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Heart Failure: Tips for Easier Breathing

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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.

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There’s no cure for congestive heart failure -- not yet anyway. But if you or a loved one is among the 5.8 million Americans living with heart failure, even if it’s advanced, you should know that simple self-care measures can effectively help curb fatigue, shortness of breath, swelling, and other symptoms. In addition to improving their quality of life, heart failure patients who practice good self-care are less likely to wind up in the hospital. “Heart failure is a progressive disease, but the...

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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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