Breathlessness is not something to hide away; keeping active and involved with others will help life be as good as possible. Doctors, nurses and physiotherapists can help people manage their breathlessness.
Although living with breathlessness can be difficult, many people find ways to cope with it and have satisfying lives. Living well with breathlessness comes from a combination of acceptance that your life has changed, adapting your activities and continuing to take part in things.
The doctor has got me organised and now I understand how the disease works. As a result, I have had a good summer. It makes me feel more resilient.
Download our guide to living well with breathlessness
This guide describes some practical things you can try to help manage your breathlessness day to day, including:
- Breathing exercises and the ‘handheld fan’ technique
- Positions to ease breathlessness
- Managing thoughts about breathlessness
- Managing your energy levels
- Getting support to help manage your breathlessness
Download the guide
If you would like to modify this guide so that it includes locally available help for your area (see pages 14-21), please download this Word version.
Managing breathlessness at home during the COVID-19 outbreak
Download this information sheet for patients managing breathlessness at home during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Visit the Life of Breath website for an article about support with anxiety and breathlessness during lockdown.
Getting support to help manage your breathlessness
See your GP
Seek help from your GP for managing your breathlessness from day to day, not just when you have a crisis.
Pulmonary rehabilitation classes
Pulmonary rehabilitation classes that involve exercises and support to help with breathlessness are available. Ask your GP for more details or if a referral would be helpful.
There are a range of locally-run support groups that you can join. Please download the guide to living well with breathlessness for more information.
Support for carers
It can be very hard for people living with and caring for someone with breathlessness. It is very important that people caring for breathless patients take time to look after themselves well and seek support from both friends and family and also from professionals when needed. Please download the guide to living well with breathlessness for details of services that may be of interest to carers.
Useful websites for information and support for breathlessness