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Heart Failure: Tips for Easier Breathing

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Topic Overview

If you are under a doctor's care for heart failure, the following tips may help you deal with fluid buildup that causes difficulty with breathing.

Note: If your symptoms are severe enough to require these measures and you have not been diagnosed with heart failure, call your doctor first. Also, call your doctor if these are new symptoms or if your symptoms have become worse than they were when you last saw your doctor.

Recommended Related to Heart Failure

Understanding Heart Failure -- Symptoms

The symptoms of heart failure can be related to the pooling of fluid in the body or can be secondary to decreased blood flow to the body. Some people with heart failure don't experience symptoms, but here are some of the more common signs: Shortness of breath with exercise or difficulty breathing at rest or when lying down Swollen legs, ankles, or abdomen Dry, hacking cough, or wheezing Other symptoms may include: Fatigue, palpitations, or pain during normal activities Weig...

Read the Understanding Heart Failure -- Symptoms article > >

Tips for easier breathing

  • Elevate your upper body (sit in a chair or prop yourself up with pillows).
  • At night, sleep with one or two pillows under your upper body and head.
  • Avoid unnecessary exertion (like climbing stairs) until you feel better.

Don't smoke. Smoking will make it more difficult for you to breathe.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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