Breathing advice on NHS

Probably a bizarre question, I just wondered if there is any 'breathing advice' available on the NHS?

I suffer with Exercise Induced Asthma still despite being on Seretide and Singulair which are supposed to be Gold Standard meds for EIA. My normal every day symptoms have greatly improved now but exercise is still a problem. However, I've noticed that I do panic when I'm running and really have to focus on my breathing which is actually hard and uncomfortable to do. I try hard to breathe through my nose when I start and try to fully inhale/exhale rather than breathing rapidly which is what I naturally do coz I'm panicking about not being able to catch my breath.

I just wondered if theres someone who can teach me to breathe properly and if this help is available on the NHS as I have no other option for financial reasons.

I know on a previous post someone suggested trying Intal but I haven't had chance to get to the GP just yet and wanted to experiment more with breathing better.

7 Replies

  • physiotherapy

  • Pulmoney rehab!

  • I saw a speech/voice therapist in Guildford who was working in the SALT department (speech & language therapy) in the NHS hospital there (although I saw her as a Bupa patient) when my voice kept disappearing.

    One of the things she did was teach me how to breathe properly, having commented that a lot of people she sees with asthma often don't breathe efficiently from the bottom of their lungs. Obviously, your voice is connected to your breathing, so it follows that she'd have expertise in this area, too - not only has my voice never disappeared again, but I now know I breathe 'properly' the majority of the time.

    I'll happily pass on her name via PM if anybody is interested in seeing her - I have nothing but praise for what she did.

  • Depending on your area, you may be able to access respiratory physiotherapy, or as BizKid suggests, there may be a pulmonary rehabilitation programme run by physiotherapists - these are primarily aimed at people with COPD, but there's no reason why someone with asthma shouldn't attend.

    This may sound a bit mad...but...if you're struggling to catch your breath whilst running, slow down. It may take a good few weeks of regular jogging or run/walking to get your cardiovascular fitness levels up, then your running can take off. If that sounds patronising, sorry, I don't mean it to be, but people said it to me when I started running again - and when I did it, things started to improve. They say it for people who aren't asthmatic too, so it applies doubly to us wheezy ones :)


  • I'm being referred by an asthma specialist for breathing physio on NHS - but I do have brittle asthma, (inc trip to resuss last year) and my specialist doens't think extra meds will be of much use to my symptoms. Suspect it may not be offered unless things get really bad. Be worth asking your asthma nurse though.

    Another reason they're trying this is I've said yoga helped, may be worth you trying that, classes I've been to always spend time focussing on breathing which teaches you to breath better generally and also helps me control asthma attacks.

    Maybe try building up gradually with running and don't push too hard but aim to do a bit more each time. I've done that with swimming. Be well worth you keeping it up, I notice my breathing is better when I manage to get to the baths a couple of times a week.

  • I see a breathing physio every now and again and they are pretty good. If you speak to your consultant they should be able to refer you on.

    I am very lucky mine is an all in one unit so they are all there when I go up, but most places can put you onto someone

  • Thanks everyone for your replies.

    amszephyr - The lady you saw sounds good, could you PM me details, whilst its a long way from me, I might be able to get in touch and she might be able to recommend something closer to me, thanks.

    cathbear - I know what you mean about running slower, I didn't think you were being patronising, only I don't think I could run any slower, I think I'd actually walk faster LOL. Since June I've been running 2 miles twice a week and brisk walking 3-4 miles once a week so I would have thought it should be getting easier now.

    I will get in touch with my GP/asthma nurse and see what they suggest,

    Thanks again

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