Asthma UK community forum
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Can't get air out

Hi, me again!

Still having issues with my breathing. one thing I noticed is that sometimes I feel as though my lungs are full of air and so there's not much room to get more air in with each breath, but that I can't get rid of it all when I breath out either.

Is this normal? Is it just a case of using my reliever to 'relieve' it?

Obviously I will ask the gp when I'm next in, it's no real emergency it's more an uncomfortable feeling.

Thank you in advance

6 Replies

I know other people have written about similar things here & we've speculated about if it's a genuine issue of getting air in or just a feeling you get. I'm not sure any of us worked out the answer, but it will be a consequence of your airway restriction.

There is a thing known as air trapping, where (I think) pockets of air get 'stuck' in your lungs & there are physio exercises you can do to tackle it. The one that worked very well for me involved breathing in as deeply as possible through the nose, then using the pursed lip technique to breathe out, continuing to breathe for as long as posssible. This causes coughing but supports the release of trapped gasses.

That is also very good for loosening phlegm with minimal irritation to the airway.

You can usually find YouTube demonstations of the techniques but let me know if you want a couple of links.

If you do have something along those lines, spirometry &/or CT scans usually pick it up as far as I know.


Thank you for your reply, I have Googled the breathing technique and will give it a go thank you.


I had the 'air trapping' explained to me a couple of years ago, and the breathing technique Minushabens mentioned was recommended. As it happened, I'd already discovered this by chance. Breathing in through the nose and breathing out through the mouth slowly and in a very controlled manner is a technique taught to drama students (which I happened to be thirty years ago:-)).


Thank you for your reply. It's an uncomfortable feeling


If it's the same thing that I sometimes experience, yes it is. When I get it one of the hardest things I find is to not to tense up, because if I do I know it will just make things worse. It was to force myself to relax that I used the breathing technique I'd been taught as a drama student - and found that it helped me to breathe more easily at the same time. And in answer to your query concerning reliever inhalers, yes, sometimes I will need to take ventolin as well.


That feeling is scary too, and I've found I've panicked and then hyperventilated so thanks everyone for the breathing techniques advice.

Let us know butterfly if the advice given re breathing helps you I'd be interested to know X


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