Relief of breathlessness: tips for patients

  • Stop (speaking and moving). Give yourself time to recover your breath.
  • Positioning: choose a position which will make it easier for you to breathe.
  • Relax or distract (It may help to focus on a picture, a view from the window).
  • Breathing techniques.

Increase lung volume

  • Physiotherapists use exercise, positioning and breathing techniques to re-inflate areas of lung tissue which are collapsed (deflated).
  • Smooth deep breathing is encouraged sometimes with the addition of a breath hold or sniff.
  • In some cases patients may need specialist advice from a respiratory physiotherapist.