Posts Tagged ‘dealing with copd’


Dealing with Shortness of Breath

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

breathing-inhalerDealing With Sudden Episodes of Shortness of Breath

With COPD, there are many things that can cause difficult breathing, or shortness of breath. Different things trigger short breathing in different people, but sometimes it just seems to happen for no reason. What can you do if this happens?

First, do your best to stay calm. I know, it’s very challenging to stay calm when it seems like there is no air. Practice your Pursed-lip breathing, and try this mantra: slowly say to yourself, “I’m breathing in… I’m breathing out”.

If you have a quick relief inhaler, use it. If you wear oxygen, put it on. Do a quick scan of your surroundings: is there anything there that could have triggered this?

If you have accompanying chest pain, or your breathlessness is getting worse by the second, call Emergency Services right away. If you can stand, assume the position: hands on a chair back, or on a table or counter, leaning slightly forward. This expands the rib cage, allowing you to exhale excess carbon dioxide, and to take in a bigger breath of fresh air.

There are many factors that can cause shortness of breath. It’s important to know what can cause these frightening episodes. Often, it’s not so much a physical trigger, but a lack of best practices.

asthma-medicationsFor example:

(1) Did you take your medications and inhalers today? Often, people with a good maintenance routine feel good and forget to take their maintenance inhalers, or other important drugs.

(2) Were you doing too much at once? COPD tends to slow people down. Then, on a feel-good day, said person will try and catch up on all the things that didn’t get done in the past week. Remember to pace yourself with all of your daily activities.

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