Most cases of shortness of breath are due to heart or lung problems. Your heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to your tissues and removing carbon dioxide, and problems with either of these processes affect your breathing. Read about How to manage shortness of breath
Breathlessness, however, may also be due to a number of health problems. It can be caused by anemia, respiratory infection or illness, chronic bronchitis, heart disease, and allergies. This is a very common symptom in people with lung cancer.
Most episodes of shortness of breath are not severe. However, contact your doctor if it suddenly begins for no obvious reason, occurs during rest, keeps you awake all night and you have symptoms like fever, chest pain, tightness in the throat or chest and wheezing.
In a case of dyspnea, it can be difficult for you to do something that you normally do with ease. It can even affect your daily activities as well as a quality of life.
You can try to incorporate some lifestyle changes, dietary changes and simple home remedies to manage this health problem. In addition, consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause.
If you are a smoker, the most important lifestyle change you can make is to quit smoking. Studies suggest that people who smoke have a 2 to 3 times higher risk of developing respiratory symptoms compared to non-smokers.
In addition, the decline in lung function characteristic of COPD often normalizes when you stop smoking, decreasing at the same rate as anyone of the same age, sex, height, and weight.
Follow Your Treatment Plan:
Medications such as inhaled bronchodilators and corticosteroids help reduce shortness of breath in COPD and are an important part of any COPD treatment plan. Furosemide (Lasix) helps to reduce shortness of breath if its underlying cause is heart failure, liver or kidney disease.
Antibiotics are effective in the treatment of respiratory infections such as pneumonia, which greatly contributes to shortness of breath. Oxygen therapy can also help relieve shortness of breath in patients who have a low level of oxygen in the blood. Whatever your treatment plan, the most important part is to follow it if it works and talk to your healthcare provider if it is not.
Get More Exercise:
Physical activity in COPD is like a double-edged sword; On the one hand, patients with COPD require exercise to prevent the steady decline in functional capacity, skeletal muscle mass and cardiovascular function caused by imperceptible inactivity. On the other hand, the shortness of breath experienced by people with COPD, particularly during exercise, leads to an increasingly sedentary lifestyle.
Moderate daily exercise has been found to decrease the feeling of shortness of breath in people with COPD & produce the excellent advancements in functional capability & overall health. At the least, fifteen minutes of moderate physical activity, three days a week is the minimum required to ensure a health benefit to any exercise program.
Reduce foods that cause gas and bloating:
The old saying “you are what you eat” certainly seems true in COPD. Some foods, such as cruciferous vegetables, beans, and soft drinks are infamous for causing gas and bloating.
Bloating increases the pressure on the diaphragm which can worsen shortness of breath. If you are particularly vulnerable to gas and bloating, consider eliminating, or at least limiting, foods that may have a gaseous effect on you.
Practice Pursed-Lip Breathing:
Practice makes perfect, particularly when it comes to breathing workout for the lung disorder. Pursed-lip breathing is particularly efficient during unexpected periods of shortness of breath.
To control the breathing of the lips, inhale deeply through the nose and exhale slowly through the lips. Practicing this method 3 to 4 times a day will allow you to use it more effectively when sudden periods of dyspnea occur.
Avoid airway irritants:
Exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollution can cause and / or aggravate respiratory symptoms, especially when this exposure is cumulative over a long period of time. Do not smoke or let anyone smoke around you. Stay indoors when air quality is poor.
Protect yourself from chemicals and / or chemicals in the workplace by wearing a breathing mask and gloves. Take steps to improve your indoor air quality, especially if you spend a lot of time at home.
Enjoy oxygen therapy:
Additional oxygen has been shown to relieve shortness of breath in patients with documented hypoxemia (low oxygen in the blood). It may also be an option for patients suffering from severe shortness of breath that are not hypoxemic.
The Inogen One Portable Oxygen Concentrator allows you to enjoy oxygen therapy whenever you need it, whether at home or on the go. Learn more about the benefits of oxygen therapy with Inogen One.