Today, it is pandemic time. Every day, we hear news about people meeting death due to the Covid-19 virus. Many people die in different parts of the world due to breathing problems. Lack of oxygen can damage the lungs severely. It also causes breathlessness and other respiratory issues.
Breathing difficulties can be found in any person. It can be due to hormonal imbalance or hereditary issues. This blog will explain the problem of shortness of breath, causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Table of Contents
Meaning of Breathlessness
Many of us do not know what breathlessness means. Breathlessness is when one does not get enough air in the lungs to breathe. This condition is also known as Dyspnea. Some people have severe problems of breathlessness while some have a mild problem. One feels very uncomfortable in this situation. One can’t breathe properly in Dyspnea.
Common Causes of Breathlessness or Shortness of Breath
The most important question is what causes shortness of breath? Many reasons cause breathing issues such as:
- Asthma or anxiety
- Pulmonary embolism wherein there is a blood clot in the lungs
- Blood loss in the body
- Cardiac arrest, heart failure, or other cardiovascular diseases
- Extra fluid around the heart
- Broken ribs
- Damaged lungs
- Respiratory infections
- Heart rhythm issues
- Hereditary issues
- Allergic reaction
- Obesity or weight gain
- Stiffness in the heart muscle
- Certain heart diseases
- Inflammation around the heart
- High BP levels
- Growth of inflammatory cells in the body
- Chronic pulmonary diseases
- Lung cancer
- Smoking or drinking alcohol
- Working in the chemical factory
- Exposure to pollutants and dust
- Hot weather
- Physical strain
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Symptoms of Breathlessness (Shortness of Breath)
It’s hard to breathe when you have breathing problems or Dyspnea. People with Dyspnea may get shallow or uncomfortable breaths. You may also get feeling out of breath in Dyspnea. Apart from that, some people may also feel tightness in the chest when they have shortness of breath. These symptoms may range from days to even months. Some of the most common symptoms of breathlessness are as under:
- One may feel tightness near the chest area.
- One may feel a shortage of breath.
- Suffocation and inability to get enough air in the lungs.
- One might get air hunger
- Inability to take a deep breath
How to Test Shortness of Breath or Breathlessness?
There are various types of breathing problems. Doctors conduct many tests to see whether you have breathlessness or shortness of breath. The first test is the lung infection test. It is known as spirometry. This test will show the capacity of your lungs to take in and blow out air. A lung infection test is also conducted to know COPD and Asthma. There are various other tests to diagnose breathlessness such as:
CT Scan or Chest X-ray
If you have pneumonia or other infections, the doctors will do a CT scan and chest X-ray. These tests will show blood clots, lung diseases, or other defects in the lungs.
Blood tests will help to diagnose lung infection or anemia. Apart from that, the blood tests will also show whether there is a blood clot or extra fluid in the lungs.
EKG is another important test that doctors do to see the heart condition of the patients. This test measures electrical signals from the heart to check whether the patient had a heart attack in the past. Besides, it also shows the speed of your heartbeat and heart rhythm.
This is another easy test in which the doctors see your heartbeat and oxygen level in the body. One has to put an index finger on the device and it will show the heartbeat and oxygen level. You can do this test at home too.
What are the Ways to Treat Shortness of Breath?
What to do when you have trouble breathing? There are several ways to cure shortness of breath such as:
1. Sit Forward
Sitting forward is one of the best breathing problems remedies that you can try. You should sit in a relaxing position for easy breathing. You must sit on the chair or sofa by leaning the chest in the front. Keep your legs flat on the floor and face the table. Apart from that, you must also keep your arms on the table for relaxation. You can keep a pillow on the chair to keep your head.
2. Deep Breathing Exercises
Many people get nervous when they feel shortness of breath. What to do for shortness of breath? This is the most common question that people have in mind. You can do deep breathing exercises at home to get proper oxygen levels in the lungs. Breathing exercises for shortness of breath can supply more air to the body. There are several other types of breathing exercises like diaphragmatic breathing and pursed-lip breathing exercise to get relief from breathlessness.
3. Use a Fan
Shortness of breath is caused mainly due to lack of air in the body. You must switch on the fan or AC instantly to get cool air. Many studies show that cool air decreases shortness of breath. It is a good treatment for shortness of breath that you must do immediately to save a person from breathlessness. You can carry a small fan while going to work or the park. A small fan will give fresh air and increase oxygen supply to the lungs.
4. Consumption of Black Coffee
Drinking black coffee is one of the most effective home remedies for breathing problems. Coffee includes caffeine. This element helps in giving relief from shortness of breath. One of the studies shows that black coffee is beneficial for people who suffer from Asthma and other breathing problems. Black coffee reduces chest tightness and increases oxygen supply. Furthermore, coffee improves the functioning of the lungs day by day.
5. Get a Comfortable Position
Do you know how to catch your breath while suffering from Dyspnea? You should find a good position to lie or stand. If you suffer from anxiety and hypertension, try this method. You can try different things to cure breathlessness such as leaning against the wall, sitting forward on the chair, or standing by keeping your hands on the table. You must keep the pillow under your head or knees.
6. Consumption of Ginger
Consuming ginger regularly is good shortness of breath treatment. You can add ginger to your daily cooking. Apart from that, you can also drink ginger juice or ginger tea, or hot water to cure shortness of breath. Studies show that ginger helps in decreasing respiratory infections. It also fights against viruses that damage the respiratory system.
7. Inhaling Steam for Shortness of Breath
We discussed many ways of how to cure shortness of breath naturally. One of the most effective remedies for shortness of breath is inhaling steam. One may find it difficult to breathe during cold because of mucus formation that harms your lungs. Steam will remove mucus and increase the air supply to the lungs. You can add some fresh mint leaves and eucalyptus oil for clearing air passage. Inhaling steam is good for young people, old people, and even children.
8. Do Yoga To Cure Breathing Problems
Doing yoga is good for people who suffer from Dyspnea and breathlessness. It is also good for curing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Performing yoga poses is one of the best shortness of breath remedies. Besides, yoga also decreases lung infection. It enhances the working of the lungs. You can do sun salutations daily for making your respiratory system stronger and healthier. Many studies show that people who practice yoga have better and healthier lungs.
9. Practice Deep Belly Breath
This is a very easy breathing exercise that you must do daily. All you need to do is to keep one hand on the belly and start taking a deep breath through the nose. When you inhale, the belly will extend out. On the other hand, the belly goes in when you exhale. Exhalation must be longer than inhalation. You must do this exercise daily for 5 – 7 minutes. It will improve the working of your respiratory system and nervous system.
10. Sleep in a Relaxing Position
Many people experience shortness of breath with clear lungs because of improper sleep position. Sleeping in a straight position often causes shortness of breath. If you want to get relief from breathlessness, sleep in a slanting position. This position gives relaxation to the full body and increases the air supply to the lungs.
11. Use Turmeric for Shortness of Breath
Turmeric is one of the best home remedies for shortness of breath and wheezing. This Indian spice has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. You can add turmeric to your daily food. Besides, you can also drink turmeric milk to get relief from shortness of breath. Curcumin present in Turmeric cures allergic response and improves lung functions. It may also cure Asthma.
Final Words: About Shortness of Breath
We discussed several ways of breathing better daily. Now, if you feel shortness of breath, try the above remedies. They are scientifically proven methods to decrease shortness of breath without side effects.