Improving Care and Support for People Living with Breathlessness

Improving Care and Support for People Living with Breathlessness


Breathlessness is a common symptom linked with several chronic diseases like COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma, heart failure, and anxiety. It is associated with discomfort or difficulty breathing, disturbing the quality of life and overall health conditions. Improving care and support for people with breathlessness is essential to alleviate symptoms and improve their overall well-being.

One of the significant causes of breathlessness involves pulmonary vascular congestion. It can also cause lung damage if left untreated. So, get treatment for pulmonary vascular congestion and manage breathlessness easily. 

Breathlessness can affect your daily life and cause complications. So, this blog will help you understand breathlessness and how to manage it successfully. 

Understanding Breathlessness

Breathlessness (dyspnea) is a subjective factor and can vary from person to person. A range of chronic diseases can cause breathlessness, like; COPD, heart failure, asthma, anxiety, etc. 

Signs and symptoms of breathlessness can include rapid breathing, chest tightness, wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. 

Breathlessness affects your daily life. However, many people have found ways to cope with this condition and manage everyday tasks efficiently. It is necessary to modify your activities to live well with breathlessness to maintain your independence as much as possible. However, it is also significant to acknowledge that there may be instances when you require assistance from others. 

Current Care and Support for People Living with Breathlessness

Healthcare support has advanced and is increasingly focused on providing accessibility to everyone. However, many people are still deprived of healthcare facilities for treating breathlessness due to inaccessibility or financial issues. 

People with breathlessness face many challenges in managing their symptoms, including limited access to healthcare and a lack of awareness about available treatments. The current healthcare advances for breathlessness include medications, oxygen therapy, and pulmonary rehabilitation. Although these treatments are effective, they are inaccessible or unaffordable to many people.  Moreover, they may not address the underlying causes of breathlessness and may have side effects.

Innovative Approaches to Improving Care and Support for People Living with Breathlessness

In recent years, innovative approaches have emerged to improve care and support for people with breathlessness. Some of which are: 

  • Telemedicine: is effective in improving access to healthcare for people with COPD, especially those living in rural areas. Telemedicine may leap to become the future of the healthcare industry. Not only has it shown its effectiveness, but people also prefer these facilities instead of reaching out for a physical examination.
  • Mind-body therapies: yoga and meditation can help reduce anxiety and improve breathing control.
  • Palliative care: helps to manage breathlessness symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Self-management techniques: breathing exercises and physical activities; are also effective in managing breathlessness. 
  • Digital health technologies: mobile apps and wearable devices can also help people monitor their symptoms and manage their condition more effectively.

Implementation of Improved Care and Support for People Living with Breathlessness

Before implementing improved care and support for people with breathlessness, several challenges need to be overcome:

  • Lack of patient and healthcare provider education and training is one of the main issues. 
  • Some Healthcare professionals are unaware of the recent technological approaches.
  • Many persons with breathlessness do not know of the available treatments.
  • Since many innovative approaches require funding for new technologies or training, funding and resources are also significant issues. 

To overcome these challenges. It is essential for collaborations and partnerships between healthcare providers, patients, and policymakers. Carrying out necessary campaigns and advertisements to make people aware of traditional and innovative techniques is a crucial step to follow. Seminars, webinars, and other events should hold to spread awareness of innovative healthcare techniques. In this way,  we can treat breathlessness, and people can access better healthcare facilities. 

Some Medications and Treatments for Chest Diseases

The underlying cause for breathlessness needs to be identified to treat the condition. It enables removing the cause and helps manage and treat breathlessness. Some medications and therapies are: 

  • Radiotherapy: In cases where cancer affects the ribs, lymph glands, or lungs, radiation therapy may reduce tumor size and relieve symptoms such as bleeding, pain, or shortness of breath.
  • Pain relief: Morphine, given as tablets, liquid, or injections, can alleviate breathlessness. Other pain relievers can also be beneficial in reducing breathlessness and its distressing effects.
  • Pleural tap: This procedure can remove fluid from the space surrounding the lung and facilitates better lung expansion.
  • Steroids and bronchodilators: These medications can help lessen inflammation and airway spasms in the lungs, reducing breathlessness.
  • Oxygen: If oxygen levels are low, particularly after exertion, a cylinder of oxygen and a mask can be beneficial. Respiratory teams in hospitals or palliative care doctors can help arrange this.
  • Sedatives: These drugs can help alleviate panic and anxiety associated with breathlessness.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics can alleviate the breathlessness caused by a chest infection.
  • Anticoagulants: Blood-thinning medications can dislodge blood clots in the lungs, which contribute to breathlessness.
  • Complementary therapies: Some small studies have suggested that complementary therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology, and homeopathy help alleviate breathlessness in some individuals.

Tips for Managing and Living with Breathlessness

Coping with breathlessness is not easy. Breathlessness can interfere with everyday tasks and becomes difficult to manage sometimes. So, here are a few tips that can assist you in managing breathlessness:

  • Schedule your day plans and make room for rest as well.
  • Avoid hectic tasks but instead, break them into smaller ones that are easily manageable.
  • To perform everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, etc., find simple methods to manage the chores. 
  • Purchase a small battery-operated fan that will aid you in breathing. Keep this fan near your face (about six inches) all the time or when you feel breathless.
  • Place the most frequently used items near you every time.
  • Wear loose clothes and use those which are easy to put on and off.
  • Purchase a wheeled walking frame having a seat to aid you in movement.
  • Take the assistance of your family or friends whenever needed. 
  • Have patience and give yourself time to cope with the ongoing situation. 


To conclude, breathlessness is not a disease but a symptom of many underlying causes. These causes might include COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma, heart failure, and anxiety. It can cause discomfort and difficulty breathing, thus affecting the quality of life of people with the condition. One of the prominent causes of breathlessness is saddle pulmonary embolism. There are many causes of saddle pulmonary embolism, a tumor, air that gets into the lungs, fat matter, etc. 

Despite recent advances in healthcare, many individuals still face challenges managing their breathlessness, including limited access to healthcare, lack of awareness of available treatments, and unaffordability of medications and therapies.

Many advanced techniques have come into action for treating breathlessness, like, telemedicine, palliative care, mind-body therapies, self-management, digital health techniques, etc. However, despite these advanced care techniques, many people cannot avail of these facilities due to inaccessibility or financial issues. 

Overall, improving care and support for people with breathlessness is essential to alleviate symptoms and improve their overall well-being.

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