Sometimes we take breathing for granted. But when we can’t breathe, we realize how important it really is. Shortness of breath is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer. Living with lung cancer can be difficult, especially when you struggle to breathe on a daily basis. We can help you with some ways to help you breathe a little easier.
Practice breathing techniques
There are many breathing exercises that can give you more control over your breathing. Exercises can train and strengthen the muscles in your lungs. The most popular exercise is the pursed lip breathing. Pursed-lip breathing is especially effective during sudden periods of shortness of breath. It can slow your breathing and relieve stress. This is a technique that can be practiced at any time, not just when you feel shortness of breath. To master pursed lip breathing, here are few steps you can follow:
- Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through pursed lips.
- Sit comfortably and relax your neck and shoulder muscles.
- Keep your lips pressed together tightly, except the center. If you know how to whistle, this is basically the same mouth shape.
- Inhale for a couple of seconds through your nose.
- Exhale slowly and gently through your pursed lips while counting to 4.
- Continue to inhale and exhale for another 10 minutes.
Try this breathing technique any time you begin to feel short of breath. You can feel relief within minutes.
Change your lifestyle habits
There are plenty of reasons to stop smoking. One of the biggest reasons is to breathe easier. When you are a smoker with lung cancer, quitting smoking can help improve your condition tremendously . If you don’t smoke, you should look around to see if anyone in your family or at your workplace smoke and try to avoid them. Second-hand smoke can also affect your breathing.
Good air quality is important to help your breathing. You can improve the air quality at home by keeping your floors clean and shelves dust-free. You can also use a humidifier to keep the air moist. This will make it easier to breathe. Try to avoid air fresheners or floor cleaners that have synthetic fragrances that might emit chemicals into the air you breathe. These chemicals can trigger a breathing attack. You may need to wear a mask if you go outside. There are many pollutants and dust in the air that can cause you to have shortness of breath.
Get regular exercise
Getting regular exercise can increase the blood flow to your lungs as well as the more oxygen to your blood. You should talk to your doctor before starting any exercise routine to ensure safety. Do not over do it. You can start with light exercise for 15 minutes, three days a week. Then you can slowly increase every day when you are able. It is important to not over exert yourself.
Eat right to breathe easy
What you eat can sometimes affect your breathing. There are foods that can cause bloating and gas, leading to your stomach expanding and pressing against your lungs. When you breathe, your lungs will not fully expand to get an adequate amount of oxygen. Foods that can cause bloating and gas include milk, beans, cabbage, and broccoli. By avoiding these foods you can start to breathe easier. Drink water can soften up your airway and thin down the mucus to reduce shortness of breath.
Your breathing can be managed by lifestyle changes, good nutrition, and simple home remedies. If you are still having trouble breathing you should let your doctor know. Your lung treatment may need to be adjusted.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: January 4, 2017 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017
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