Living with breathlessness can be very difficult for patients, their friends and family members. Doing everyday things like cleaning and going shopping take a lot of effort. People may need help from others which can make them feel frustrated and down because they can’t do everything that they used to do.
“I am all the time worried - worried when this breathing will attack me again.”
Breathlessness also makes people worried or frightened and it can be hard for family members too. At these times they need support from clinicians.
“The emotional thing is extremely, extremely important. You don’t get the understanding … you can just like get caught up in a downward spiral and you end up in this little place all by yourself…”
Prompted by our research at the Hull York Medical School, we wanted to do more to raise awareness of breathlessness and how to cope with it. Working with people who experience daily breathlessness and local artists, we created a multimedia exhibition with striking images and engaging sound recordings to help people understand what it is like to live with breathlessness.
There are many ways that patients can cope with breathlessness. At the exhibition, we will give out copies of our booklet for patients and carers with practical suggestions to help them manage their breathlessness day-to-day.