Fairly recently during a visit to the Thoracic Consultant at my local hospital, I was sent for the obligatory lung x-ray. While I made my way, slowly, to the x-ray department I met an older gentleman who was really struggling for breath. I asked if he was okay and did he need any help and did he have an inhaler. Oh my days, that started a floodgate ....... his five minute rant boiled down to him firmly believing that his breathing was made far worse by constant use of Ventolin.

I went away and thought quite hard about what he had said. In the early stages of being diagnosed I found that I was literally hammering the Ventolin; it was opening the airways but the more I used it, the more I needed to. Very shortly afterwards, I started the Pulmonary Rehab course and one of the first talks was about breathing techniques. They explained that many people with a lung condition changed the way they were breathing without realizing it. Most people were chest breathing which gave short-term relief but didn't do much in the long term. After being shown the proper techniques, I found that in 95% of cases when I became breathless, instead of reaching automatically for the inhaler, I used the techniques. I went from being anal about having an inhaler with me at all times, day or night to actually not thinking about it. I wouldn't advocate not having one nearby at all, but I often look back and think about the conversation I had with that gentleman and think that he may possibly have been right. I also think that by being far less stressed about the condition and not allowing it to take over my life has helped too. Oh and chocolate :) (just in case you thought I was Scrobbitty's alter ego) :)

30 Replies

  • I had to use one of your techniques yesterday, when I collapsed. Pity the ambulance crew hadn't heard the noise I was making before, and assumed I'd had either a stoke or a seizure.... Eventually was able to speak with them, and they were impressed by the technique, and instead of whipping me to hospital, kindly returned me home :) Bless the Ambulance crews, they do such a good job :)

    Joking aside, that technique probably saved the NHS a small fortune yesterday. Thank you Scrobbitty, I don't know what that breathing technique is called (properly) but I will always call it the donkey in distress technique :)

  • Oh dear, nowheeze, I didn't know you were poorly but good to see you around today. Take care!! love annieseed xxxx

  • It was rather embarrassing Annie, but thankfully not too many people witnessed it :) x x x

  • Aw Hun what am i gonna do wi ya, yer know you can run fer a bus any more ? :P

  • LOL never even made the bus stop .... can only be thankful that car had brakes !!! :)

  • I,m glad you both have learned a new technique in breathing :) anything that helps when you are short of breath can be a life saver, & if you could e-mail me the exercise you are using I,d be very grateful as my own technique doesn't always help when I,m laughing out loud at some of the jokes I read here LOL


    The Witch xxxx

  • Okay, Sillywitch, I'll do that :)

    Sandra x x x

  • Me, too, if possible, pl.

  • Think Scrobbity sending you a message, Annie, but I'll do it too cause it really did work for me, and I was in a terrible state, breathing wise :)

    Sandra x x x

  • And me please

  • No problem Bev ;)

    Sandra x x x

  • and me please

  • Okay Latte, sent it ;)

    Sandra x x x

  • Me too please.

  • I'm getting really good at this copy & paste malarky.... message getting sent :)

    Sandra x x x

  • Sorry to hear you were so poorly yesterday (Hope it was not an overdose of Wine gums and maltesers,told you before about mixing your sweeties) Look after your self and take it easy in the sun shine Love Julie x x x xx

  • Thanks Julies, doing a bit better today. Think the weather plays so heavily on how we breath though ;)

    Sandra x x x

  • Read what you say, with interest, scrobbity. I am not very happy with my breathing despite not having any chest infections at the moment. I do get very tired and slow and am becoming even more breathless. I am in the process of getting accepted for PR. I feel, through being immobile, that does not improve my breathing. I, like us all, took good breathing for granted and never gave it a thought. But with age ....

  • Have sent you a message, Annie with details. Immobility definitely does not help and the PR course will be excellent for you, fingers crossed it won't be too long

  • Thanks!

  • You are soooo right. I barely use my ventolin. During my recent exacerbation, I used it a lot and I needed that. Now I am better, I'm not using it again.

    Lynne xx

  • I have only had one PR meeting so far on my course and have not covered the breathing techniques, but what I so far have learned from Chris (Homebreeze) is the 'in for two out for four with pursed lips' and that has really helped me. I always try this before the ventolin. And it usually works. I used it when doing the PR assessment whilst on my second attempt at doing the walk test. (the physio lady had stopped me during the first attempt) And when I was at the course this Friday she mentioned that she had noticed me controlling my breathing and said how it had helped. So thanks Chris xx

    :) Anna

  • I Was Told Breathing Exercises Are Very Important As Loads Of People Don't Breath Proper Or In Our Cases We Need To Make Use Out Of The Bits Of Lung We Have Never Really Used Because Of Poor Breathing And That Are Not Damaged

    Made Sense To Me But Takes Some Grasping ... So Will Have To Ask Him To Leave Door Frame Out .... As It Just Confused Me

  • If I move from one room to another, at home, and I realise that I don't have an inhaler with me then I panic.

    I do try not to use my inhaler too often but I have to have one in my pocket wherever I go. I usually have two with me just in case one doesn't work.

    On my visit to my GP yesterday I was told that I do have COPD/emphysema (still haven't had a spirometry test though) but I have not had any instruction regarding how to breath correctly.

    I was prescribed an additional inhaler yesterday and it has helped me a lot even though I have only had it for one day.

    I don't really know what to do. I don't want to rely on my inhalers too much but I don't see an alternative. Where do I go to get some instruction about breathing in the correct way?



  • Hi

    Have a look at

  • I just been watching and breathing too, good link, thanks


  • Thanks Stone

    I've viewed your video and have been breathing the way she advised. It seems a bit strange but I will persevere with it.

    Love and hugs



  • I have a love/hate relationship with my blue inhaler and nebuliser...I feel much better for a while after I use them, but I know if I take too much my peak flow rate goes down, my chest gets tighter, and breathing gets much harder.(I don't know if the drug causes a rebound effect ) Then its off to A&E if the gp surgery not open.

    I have been trying to calm my breathing first before automatically reaching for the inhaler,

    I am glad I am not the only one who feels like this..I have tried explaining what happens to various NHS staff.

  • I've started to use mine first thing in the morning wait an hour than use my seretide another wait them the spiriva I'm feeling my breathing is better. Then again it could be my imagination is making me feel that. I do think I read that tip of using the Ventolin on here.

  • Will you please send me it too, thanks x

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