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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Simple steps helpful in controlling breathing difficulty

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The Covid-19 is a virus that infects the respiratory system and causes problems ranging from the common cold to acute respiratory syndrome.


It affects the lungs (during the infection period and extends until after recovery), causing inflammation in the air sacs, which leads to fibrosis and loss of the oxygen-indicating feature.


Difficulty breathing, according to a bulletin of the Royal Hospital, is one of the symptoms that often appear in Covid-19 patients.


Feeling short of breath may lead to anxiety, and that aggravates it. The hospital said it is important to maintain your calm and control shortness of breath by applying the following positions:


• Sitting in a chair with a slight bend forward


• Sitting with the head supported on a pillow and placing the hands on the table


• Standing with the support of the hands-on the table


• Standing with the back support on the wall and placing the hands straight on either side of the body.


Shortness of breath should improve with a gradual increase in your daily activities. However, if it does not improve, this indicates that you need oxygen, and it is preferable to visit the nearest health institution, the bulletin said.


Studies suggest that lying down on the abdomen helps the lungs work better, “this method is followed for patients admitted in ICU and proven to be effective in improving the lungs” the hospital said.


Try to lie on your stomach initially for 10 minutes and then gradually increase to a total of two to three hours a day. If you cannot, try sleeping on your side with the support of a pillow. It is better to change positions from time to time to avoid any other complications.


Besides, several exercises are helpful for people who can control the rate and speed of breathing.


Sit in a comfortable back supported chair. Breathe through the nose or mouth with the hands-on rib cage to feel the expansion of the lungs when enough air enters. Tighten your lips when you breathe out, trying to make a little effort by making your breathing slow and relaxed.


There are also diaphragm breathing exercises. The diaphragm is the primary muscle of respiration. So, stimulating diaphragm breathing is one of the most important exercises that a person with Covid-19 must practice and stimulate to avoid using other auxiliary muscles and stressing them.


Getting infected with Covid-19 leads to a sense of public pressure and pain in the body, so it is necessary to maintain physical fitness through certain exercises, including moving the upper and lower extremities in proportion to each patient to stimulate blood circulation and maintain the efficiency of the muscles, in addition to walking exercises.


How do you make sure that you exercise correctly?


Department of Education and Health Awareness Programs said, “Try to tell a specific sentence of five words. Suppose you could complete the whole sentence without stopping or feeling breathing difficulty. In that case, this means that you can complete your exercises normally.


If you couldn’t complete the sentence in one breath, you expose yourself to the point of fatigue, which is dangerous. You should stop exercising immediately and get some rest until you regain your strength and reach a normal breathing rate. The exercises should be sequential after discharge from the hospital.


The department recommended acquiring a blood oxygen meter and not exercising if the oxygen rate is less than 94 per cent. Also, to stop exercising if the oxygen level has decreased by 3 degrees during the exercise, compared to pre-workout.


If your oxygen level does not improve, you must go to the nearest health institution. “It is important to realise that getting a slight acceleration of the breath during exercise is completely natural, as this enables you to gain physical fitness and prepares you to take on a greater exercise load each time,” the department advised.


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