath can also be a symptom of a serious condition. If the problem persists or you have other symptoms, try to see a doctor. They can help you find relief and can suggest treatments for underlying medical conditions.