|PROBLEM: Feeling an unpleasant sensation of difficulty breathing, inability to
take a deep breath, "winded," or a "smothering"
feeling. Shortness of breath may also be associated with stress,
anxiety, racing heartbeats, dizziness.
Some shortness of breath, especially with strenuous activity, is to
be expected. However, if you experience a change your ability to
"catch your breath" or have trouble with shortness of breath
at rest, report it to your physician or nurse. Weakness due to HIV
infection, HIV medications, drugs or other health problems can cause
shortness of breath too.
|SELF CARE: Here are some strategies you may try to help you feel better:
- Take time out each day to relax, listening to music or relaxation
tapes, or other relaxing activities that you enjoy.
- Take a walk daily at your own pace, in your home or outside. Muscles
that are weak from lack of activity or exercise, can make you feel short
of breath with any movement. Routine exercise can reduce your shortness
of breath related to muscle weakness.
- Try to use these breathing strategies with activities that make you
winded such as walking quickly. The key is to inhale and breathe out
- Pursed Lips Breathing: breathe in normally through the nose while
counting s-l-o-w-l-y to two; purse lips, as if about to whistle; breathe
out slowly through your pursed lips (take twice as long as you did to
breathe in - count slowly to four).
- Controlled or Paced Breathing: this is the use of Pursed Lips
Breathing with activities which make you winded, such as climbing
stairs, walking quickly or lifting heavy objects. The key is to inhale
slowly (at rest if possible) and exhale through pursed lips while
performing the work. Focus on breathing out slowly and evenly.
- Contact your physician or nurse for further instructions or other