Dyspnea is the medical term used for shortness of breath and it refers to an uncomfortable condition where a person finds it complicated to get enough air into the lungs. The source that causes shortness of breath might be as minor as an infection or major as pulmonary embolism or cardiac arrest. Also, dyspnea leads to various health problems including, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), obesity, deconditioning, lung disease, or heart dysfunction. Shortness of breath could be avoided by quitting smoking, staying hydrated, and refraining from places where there is dust or fumes.
Additionally, an oxygen concentrator is used as an oxygen therapy for treating dyspnea, when it is due to a respiratory disorder. However, some of the simplest home treatments for shortness of breath are mentioned below.
Steam inhalation is effective against shortness of breath as it assists in decongesting the nasal passages. It provides heat and moisture that eliminates mucus by diluting it. Take a bowl of hot water and add a few drops of any essential oil such as eucalyptus or peppermint oil. Place your face right above the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Start breathing deeply for a couple of minutes. Perform this whenever you suffer from dyspnea as it eases the breathlessness by clearing the congestion.
Shortness of breath is relieved by certain breathing exercises as it helps in releasing the air trapped in the lungs. Pursed-lip breathing is one of the breathing exercises that treat dyspnea by slowing down the pace of breathing. All you have to do is sit on a chair with your shoulders relaxed, then press your lips together leaving a little space in between as if you are about to whistle. Start breathing slowly through your nose and gently exhale through your pursed lips to the count of four. Continue this pattern of breathing for about 10 minutes. You can perform this anywhere anytime.
Stand with Support
Standing helps in relaxing the airways of the body. Thus, whenever you feel shortness of breath, find a supported position to stand as it helps in catching the breath. Stand near any wall and rest your back on it. Place your hands on your thighs and keep your feet width apart. Standing with the support of the wall helps you to relax for a couple of minutes by relieving pressure on the passage of air and improves the breathing pattern.
Consume Ginger Tea
Another home remedy for treating shortness of breath includes ginger tea. Ginger is considered an amazing expectorant that helps in clearing congestion. Ginger effectively protects the body against infections of the throat or respiratory tract. The components present in ginger prevents the excess secretion of mucus and aids in breathing.
Studies revealed that intake of ginger tea helps in preventing RSV virus that leads to respiratory infections. Peel and chop one to two tablespoons of ginger and put it into the hot boiling water. Let it simmer for 10 minutes later strain into a mug. You can further add honey for some taste. Consume at least 2 to 3 cups of ginger tea regularly.
Consuming one or two cups of strong black coffee can assist in treating shortness of breath and improving breathing. Intake of black coffee is significantly useful as it consists of a high amount of caffeine that soothes the fatigue of respiratory muscles and escalates the function of the airways of the body. Some research proved that black coffee helps in alleviating the symptoms of asthma. Thus, it is great to consume black coffee regularly in order to treat shortness of breath, however, keep in mind that excess consumption of coffee might elevate the heart rate and blood pressure.
Shortness of breath causes discomfort in daily life and affects the capability of a person to work. It usually depends on some acute underlying causes such as choking, extreme temperatures, smoking, or allergic reaction, however, this list of five simple home treatments can assist you in alleviating shortness of breath right away. If you want to further study about the causes of shortness of breath and home remedies that help in treating it, then you must read 500 Time-tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them.