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Breathlessness

After COVID-19 infection, and with Long COVID, it is common to continue to feel breathless.

Breathlessness is the feeling of shortness of breath. It may feel like you are working harder, your chest could feel tight or you might feel the sensation of “air-hunger” which is the feeling that you need to take a big breath.

Other common patterns are:

  • Getting short of breath when walking up and down the stairs or going for a walk, and keep having to stop to ‘catch’ your breath
  • Getting tense and gripping things to help yourself feel less breathless
  • Using your upper chest more and seeing your shoulders rise when you breathe

You may have been told by a healthcare professional that you have ‘scarring’ on your lungs as a result of COVID-19. Alternatively, you may have been told that your chest sounds clear and any chest x-rays are normal, but you are still breathless. Often, the natural reactions to feeling breathless originally, can lead into vicious cycles that contribute to ongoing shortness of breath. We call this a ‘dysfunctional breathing pattern’.

If you have not been examined or investigated by a healthcare professional please contact one to check for other treatable causes of your breathlessness.

Breathing exercises to help control breathing or improve your respiratory fitness can help whatever the cause of your breathlessness and in the LCRS we can provide information and support to help you with this.

More about breathlessness

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