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5 Home Treatments for Shortness of Breath

Treatments for Shortness of Breath

Breathlessness or Shortness of breath, medically termed dyspnea, is an uncomfortable condition that renders it difficult for you to fully breathe air into your lungs. When your heart and lungs have problems, it can harm your breathing. Shortness of breath can either be sudden for short periods or over a long term like several weeks or more.

The condition can occur because of several reasons including cold weather, stair climbing, being overweight, and underlying health conditions. If you experience shortness of breath often or due to a medical emergency, consult your doctor. If it’s occasional, try these home remedies:

1.      Pursed Lip Breathing

It is an exercise that helps you control shortness of breath by enabling you to swiftly slow your breathing pace. This makes you breathe deeper and more effectively.

With pursed-lip breathing, you can release trapped air from your lungs. If you experience breathlessness even during a difficult activity, apply this method.

To perform pursed-lip breathing:

1.      Firstly, relax your shoulder and neck muscles

2.      Breathe in through your nose slowly twice with your mouth closed

3.      Purse your lips in a whistling position and slowly breathe out for 4 seconds.

4.      Do it 10-15 times


2.      Standing with a supported back

A standing position is also a home treatment that relaxes your body and airways.

1.       Stand beside a wall while facing away and rest your hips on that wall.

2.      Position your feet shoulder-width apart and hands resting on your thighs.

3.      Keep your shoulders relaxed and lean forward a little and have your arms dangling in front of you.


3.      Sitting Forward

If you rest in a sitting position, it can make your body relaxed and breathing easier.

1.      While sitting in a chair, put your feet on the floor and lean your chest a bit forward.

2.      Relax your neck and shoulder muscles and gently put your elbows on your knees. Hold your chin.


4.      Drinking Black Coffee or Ginger Tea

According to an early study, caffeine can relax the muscles in the airways of asthma patients, improving lung function and shortness of breath for about 4 hours.

Ginger tea helps to calm people down and soothe respiratorily infections of the lungs. This happens thanks to the anti-inflammatory properties found in ginger.

5. Sleeping in a Relaxed Position

A lot of people report experiencing shortness of breath while sleeping. This can cause you to wake up frequently, limiting your sleep quality and duration.

To treat it at home, lie on your side with a pillow positioned between your legs. Also, elevate your head with pillows while keeping your back straight.

You can also lie on your back while your head is elevated, with knees bent and a pillow placed under the knees. These positions can relax your body and airways and ease breathing. Consult your doctor to check you for sleep apnea and if recommended, start using a CPAP machine.

Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, avoiding exposure to pollutants, not being overweight, staying healthy, etc can also treat shortness of breath. Treating breathlessness at home only applies to less serious causes. More serious causes, symptoms, and frequency, require that you consult your doctor or get a medical emergency.





Photo of the Remarkables mountain range in Queenstown, New Zealand.

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