Whenever I return to my doctors at UCLA or any heart or respiratory doctor, they always ask me to experience shortness of breath. While my answer is still no, my recent research for one of my schools and outside research explained how essential breathing is for the body. When they ask if I have experienced shortness of breath, it is an incredibly important question, so I felt it necessary to address some shortness of breath treatments.

HealthLine created an article called “9 Home Treatments for Shortness of Breath (Dyspnea),” addressing some treatment that can improve the issue of having shortness of breath. The first technique is called pursed-lip breathing. It involves you relaxing your neck and shoulder muscles, slowly breathing in through your nose twice with your mouth closed, and then breathe out slowly through your pursed lips (position your lips as if you are going to whistle) for four seconds. The next method is sitting forward. You want to sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor, lean your chest forward, gently rest your elbows on your knees or your chin, and keep your neck and shoulders relaxed. The same thing can occur by having a table in front of you and placing a pillow on the table. You then want to rest your head in that position for a few minutes until you regain your breath. 

Another useful thing to do is stand up while you have your back supported by a wall of some sort and focus on relaxing the breath. A more advanced version is to have your back resting on a wall, then slightly lean forward and dangle your arms in front of you. Another method is to stand up with your arms supported by a table, wall, or chair in front of you. Taking a few minutes or seconds can help you regain your breath. The various sleeping positions I created in a previous post can help open your airways if you want to try it. Diagrammatic breathing is another breathing method that can reduce shortness of breath. You want to sit in a chair with bent knees and relaxed shoulders, head, and neck. It would help if you placed your hand on your belly and breathing in slowly through your nose. It would be best if you inhaled in a relaxed, normal state through your nose, but you need to push as hard as you can, holding for longer than the inhale movement when you exhale. The last two things are to breathe with a fan next to you (studies have shown that it helps reduce shortness of breath) and drinking coffee as it is known to wake you up, relax the airways, and promote proper breathing. 

The next article, named “7 Home Remedies for Shortness of Breath,” also contains many things I utilize when I am sick or have problems with my respiratory system. They recommend deep breathing and similar techniques mentioned above. They emphasize the need to find a comfortable position then try to breathe correctly and relax as it can help improve airway functioning. Similar studies have shown that fans help the respiratory system, so I would recommend using this technique. They recommend using steam, one of my favorite methods because it always helps me when I spend time in a steam room for at least twenty minutes. You can also use a humidifier in your home if you would prefer using this instead. This article recommends taking in caffeine, so any natural method or type of coffee could be useful for you. 

Now, various lifestyle changes may reduce the amount of times you have shortness of breath. The first thing I would recommend is changing your diet to be as healthy as possible because the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals ensure your body is working as optimally as it can. You should also do some form of exercise, whether swimming, biking, walking, or safe work out methods. Improving your body’s muscles and muscles associated with breathing can dramatically improve the performance of your breathing. I would recommend refraining from having large amounts of weight or obesity because it can put unnecessary stress on your body. Since most muscular dystrophy patients typically have larger weights, this is an incredibly prominent issue in the MD community, so please try to be as healthy and active as possible. It would be best if you also got proper amounts of sleep (7-9 hours each day) in an appropriate sleeping position that encourages the opening of your airways. Various methods can enhance muscles associated with breathing and improve the heart, lungs, and diaphragm’s functioning. 

Breathing is one of the most important things for your body, so you need to address any problems with shortness of breath or do many of these things I suggested to enhance your overall respiratory system. Breathing enables your body to recover promptly and perform physical activities that you need to complete to remain active to combat muscular dystrophy symptoms. I can not stress the criticalness of breathing enough, so please discover ways to enhance this vital process. Trust me when I say that I have never felt better with proper breathing and want everybody to enjoy those same benefits.