Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, COPD, encompasses progressive lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema, which block airflow and increasingly make it harder to breathe. Multiple millions of people suffer from COPD, and increasing number of sufferers are searching for ways to help them breathe easier. These 7 tips will help manage the breathlessness that accompanies COPD and the other symptoms which can trigger a sudden COPD flare-up.
Get An Accurate COPD Diagnosis
A beneficial treatment course first starts with an accurate diagnosis, getting an accurate COPD diagnosis can be had with a simple Spirometry test. A Spirometry test is a lung function test administered in the doctor’s office which measures the amount of air a person can inhale and exhale, and how fast the air can be exhaled. A Spirometry test will confirm or dispute a suspected case of COPD, and will also stage a confirmed case of COPD, allowing for an accurate treatment plan to be implemented.
Smoking is not the cause of all cases of COPD, but it will make the lung disease progress faster. Avail yourself to some of the smoking cessation tools such as nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to help kick the smoking habit for good so you can breathe easier and limit COPD flare-ups.
Dropping a few pounds will help you breathe easier with COPD. Carrying even as little as ten extra pounds around will make breathing more labored. On the flip side of the weight issue – patients in the advanced stages of COPD are usually underweight and may require extra nutritional support and strength training to improve their condition and breathe easier.
Exercise and COPD
Exercising will not cure COPD or improve lung function, but it will improve cardiovascular fitness which in turn will allow you to be more active with COPD. Start an exercise program slowly and build to 30-60 minutes of brisk walking each day. Regular exercise will also help shed excess weight and reduce shortness of breath.
Rid House of Irritants
A clean house is essential for COPD patients to be able to breathe their best. Rid house of dust and allergen catchers such as carpet, rugs, draperies and throw pillows. Dust, fumes, germs, animals dander, pollen and any other air-borne irritants aggravate COPD.
Get An Annual Flu Shot
A chest cold or infection can trigger COPD flare-ups. Prevent flu by getting an annual flu shot and a pneumonia shot every five years. Even with the protection of a flu and pneumonia vaccines, avoid exposure with people who have a cold or flu.
Recognize COPD Flare-up Warning Signs
Learn to recognize the signs of a COPD flare-up, such as more coughing, more phlegm, more shortness of breath and more fatigue. When the COPD symptoms worsen, a visit to you doctor is in order to see what else can be done to treat and manage symptoms.
If there is a sudden onset of worsening COPD symptoms, contact emergency health care services for immediate medical attention.