Shortness of breath or suffocation can be frightening for everyone. Sometimes it is more due to sudden fear than the underlying respiratory cause. It is also called dyspnea that is an uncomfortable condition that makes our lungs weak to get full air.
The current condition of the COVID-19 pandemic makes this dyspnea more dangerous and dreadful. Though all dyspnea conditions are not related to COVID-19 infection, it always necessary to be extra cautious about these symptoms.
Some people may experience shortness of breath suddenly for a short period. Others may feel it over the long term — several weeks or more. Also, this happens even after climbing a few sets of stairs or when suffering from a cold.
Causes and triggering factors of shortness of breath
- Respiratory infections – bacterial, viral and fungal
- Exposure to cold air, pollen grains, dust
- Heavy-duty exercise
- High altitude
- Respiratory diseases – Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Pleural effusion, Pneumonia, Lung cancer, etc.
- Heart diseases – Heart failure, Heart attack, Undue fluid around the heart
If your dyspnea isn’t severe, then you could try several types of home treatments. Here are some home remedies that you can try when your symptoms are manageable.
1. Sitting forward
Leaning forward while sitting may help relax your body and makes you breathe easily. This position releases pressure over your lungs and heart.
Whenever you feel breathlessness, you may try this position by sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, leaning your chest slightly forward. Keep your shoulder and neck muscles relaxed.
Breathing deeply by using your abdominal muscle may help to manage your breathlessness. Lie down over a plane surface and place your hands over your abdomen. Breathe in deeply through the nose. Then hold this position for some time before exhaling out. People can also try diaphragmatic breathing.
3. Pursed lip breathing
It is one of the simplest breathing exercises that help quickly slow your pace of breathing. It is useful if shortness of breath is due to anxiety.
Before it relaxes your neck and shoulder muscles. Then, breathe slowly through your nose for two counts, keeping your mouth closed. Purse your lips as if you’re about to whistle. Then breathe out slowly and gently through your pursed lips to the count of four.
4. Sleeping in a relaxed position
Many people may experience shortness of breath while they are sleeping straight. For those, you need to sleep in a propped position. It helps relax your body and airways.
5. Stem inhalation
Sometimes breathlessness may be caused due to the accumulation of thick mucus in the airways. It obstructs breathing easily. Steam inhalation may liquefy the thick mucus and help ease the breathlessness.
6. Black coffee
Drinking black coffee may reduce your breathlessness due to the presence of caffeine in it. Caffeine works as a relaxant to the airway muscles. A study result suggests that caffeine slightly improves breathlessness in an asthmatic patient.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce lung inflammation. Drinking warm ginger tea or water may help you to calm yourself and breathe easily.
Turmeric has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that keep you away from all infections. We used to drink turmeric milk since our childhood whenever we have some respiratory illnesses. Turmeric packed with oodles of curcumin – the active principle that helps ward off allergic responses and the release of histamine. All these qualities of turmeric can help reduce breathlessness.
According to a study, curcumin may diminish the intensity of an attack and stave off episodes in an asthmatic patient.
Quercetin found in onions fights off allergy-triggered gasping and breathlessness. It is a powerful, natural antihistamine that inhibits the synthesis of compounds that trigger an allergic reaction and shortness of breath. It also contains sulfur compounds that keep the respiratory infections away.
Asthmatics should grate half an onion, blend with generous amounts of honey and consume it once every day. You could also cut an onion in half and leave it by your bedside; it ensures that you breathe easily through the night.
10. Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acid foods such as fish-salmon and tuna help deal with breathlessness. They help prevent inflammatory conditions that could set off shortness of breath.
Read more about: Do You Know The Foods That Are Good For Your Lungs?
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.