The Basics

Welcome to myBreathing - a resource about breathing support and NIV for people living with MND/ALS

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Coronavirus/COVID-19: People with MND/ALS are at increased risk. Please see the MND Association guidance here for advice and contact your care team. Experts are developing guidance for those using assisted ventilation/NIV.

Motor neurone disease (MND, also known as ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) can affect your breathing. Due to progressive muscle weakness the effectiveness of your breathing gradually reduces over time.

At first, this usually happens when sleeping, but you may notice signs during the day such as headaches and feeling more tired. These changes can reduce the effectiveness of your cough, making you more prone to chest infections.

There are several interventions to help support your breathing as long as possible. Ventilation with a machine that supports your breathing can be the most effective for many people.

Ventilation is commonly used with a face mask, called non-invasive ventilation (NIV). Less often in the UK, people may have invasive ventilation via a tracheostomy (a small tube in the windpipe). There are other devices and medications that can help, used with or without ventilation.

The myBreathing website and videos have been made in collaboration with people living with MND/ALS. Hearing their experiences can help you make your own choice about the treatments on offer.

Explore the myBreathing site to learn more about: