PLB (pursed lip breathing) is described in the American Thoracic Society guidelines as involving ‘a nasal inspiration followed by expiratory blowing against partially closed lips, avoiding forceful exhalation’. PLB reduces breathing rate, helps make exhalation more efficient, reduces dyspnoea (shortness of breath), and improves cellular oxygenation. PLB exercises are most often practised to treat asthma, COPD, emphysema, anxiety, phobias, and stress-related disorders.
What does pursed lip breathing do?
According to Cleveland Clinic, Pursed lip breathing is one of the simplest ways to control shortness of breath. It provides a quick and easy way to slow your pace of breathing, making each breath more effective. It
- Improves ventilation
- Releases trapped air in the lungs
- Keeps the airways open longer and decreases the work of breathing
- Prolongs exhalation to slow the breathing rate
- Improves breathing patterns by moving old air out of the lungs and allowing for new air to enter the lungs
- Relieves shortness of breath
- Causes general relaxation
(source: Cleveland clinic foundation)
Did you know? In humans inhalation is an active process while exhalation does not essentially require muscle effort as the air flows with the pressure gradient. By exhaling through pursed lips exhalation becomes slower, longer and more efficient, ie. more wasted air is released out of body. Learn more about Pursed Lip Breathing on Google.
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"Keep using the pursed-lip breathing until the breathless feeling goes away. Rest In between breaths if you feel Dizzy. Give sips of room temperature water."
American Lung Association
“Pursed-lip breathing attempts to prolong active expiration through half-opened lips, thus helping to prevent airway collapse. Compared with spontaneous breathing, pursed-lip breathing reduces respiratory rate, dyspnea, and PaCO2, while improving tidal volume and oxygen saturation in resting conditions."
American Thoracic Society
"Pursed lip breathing is one of the simplest ways to control shortness of breath. It provides a quick and easy way to slow your pace of breathing, making each breath more effective."
“Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through pursed lips makes breathing easier. Pursed-lip breathing can also help you regain control if you’re having trouble catching your breath. You can practice breathing this way anytime, anywhere. If you’re watching TV, practice during the commercials. Try to practice several times a day. Over time, pursed-lip breathing will feel natural.”
University of Minnesota Medical Center
“Pursed lip breathing helps you use less energy to breathe. It can help you relax. When you are short of breath, it helps you slow the pace of your breathing and can help you feel less short of breath."
University of Iowa Children's Hospital