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Shortness in breath - on inhaling or exhaling?

Hi,

Trying to figure out if breathlessness that I have is typical for asthma.

When you have shortness of breath - is it on inhaling or exhaling?

Thanks

12 Replies
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Hi Polzovatel never really noticed, just difficult to ✖✖✖ breathe sorry cannot help :-)

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This is a tricky one actually & not always easy to tell. I was once on a First Aid course & the trainer was talking about identifying an asthma attack by the patient having more trouble breathing out than in.

Now I've had asthma all my life & I sat there thinking 'talk to someone who knows numpty'. But the next time I had an attack I listened to myself & I could feel that to be in fact true.

So I think the answer is that breathing out is harder. Someone did explain the science to me afterwards but I have forgotten it!

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I have more difficulty breathing in than breathing out. I do get digestive problems quite often and this can also can make me feel tight chested and breathless. I did read once that the steroid in the asthma inhalers can cause digestive problems but I don't know whether this is true or not!

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Hi. My problem is breathing in. It's like I can't get enough air into my lungs. Peak flow is really low and the slightest exertion leaves me gasping. Hope they get you sorted soon.

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I believe the problem is in exhaling enough air, so the lungs retain some stale air, the mind detects this as not having enough air so your response is to try to inhale more air, but this is not entirely successful because the stale air is still not exhaled.

So you feel like you a cant breath in enough air but the problem is in exhaling enough air.

If possible you need to relax (i know its not easy when you are having an asthma attack), inhale through your nose and exhale out of your mouth, the key is in relaxing and long/strong breaths out. (your breathing wont suddenly feel normal but it can help to take the edge off of the symptoms)

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This sounds interesting, thanks. I am just confused - everybody says that the asthma breathing difficulties should be on exhaling - I usually feel as I cannot take deep breaths and my peak flow doesn't change much but the asthma consultant insists that I have asthma. I also have problems when walking up hill or stairs but still on inhaling.

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I have trouble inhaling. Think it varies from person to person.

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Definitely exhaling.( Bronchitis or chest infections affect inhaling ). Your peak flow meter measures how much you exhale .

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Hmm I'd say both, when breathing in its like air can't get in fast enough but then on breathing out its like I have to force and squeeze the air out .

And like simple Simon said, it's like trying to inhale into already half full lungs.

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I am 61 year old.

Asthma is difficulty breathing whatever the cause, mainly caused by swelling inside lungs that prevent the air holes fully opening, I had a really bad asthma attack and this is what I was told by GP. I did not take care of my asthma and I was admitted in hospital. Since then I had help from hospital, GP and their medical team. I started taking care of my asthma with daily inhalers (brown 200 and green) and regular check ups with GP.

I am glad to say that in past ten years I have not had an attack and very rarely I have to use the blue Inhaler, Look after your asthma and you should get better.

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I was thinking about this while I was driving around today but Lindaddurbin beat me to it...all the key asthma tests; peak plow, FEV, general spirometry, Nitrogen-whatever it is, all measure what you are breathing OUT not in, so I guess that's what interests the medics. I guess we all just feel like we can't breathe though in either direction!

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I have COPD but the problem with breathing is the same as with asthma. I did a pulmonary rehab course and the physio told us that the reason it was difficult to breathe in was because all of the air had not been expelled on the breath out. The technique I was told was to breathe in through the nose and exhale through the mouth with pursed lips. The breath in should be shorter than the breath out .This link explains it better than I have.http://copd.about.com/od/glossaryofcopdterms/f/pursedlip.htm

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