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What is Breathlessness?

Breathlessness can be hard to explain. Whether it feels like you are having a hard time breathing, like you cannot get enough air or like you have an elephant sitting on your chest, feeling breathless or short of breath can be a frightening sensation. For people living with breathlessness in their daily lives, it can be especially hard. Some people feel short of breath and find themselves panting after walking from one room to another, climbing stairs or after unloading the dishwasher. For many COPD patients, this is not uncommon. However, it does not have to be a given. If you experience breathlessness, there are some things you can do. 



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If you experience regular breathlessness, treatments and strategies exist that can help reduce your shortness of breath. First, it is important to ensure that your medications are properly treating your symptoms and meeting your current needs. See your doctor to make sure that any prescriptions, including oxygen therapy, are at the correct levels for you. Next, practice slowing down, but not stopping, when completing any activities that normally leave you feeling breathless. Slow down as you take the stairs, for example, or move with less speed as you empty your dishwasher. 

From there, begin incorporating breathing techniques that can help decrease the work of breathing and help relax your airways for better ventilation. Both pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing can help reduce the panic you feel when you are short of breath, and they can help you relax your airways so you can breathe easier. Diaphragmatic breathing also helps you reteach your body to breathe correctly, allowing you to breathe more efficiently and effectively over time. Once you have learned your breathing techniques and how to use them effectively, work on incorporating moderate exercise and improved nutrition into your daily routine. Whether you receive guidance through a pulmonary rehabilitation program, or you begin stretching and walking daily and eating well on your own, improving your diet and incorporating exercise can make a significant difference in your breathlessness and overall health.

Some people continue to struggle with breathlessness, even after incorporating these treatments and strategies. Even with oxygen therapy, some people feel short of breath during their daily activities. If you still feel breathless, even while receiving supplemental oxygen, the Inogen Tidal Assist Ventilation System® may be the solution. With the Inogen TAV®, you receive an extra boost of oxygen right when you need it, helping to treat breathlessness and the fear, anxiety and exhaustion that comes with it. You deserve freedom from feeling short of breath and worried about becoming breathless all the time. There is no need to live with gasping for air after routine activity. Find out how the Inogen TAV can help you boost your oxygen intake and recover your freedom, independence and mobility.


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