MS breathing problems are usually considered secondary symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, rather than primary ones caused by the disease itself. Multiple Sclerosis breathing problems are more likely to occur as a result of other MS symptoms, such as muscle weakness, or even as a side-effect of some medications, than by the action of MS on the central nervous system. Breathing is controlled by the autonomic nervous system, rather than the central nervous system, so MS breathing problems are not normally a direct result of the disease’s effect on your body. Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis breathing problemsinclude excessive coughing, mucus build-up, choking at night, difficulty breathing and tightness in the chest. All of these symptoms can be very frightening and upsetting if you don’t know what is causing them, but the good news is that there are lots of simple things you can do to relieve these unpleasant symptoms.
Causes of MS breathing problems
There are several causes ofMultiple Sclerosis breathing problems, usually related to existing MS symptoms. MS patients are more at risk of developing pneumonia, because the weakness in their chest muscles prevents them from clearing mucus from their lungs. MS breathing problems could be early signs of pneumonia, which is why it is important to see a doctor if you start to struggle with your breathing. Muscle weakness can also affect the posture of MS sufferers, making it more difficult to breathe properly, while some medications prescribed forMultiple Sclerosis, such as opiate-based painkillers and tranquillizers can actually depress breathing, causing some of the symptoms mentioned earlier.
Dealing with Multiple Sclerosis breathing problems
Physical therapy is one of the best ways of dealing with MS breathing problems. Sufferers can be taught how to improve their posture in order to take in the maximum amount of air possible. Another way to relieve the symptoms is to make sure that you have a chair that supports your weight, stopping you from slumping down; similarly, make sure that your head is elevated when you sleep to prevent choking during the night. Breathing exercises can help, along with a gentle fitness regime involving yoga and similar low-impact activities. The most obvious way to alleviate Multiple Sclerosis breathing problems is to quit smoking, of course! If the MS breathing problems are caused by a build-up of mucus, a technique called chest percussion, involving a series of taps on the back and chest, can shift mucus that the patient is no longer able to cough up themselves.