Managing your breathlessness at home

At the 2017 PHA UK Patient Conference in May, Professor Janelle Yorke took to the stage to lead an engaging session all about how PH patients can manage their breathlessness at home.

She told delegates: “Breathlessness can be distressing and frustrating, and people are often anxious and worried by its impact – but there are techniques and exercises that can help.”

 

Janelle’s tips

 

  1. Take your breath from your tummy, using your diaphragm. This is known as diaphragmatic breathing.

 

  1. Use a handheld fan. A cool draught of air can help to reduce the feeling of breathlessness. When cool air goes in through your nose, receptors in your nose send a signal to your brain that decreases the sensation of breathlessness. Using a fan can take the panic of an acute period of breathlessness away.

 

  1. Use your legs instead of your upper body to push up when moving from sitting to standing. This will help you conserve energy, and therefore prevent you getting too breathless.

 

You can watch Janelle’s full conference talk on managing breathlessness here

 

Prof Janelle Yorke

Last medically reviewed: May, 2017 • May, 2020