Bronchiectasis is the permanent damage of the airways (bronchial tubes) which carry air in and out of the lungs. When lungs are infected and the walls of bronchial tubes are injured, the airways become choked with mucus. In this condition your airways cannot provide adequate oxygen in and out of your lungs. Damaged airways block the passage for normal breathing and you cannot breathe properly. Your doctor may recommend physiotherapy and special breathing exercises to make you comfortable with your daily activities. Your physiotherapist may help you loosen the mucus by carrying out controlled dabs on your chest. This condition may improve if you practice certain breathing exercises which provide necessary oxygen to your lung. The mucus from your airways can come out through these breathing exercises.
Forced Expiration Breathing Excersise
- Sit on a cozy chair which you find comfortable keeping your back straight.
- Look straight keeping your chin up.
- Your mouth should be opened.
- Deep breaths should be taken for two or three minutes.
- Now you may slow down the process of breathing.
- Stop breathing for three or four seconds.
- The air may be collected and stayed below or behind the mucus in your airways.
- Now you can exhale and the process can stay longer than usual.
- You may stop when you see that you are about to cough out the mucus.
- You may repeat the exercise for another two or three times.
- Now you may cough out the mucus normally.
Deep Inspiration and Deep Expiration Exercise
Deep breathing exercise is effective if you perform this exercise after your usual daily activities.
- You may lie down on a soft mattress keeping your back or side of your body.
- Relax yourself and your body must also be relaxed as well.
- Keep your one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest.
- You may breathe very calmly through your nostrils and see your hands on your belly and chest and how they are rising and falling along with your breathing.
- Now breathe deeply through your nostrils and fill up your stomach with air.
- See that your chest should expand a little bit at the end of the above process of inhalation.
- Now you may breathe out the air through your mouth.
- You may work out the above exercise for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Three Stage Deep Breathing Exercise
This exercise may be performed in the morning for best result.
- Keeping your eyes closed, you may sit or lie on the side of your body.
- Now you may breathe out air through your nostrils keeping the process of exhalation from the upper part of your chest down to your midriff.
- Now you may pause for few seconds at the end of the process of exhalation.
- You may breathe in slowly through nostrils for five or six seconds.
- You may fill up your stomach first and then your upper part of your body.
- Now once again stop the process of taking in air for few seconds.
- You may repeat the above process for another nine times.
Natural Breathing Exercise
Natural breathing exercise can be performed any time.
- You may stand or sit at your ease keeping your arms very comfortably at your sides.
- Breathe in air through your nostrils.
- See that all the parts of your lungs get the air.
- Now hold your breath for few seconds and then breathe out the air slowly keeping your stomach and chest in relaxed mode.
- You may repeat the exercise for 10 minutes or so.
- For achieving excellent result out of this exercise, do it at least two times a day.
Pursed-lip breathing can be executed after any grueling work .
- You may sit on a chair very comfortably.
- Now breathe in air slowly and deeply through your nostrils.
- You may close your lips together and try to breathe out the air through your closed lips very slowly and in even manner.
- Take your time to breathe out the air.
- Repeat the above process as many times as you can until you find that you are comfortable with your breathing.
- If you feel slightly dizzy take some rest.
- If you practice the process of pursed lip breathing daily, at least 3 to 4 times a day, you may see that it is very effective.
Diaphragmatic Breathing With Pursed Lips
Your physiotherapist may help you to practice diaphragmatic breathing with pursed lips for first few days.
- You may lie down keeping your knees bent.
- Keep your hand on your stomach, just above your waist.
- Try to relax yourself before you start this exercise.
- Breathe in air deeply through your nostrils while slowly pushing up your stomach. You may experience that the hand on your stomach moving outward. With your extended stomach your diaphragm gets more space for air in your lungs.
- See that your chest does not move very much. For this you may place your other hand on your chest.
- Breathe out air slowly from your pursed lips moving your hands on your stomach gently to vacate your lungs completely.
- Try to do your exhalation and inhalation process very slowly.
- Try to do this exercise in a sitting or standing position whichever you feel comfortable to do.
If you find any abnormality during breathing exercise, immediately consult your doctor or physiotherapist. As bronchiectasis patient you must avoid respiratory infections by having yearly flu vaccinations along with pneumonia vaccinations. You must consume fluids adequately and eat very healthy diet to maintain normal health. You must also maintain a healthy weight. Avoid smoking, fumes and dust that can damage your lungs. You go for walking every morning regularly. If possible you can go for swimming as well to make the mucus soft and light so that it can come out very easily with controlled coughing.