Avoid warm temperatures, unpleasant odors or fumes.
Eat 6 small meals throughout the day rather than 3 large meals.
Some positions can help decrease difficulty breathing:
Try propping your head up while in bed.
Sit upright and lean slightly forward with arms on table.
Pursed Lip Breathing can be used to decrease difficulty breathing:
Breathe in through your nose to the count of 2.
Purse your lips like you are going to blow out a match or candle.
Breathe out through pursed lips to a count of 4.
Repeat until shortness of breath is relieved.
Use oxygen as prescribed by your doctor.
Take medications as prescribed by your doctor that decrease shortness of breath before strenuous activities.
Perform relaxation exercises and guided imagery.
Take part in activities such as TV, radio, games and music.
Use a wheelchair as needed.
Ask for, and accept, offers of help from family members and friends for cleaning, grocery shopping and cooking.
How is shortness of breath treated?
The treatment of shortness of breath depends on its cause. Your doctor or nurse may recommend:
Medications that promote red blood cell production (used to treat anemia)
Red blood transfusions (used to treat anemia)
Medications to treat pain or anxiety
Physical therapy to strengthen weakened muscles and teach energy saving techniques
Respiratory therapy consultation for breathing instructions and techniques
If you have any questions about shortness of breath, or need additional information, ask your doctor or nurse.
OncoLink is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through OncoLink should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem or have questions or concerns about the medication that you have been prescribed, you should consult your health care provider.