Shortness of breath, medically called dyspnea, is a health condition that makes it difficult to breath or get air into your lungs. Health problems that are related with your heart and lungs can have a negative impact on your breathing. Moreover, some people may experience shortness of breath suddenly for short periods of time, while others might have longer episodes with a time gap of many weeks. COVID-19 also has shortness of breath as one of the main symptoms. Other common signs of Coronavirus are cough, fever, loss of taste and smell.
Shortness of breath or breathlessness occurs when a person faces difficulty in taking in enough air to breathe. It differs from being mild to severe in different patients. This condition can be quite discomforting and stressful. However, it shortness of breath is not due to a serious medical condition, then it can be managed at home. Sometimes, even nasal blockage or congestion can also make breathing discomforting. Read further to know about some home remedies for shortness of breath.
Home remedies for shortness of breath
Besides being a symptom of COVID-19, there are many respiratory disorders like asthma, COPD, that may cause shortness of breath. If left untreated, these conditions can also be life threatening. But, there are some effective natural remedies to treat them by yourself at home. When the cause is already identified and it is not an emergency, a person can rely on several home remedies to combat this problem. Therefore, here are 8 best home remedies for shortness of breath:
1. Steam inhalation
Steaming process works for easing almost every symptom of respiratory disorder. Steam is one of the best ways to clear mucus blockage. If you are already suffering from cold, cough or any allergy, even doctors will suggest you to try steam inhalation. By clearing the nasal passage and mucus in the lungs, steam inhalation reduces breathlessness as a result. In fact, you can add two to three drops of eucalyptus oil to a very hot bowl of water for more effectiveness. Just bend and cover your face with a towel or cloth and face the bowl directly. Inhale the steam, and it will help in clearing your lungs and helping with shortness of breath. Try to breathe while doing this natural treatment. Do this for around 10 minutes to breath properly again and repeat this atleast twice a day.
Honey is a multipurpose kitchen ingredient that is used for skin, hair and health care as well. It is a beneficial Ayurvedic component that is recommended by many experts. Honey is popular for treating cough and cold. It is often suggested to add a little honey in your tea to make it more effective in healing several health problems. A little bit of honey every night before bedtime can help you in combating shortness of breath as well as wheezing. Honey is sweet in taste and can be consumed daily. It also helps in draining the mucus out of the lungs with its many properties like antioxidants and antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. In addition, honey also leaves a good and refreshing taste in your mouth.
3. Using a fan
Even using a handheld fan to blow air across the nose and face can help in better breathing. The force of air helps in inhaling as you feel more pressure in the air entering your body. Hence, this home remedy can also be used for shortness of breath. In fact, the use of a fan might not help with the underlying medical condition, but can surely reduce shortness of breath. A study suggested that its the cool air that helps in relieving shortness of breath. You can buy a handheld fan from the market or online.
4. Saltwater gargles
This treatment works when you know that the underlying cause for shortness of breath is congestion or blockage. So, saltwater gargles is an effective home remedy that comes first in your mind if you are suffering from cough, soar throat, cold and flu. The warm water helps in providing relaxation and clearing out the congestion from your lungs. Just put half teaspoon of salt in half cup of warm water and gargle it out for 4-5 minutes. In fact, you should take in the the last sip of that water. Whenever you experience shortness of breath, you can breathe deeply and rely on this remedy for improvement.
5. Pursed lip breathing
One of the best breathing exercises is pursed lip breathing. This can help in providing relief if you face shortness of breath at any point of time. Pursed lip breathing helps in reducing breathlessness by slowing down the pace of an individual's breathing. This remedy mostly works when the cause behind shortness of breath is an anxiety attack. In this exercise, one has to sit straight on a chair. Then, press your lips together with a small gap between them. Inhale air through the nose for 2-3 seconds and exhale through the opening between your lips called pursed lips for 4-5 seconds. Repeat this breathing pattern a few times and you will gain back normal breath. You can do this whenever you face the problem or even throughout the day until you start feeling better.
Also read: 7 Obscure Reasons for Breathlessness
6. Citrus fruits
Another home remedy for shortness of breath that you can take easily at home is having citrus fruits. Citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons have the properties to cure respiratory conditions like bronchitis and asthma. Even orange vegetables like pumpkins are loaded with antioxidants that help in lung function, further reducing shortness of breath. It contains vitamin C that is well known for combating infections and inflammation.
Ginger is known to be an ingredient that can be very beneficial in making your lungs stronger. You can sip hot ginger tea daily and enhance your health and combat shortness of breath too. Moreover, eating fresh ginger is also considered as one of the best ways to treat this problem. You can also try adding some hot water to it and consume it as a drink. This will help in reducing shortness of breath along with healing the underlying respiratory infection. Studies suggest that ginger is a good way to treat respiratory infections, which is a common cause of shortness of breath.
Interestingly, coffee has also been one of the popular natural remedies for respiratory problems since a long time. The high amount of caffeine present in it helps in improving the lungs by clearing up the airway passage. It is advised to drink black coffee, if you are fighting shortness of breath. Caffeine has the ability to reduce tightness in the muscles in the airway. In fact, coffee can be a natural treatment for asthmatic patients as well. However, do not drink excess coffee if you are a heart patient. The caffeine intake should be limited as recommended by your doctor.
So, these were some useful home remedies to combat shortness of breath. You can try all of these natural treatments easily at home. If you are not able to manage shortness of breath with these remedies then you should visit the doctor immediately for medical treatment without waiting. It is also a matter of worry if shortness of breath is being accompanied by other symptoms such as swollen feet, fever and wheezing.
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