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Heart Failure: Tips for Easier Breathing

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.

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.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer Stephen Fort, MD, MRCP, FRCPC - Interventional Cardiology
Last Revised April 26, 2012

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