Dealing with breathlessness may be helped by resting for half an hour or longer. Since there are a variety of factors, determining the source is difficult, as it could be the result of a viral infection or a heart attack. The last of which may be as scary as wondering when the U.S. government will open up again (after being closed for a month). Other causes behind a heart attack may be asthma, COPD, low blood pressure and lung cancer. Here are 5 treatments you can attempt at home.
NOTE: Even though these home remedies may help, always be sure to seek medical attention immediately if you ever have chest pain, experience an allergic reaction, or cough blood.
1. Breathe Deeply
This solution seems like a simple one, and that’s because it is. When you’re having trouble breathing, practicing diaphragmatic breathing is a phenomenal choice for helping you relax and staying calm. This is because you’re helping to slow down your sympathetic nervous system.
- Place a hand on your stomach and inhale slowly, breathing with your belly
- Exhale calmly (for a longer duration than you inhaled)
- Repeat for 5-7 minutes
In times of trouble, a handheld fan will reduce the worrying sensation you’re experiencing. This is because the fan blows air across your face, helping you get more air into your system as you inhale and simulate breathing. However, there may be another underlying condition that you don’t know about – which the fan may or may not help with.
3. Sitting Forward
Were you taught to hunch over and lean on your knees, aiming your head towards the ground? Leaning on your knees presses them against your airways. A more natural, pain-relieving way to breathe easily is to sit in a chair and merely lean forward. If you’d like to relax your neck and shoulder muscles, find a table to rest your forehead on.
4. Stand Up Straight
One of the most natural things you can do for yourself is to stand up straight. Doing this simple maneuver quickly and naturally relaxes your airways. Simply find a wall, and—facing away from it—rest your hips on the wall. Keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, rest your hands on your thighs while dangling your arms in front of you. If this is too much for you, please consider oxygen therapy as an alternative – or use the assistance of a table, desk, or counter. More about oxygen treatment options, you can read here.
5. Inhale Steam
In order to breathe easier, clearing up your nasal passages is a necessity. This is why steam is so powerful: it “melts” whatever is in your passages, as well as breaks up mucus in your lungs due to the heat and moisture from the steam. Here is what you can do to make your life easier:
- Fill a bowl with boiling water (let cool for 2-3 minutes)
- Add eucalyptus essential oil (or peppermint or lavender)
- Place face over a bowl, hold a towel overhead (creating a ‘tent’)
- Inhale deeply and slowly, exhale slowly and deeply
In many cases, how you sleep plays a part in the severity of breathlessness. Sadly, a lot of people have shortness of breaths in their sleep. This may be one of the leading causes of waking up frequently during the night. Nobody can deny a happier quality of life depends on long night sleep. To combat this, sleep with a pillow between your legs and keep your head elevated on extra pillows. Discuss methods with your doctor about what you can do to open your airways, which always makes breathing easier.