Using a handheld fan
Using a handheld fan is a simple but important way of easing breathlessness.
Using a handheld fan can help you recover quicker when you experience breathlessness. You may also find a floor-standing fan or desktop fan effective. When using a fan:
get into a comfortable position (we have more information on breathing positions) - if you’re uncertain about positioning, ask a doctor, nurse or physiotherapist at the hospital
hold the fan yourself if possible - about 15cm (6in) away from your face
let the cool air blow towards the middle part of your face - around the sides of your nose and above your upper lip.
Sitting in front of an open window with the cool air blowing over your face can also be helpful. Some people find putting a cool flannel on their face effective.
You can watch a video on how to use a handheld fan the correct way on the Addenbrooke's charitable trust website. This video has been made by the Breathlessness Intervention Service of Cambridge University Hospitals.