Can breathing exercises help get you through coronavirus?

Can breathing exercises help get you through coronavirus?
Doctors say taking several deep breaths about once an hour will help keep your lungs open and clear of fluid. (PHOTO: Handout)

ATLANTA — There is a lot of misinformation out there about possible cures and things that you can do help you get over the coronavirus if you become sick.

Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling tweeted out a video of breathing exercises that she says helped her get over the virus.

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But can breathing exercises help you get over coronavirus? WSB-TV took that question and other concerns from our viewers to WellStar Health System pulmonologist Dr. Chirag Patel.

“I think we need to make sure, deep breathing, those breathing exercises that have been alluded to on the internet, those are always beneficial,” Patel said. “It’s important to take deep breaths, a bulk of the oxygenation exchange happens in the base of the lungs. You want to have those airways open to make sure you’re able to clear out debris and viruses.

“Does that mean it keeps you from having the infection? I don’t know that there’s any science for that,” Patel said.

Some people who have contracted coronavirus say they have a feeling like having shattered glass in their lung. So, Estevez asked Patel what kind of feeling people will have if they become sick with the virus.

“I don’t necessarily know that you feel anything different, but when you are symptomatic with the COVID virus, you are going to have more difficulty breathing,” Patel said.

Patel then talked about the help a machine called an incentives barometer does with keeping your lungs cleared.

“When you go to the hospital and you have pneumonia, or you have a surgery of some kind, an abdominal surgery, they give you a machine called the incentives barometer. It is something that actually opens your lungs up. They ask you to do it two to three times an hour. The purpose of that is to open your lungs up so you don’t get pneumonia, you don’t get an infection, and so you have to liken these deep breathing exercises at home to using the incentives barometer, without having the incentives barometer in front of you,” Patel said.

Estevez asked Patel if there is something that you can do at home if you ended up with a mild case of the virus.

He said taking several deep breaths about once an hour will help keep your lungs open and clear of fluid.

Here are a couple of breathing exercises that you can do at home from the American Lung Association: