Wheezing occurs when there is an inflammation and narrowing of the airways. The most common causes are asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), both of which cause narrowing and spasms in the small airways of the lungs .
Other common causes of wheezing are infection, an allergic reaction or a physical obstruction in the airways. The symptoms of wheezing include a whistling sound while you breathe out, difficulty in breathing, and breathing rapidly.
Consulting a doctor will help in the immediate treatment of wheezing. Apart from that, you could try some ways to reduce your wheezing naturally.
1. Deep breathing
Doing deep breathing exercises is a good way to manage your breathlessness. A study found that certain deep breathing yoga poses can help with breathing difficulties related to bronchial asthma, including wheezing .
- Lie down and put your hands on your abdomen.
- Breathe in deeply and hold your breath for a few seconds.
- Breathe out slowly through your mouth.
- Repeat this exercise for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day.
2. Steam inhalation
Inhaling steam can be very effective for clearing the sinuses and opening up the airways, making it easier for you to breathe .
- Take a bowl of hot water and add a few drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil.
- Place your face over the bowl, with a towel covering your head and bowl so that the steam doesn't escape.
- Take deep breaths inhaling the steam.
Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which can help reduce breathlessness caused by a respiratory infection. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology showed that, ginger can be effective in fighting the RSV virus, a common cause of respiratory infections .
- Either chew ½ ginger or drink ginger tea.
4. Pursed-lip breathing
Pursed-lip breathing is a breathing exercise that brings relief from shortness of breath. It lowers the severity of breathlessness by slowing the pace of a person's breathing .
- Sit straight with your shoulders relaxed.
- Press your lips together and keep a small gap between the lips.
- Inhale through your nose for a few seconds and gently exhale from the gap till the count of four.
- Repeat this exercise for 10 minutes.
5. Hot drinks
Warm drinks can help ease the airways and eliminate congestion. A study has shown that caffeine found in tea and coffee can open up the airways in the lungs .
- Drink coffee, herbal tea or some warm water two to three times a day.
6. Fresh fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C have a protective effect on the respiratory system, according to a study published in the journal Nutrients . Consuming vitamin C rich foods like spinach broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, etc. will help improve wheezing.
Using a humidifier in the bedroom can help loosen congestion in the airways and reduce the severity of wheezing. You can add peppermint oil to the water in the humidifier to reduce wheezing.
- Lifestyle Changes To Improve Wheezing
- Quit smoking and avoid passive smoke
- Avoid doing exercises in cold, dry conditions
- Avoid allergens and pollutants