According to the American Lung Association, the lung of an asthma patient loses springiness over time. Therefore, their lungs aren’t capable of returning to its original wide position, which causes air to get trapped in the lungs.

As that stale air builds up, there’s less room for fresh oxygen to enter the lung. Thus, oxygen levels get lower and lower and lead to the wheezing and puffing associated with asthma.

To make up for the lessened functionality of the lungs through asthma, the body uses other muscles for breathing – such as your neck, back and chest. This, however, doesn’t assist with breathing; it only adds more stress to your body, which is not good for people living with asthma.

With the following breathing exercises, asthma patients can strengthen their lungs and, thus, improve their breathing. With enough practice and retraining of the lungs, it’s possible that these exercises can also reduce the risk of an asthma attack.

Allergy sufferers, especially those living with asthma, are always looking for natural ways to both reduce and manage symptoms.

For an edge up on general trouble breathing, here are 5 herbs for relief from the chronic upper respiratory disease.

his sweet root has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, its active ingredient glycyrrhiza not only acts as a demulcent but it has a systemic anti-inflammatory effect on the lungs. In other words, it helps reduce inflammation of the bronchial tubes, calms the airways and restores normal breathing.

It’s important to note that licorice is not suitable for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, adrenal disease, and reduced kidney or liver functioning.

Taking the following steps can drastically prevent or reduce your reaction:

Wear a protective mask when doing yard work.

Use filters in air conditioners to better trap pollen spores.

Check pollen counts before you travel.

Wear sunglasses when outdoors to reduce the amount of pollen entering your eyes, while enjoying some fun in the sun.

Wash your hair at the end of the day to prevent pollen transfer to your pillowcase and other clothing.

Exercise in the morning or late in the day when pollen counts are typically lower.

Got pets? Just like people, dogs and cats can carry pollen inside. If your pet has spent a good amount of time outside during peak pollen periods of the day, it may be a good idea to rinse them as well.

If you’re on the go, chances are over-the-counter meds will just slow you down. Try one of three simple natural remedies instead:

Apple Cider Vinegar: ACV is an age old remedy often recommended for a variety of health conditions (like heartburn) with great success. The theory is that its ability to reduce mucous production and cleanse the lymphatic system makes it useful for allergies. It is also said to help digestion, weight loss and more.

Probiotics: New research links the presence of good gut bacteria with reducing the occurrence of allergies, states a 2005 study. According to the findings, allergies are the result of “an immune reaction that is out of all proportion to the antigenic stimuli.” So, it makes total sense that consuming enough of the gut balancing bacteria would have a positive impact on our reaction to common allergens.

Diet: If all else fails, it may be time to take a good look at your diet. While weeds and pets may be the first triggers that come to mind, other times, food allergies are responsible for severe allergic reactions. In this instance, you may need to consult a physician who can perform an allergy test to pinpoint exactly what’s giving you the sniffles, sneezes, rashes and more.