Skip to Content
Home > Wellness > Health Library > COPD: Learning to Breathe Easier
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a
lung disease that makes it hard to breathe. COPD gets worse over time. You
can't undo the damage to your lungs. But you can take steps to breathe easier
and feel better.
Use these methods when you are more short of breath than normal.
Practice them often so you can do them well.
Pursed-lip breathing helps you breathe more air out so that your next breath can be
deeper. It makes you less short of breath and lets you exercise more.
Breathing with your diaphragm helps your lungs expand
so that they take in more air. Your diaphragm is the large muscle that
separates your lungs from your belly.
Breathing while bending forward can reduce shortness
of breath while you are exercising or resting. You can sit or stand to use this
To use this breathing method, bend forward
slightly at the waist. Keep your back straight. If you are standing, you may
want to rest your hands on the edge of a table or the back of a chair.
Bending forward like this may make it easier for you to breathe. It helps
your diaphragm move more easily.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKen Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Ken Y. Yoneda, MD - Pulmonology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
I Want To...
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.