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If you frequently find yourself short of breath, you might wonder what you can do to regain control of your breathing and ease any discomfort. At the same time, it’s a perfect opportunity to ask yourself what you might do to avoid suffering similar respiratory issues in the future.

Several factors can cause breathlessness. Your general fitness, breathing habits, and your thoughts might factor into it. A lot of the time, shortness of breath is also related to your lifestyle, and you might be able to remove common triggers. In some cases, however, shortness of breath is linked to a more severe condition.

This article will explore standard solutions and when to look into a diagnosis for underlying conditions.

Breathing Habits to Reduce Shortness of Breath

Bad breathing habits can make you feel out of breath, even if you haven’t exerted yourself too much. When you’re out of breath, many people instinctively try to take in more air by breathing faster. However, most of the time, this isn’t exactly what your body needs when you are short of breath.

Quicker breaths mean you breathe through your chest rather than your whole lungs and breathing itself becomes a significant effort. This will only tire you out and make you feel worse for it.

Learning better breathing techniques, especially during exercise, can help you avoid shortness of breath and control it when it happens. Have you noticed in most relaxation techniques, you are told to take big breath in, and then hold it in briefly before exhaling? This is a more effective strategy to get enough oxygen into your lungs and around your body.

Here’s How to Practice Your Breathing Control:

  • Practise when sitting and fully relaxed.
  • Learn how to use the primary breathing muscle (the diaphragm), reduce tension and use your neck and shoulders to get into the best breathing position. 
  • Put one hand on your chest and one on your stomach. Close your eyes to focus on your breathing. 
  • Slowly breathe in through your nose whilst your mouth remains closed. The air should reach low into your lungs. Your stomach should expand against your hand, whilst your chest should hardly move.
  • Breathe back out through your nose, allowing your stomach to fall gently. 
  • Use as little effort as possible to take slow, relaxed and smooth breaths. Your exhale should take longer than your inhale, and there should be a natural pause before you exhale.

Reducing Triggers for Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath is often tied to your lifestyle. You can usually avoid running out of breath by improving your general health and fitness.

  • Lose weight, if obesity is adding to your breathing problems
  • Exercise more to improve your fitness
  • Avoid exercise in hot conditions or at high altitudes
  • Avoid allergens or pollutants
  • Quit smoking, and avoid second-hand smoke

When to see a private cardiologist in Manchester

Whilst anyone can be affected by shortness of breath, you should take note if you suffer this frequently and whilst at rest. Shortness of breath without a clear trigger could indicate an underlying heart or lung condition. For example:

  • Asthma
  • Anaemia
  • Abnormal heart function
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Only a doctor can diagnose appropriately if you don’t know why you’re running out of breath. If you want answers fast, consider contacting a private cardiologist in Manchester.

Make an appointment with us at Venturi Cardiology today to speak about your health and which tests we can do to find the cause of your shortness of breath.