Shortness of breath or breathlessness is medically known as dyspnea while excessively rapid breathing is referred to as hyperventilation.
Shortness of breath is an uncomfortable condition that makes it difficult to fully get air into your lungs.
Problems that affects your heart and lungs can harm your breathing.
It can simply be explained as when a person has trouble/difficulty taking in enough air into the lungs.
It can occur as mild viral infection and severe which depicts a sign heart attack, pulmonary embolism, asthma, pneumonia, COPD, low blood pressure, lung cancer or even COVID-19. shortness of breath is seen as one of the symptoms of COVID-19 according to WHO
At Healthy Health Consult your health is our priority therefore we compiled an article on home remedy for shortness of breath as first aid in case of emergency. However, we recommend that you consult your doctor when it gets severe or related to severe sickness.
Shortness of breath may be experienced as a sudden occurrence for some people while for others it may be for a long period of time (regularly).
Experiencing it regularly may have a common cause, or could be the result of a more serious underlying condition.
If it occurs suddenly, it may mean that you need emergency treatment.
Breathlessness that might occur once in a while can be due to the following;
- Strenuous exercise
- Allergens or pollutants in the air
- Extreme temperatures
- Being obese or out of shape
Other underlying medical conditions can also cause dyspnea in a more severe case.
The lungs oxygenate the blood pumped by the heart, which in turn transports oxygenated blood around the body and finally get rid of carbon dioxide. Any condition that disrupts the processes of these organs will affect one’s breathing.
Underlying conditions that affect the heart and lungs and can cause shortness of breath:
- Heart failure
- Enlarged heart
- Heart attack
- A blood clot in the lungs
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Lung diseases, such as pleurisy or tuberculosis
- Abnormal heart function
- Lung cancer
Environmental pollutants such as chemicals, fumes, dust, and smoke can make it more difficult for people with shortness of breath to breathe.
Home Remedies to Overcome Shortness of Breath.
Try Inhaling Steam.
This can be of help to keep a person’s nasal passages clear, which will aid easy breathing.
The presence of mucus in the lungs can lead to breathlessness and inhaling heat and moisture from hot water steam may also break down mucus in the lungs, which might also relieve one of breathlessness.
To try steam inhalation at home, a person should:
Fill a bowl with very hot water, add a few drops of peppermint. Place your face over the bowl, with a towel over your head. Take deep breaths, inhaling the steam.
It is important to make sure that the water is left to cool slightly if it has just boiled. Otherwise, the steam could have a harmful effect on your skin.
Try Deep Breathing.
Deep breathing is also known as diaphragmatic breathing, it will not only help you breathe well but will also help you relax and it’s a form of de-stressing.
It requires breathing deeply through your abdomen.
To carry out deep breathing, lie down then put your hands on your abdomen, breathe in deeply through your nose, it’ll expand your abdomen and fill the lungs with air. Hold your breath for a couple of seconds, breathe out slowly through your mouth, emptying your lungs. Repeat this pattern for 5 to 10 minutes it will help relieve you off shortness of breath.
Try Pursed-lip Breathing.
Relax your neck and shoulders by sitting upright, try to breathe in through your nose for two counts. Then barely part your lips leaving a little hole (like you’re getting ready to whistle) and push the air out slowly and gently for four counts.
Pursed lip breathing is useful to release air that has been trapped in your lungs.
Try to Sit Forward.
By leaning forward your body can take longer, deeper breaths.
Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor then lean forward. If you can rest your forehead on a table which allows your neck and shoulder muscles to relax that’s even better.
Try to Stand in a Supported Manner.
If you suddenly encounter shortness of breath but can’t find a place to sit, the next best thing is to lean against firm support. A good suggestion is a wall, try leaning your back against it then try to breathe.
Try to Eat Fresh Ginger or Drink Ginger Tea.
Consuming fresh ginger or adding some to hot water as a drink, is helpful to reduce shortness of breath caused by a respiratory infection. It helps to break down mucus, making it easier for your body to expel air.
Ginger tea can be bought but it’s a bit scarce. Here’s a simple recipe for ginger tea concoction:
Peel and chop one to two tablespoons of fresh ginger. Add to two cups of boiling water. Cover the pot and simmer for five to ten minutes to allow it to steep. Strain into a mug, and add honey to taste.
Lifestyle changes that are useful to overcome shortness of breath.
1. Quit Smoking. Try to get a good life coach or counsellor to work you through the process. Also, try to get some support group.
2. Being overweight or out of shape have been identified as one of the causes of breathlessness. If obesity is linked to your breathing problems try to find a weight loss plan and stick to it.
3. Exercise comes with many health benefits. That way it can improve your fitness levels. Avoid exercising in hot conditions or at high altitudes.
Read also, Amazing benefits of a morning workout.
4. If it’s due to underlying health problems, consult your doctor for treatment plans for the underlying condition.
5. Avoiding allergens and pollutants. If you suffer from shortness of breath try to get modern kitchen appliances instead of using a stove to avoid smoke.
I know you learnt a lot, pls do share with your friends.