Shortness of breath or dyspnea as it referred to in the medical world, is far from uncommon in daily life. It can occur due to a person suffering from asthma, after strenuous physical activity or due to dust particles blocking the airways.
When this occurs, there are a number of steps to be taken. Some might recommend taking the individual to the hospital but the situation might need immediate attention and in the case of an asthmatic patient, their inhaler might not be available.
Prolonged periods of shortness of breath without any treatment might lead to further complications.
To avoid this, here are some home treatments for shortness of breath.
1. Pursed lip-breathing: The purpose of this exercise is to slow down the pace of breathing. When shortness of breath occurs, the individual usually tries to take large breaths at a fast pace which only worsens the situation and puts pressure on the lungs.
To achieve this, the individual should relax their shoulder and neck muscles and focus only on their breaths.
They should then take close their mouths and slowly breathe through the nose while counting to two.
Their lips should be pursed and the breath expelled through the mouth while mentally counting to four.
This should be repeated a number of times until breathing slow down.
2. Use a fan: It has been suggested that having fresh air blowing directly in one’s face can relieve shortness of breath.
When a person is experiencing shortness of breath, they should get as much fresh air as possible.
One option is to sit directly in front of a fan as it blows or use a hand fan.
Other options include going outside when the breeze is blowing and also removing any restricting clothing such as tight shirts, jacket, and even bras.
3. Steam inhalation: One of the things that cause shortness of breath is the airways being congested or inflamed.
One of the ways to combat this is to inhale steam which helps to decongest the nasal passage.
To achieve this, fill a bowl with hot water and if possible, add a few drops of essential oils.
Hover your face over the bowl and place a towel over your head to trap the steam.
Inhale the steam for a few minutes and your nasal passage should be decongested soon after.
4. Abdominal breathing: This is particularly recommended for when the individual suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.
The individual, in this case, should lie down with their hands on their stomach. This should then breathe in through their nose while expanding their abdomen. They should hold their breath for a few seconds and then breathe out through their mouth. This should be repeated for 5-10 minutes.
5. Drink coffee: Coffee is not only a beloved drink but can also assist with shortness of breath.
Studies have shown that coffee helps to relax the airway muscles, particularly in asthma patients.
Should a person be experiencing shortness of breath, they might want to have a cup of coffee.
If a person suffers from asthma, engages in physical activity or smokes, they might be more prone to shortness of breath.
For asthma patients, regular doctor’s visits should be done several times in a year to combat shortness of breath.
If a person engages in a lot of physical exercises, they should consider setting a limit to their activity so as not to exert themselves.
As an alternative to smoking, you might want to consider using e-cigarettes or vapes as they carry less risk for shortness of breath than cigarettes. Several companies such as liquido24 offer such products.
If shortness of breath does, however, occur, the aforementioned remedies should be used.