Difficulty breathing, also known as dyspnea, is a sensation of shortness of breath or labored breathing that can vary in severity. It is often associated with respiratory or cardiovascular issues, although the cause may differ from person to person.


A chronic condition where the airways become inflamed and constricted, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, and coughing

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a progressive lung disease that makes it hard to breathe, typically caused by long-term exposure to irritants such as tobacco smoke

Conditions like congestive heart failure can result in shortness of breath and difficulty breathing

Respiratory infections like pneumonia or bronchitis can make it challenging to breathe

Acute stress or anxiety can manifest as physical symptoms, including difficulty breathing

Severe allergic reactions can cause airway constriction, leading to difficulty breathing

Exposure to high altitudes, extreme temperatures, or polluted air can cause breathing issues


Shortness of breath, even at rest

A tightness in the chest

Wheezing or noisy breathing

Labored breathing, requiring extra effort

Fast or shallow breathing

Cyanosis, a bluish tint to the skin, especially around the mouth or fingertips

Difficulty speaking or pausing to breathe while speaking

Home Remedies

Controlled Breathing: Yogic Techniques like pursed-lip breathing or diaphragmatic breathing can help.

Hydration: Staying well-hydrated can help maintain good lung function.

Sitting upright: Sometimes, a change in posture to an upright position can alleviate the sensation of shortness of breath.

Air purifiers: If the difficulty in breathing is due to allergies, an air purifier can help remove allergens from the environment.

Avoid irritants: Steer clear of smoke, strong odors, and environmental factors that can worsen symptoms.

Relaxation techniques: Methods like meditation or progressive muscle relaxation can help if the cause is stress or anxiety.

Sujok Therapy

Sujok Therapy can be effective for improving breathing function. For this you can use a roller or your thumb to massage in the given direction (see pic). It is recommended not to use Moxa. You can also use Magnet or Sujok Ring on the first finger.

(Rajshree Vora is an obesity consultant, dietitian and nutritionist, Sujok therapist, counsellor, and yoga therapist. You can write to her at [email protected])

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