Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is the medical term for lung conditions that make it difficult to breathe. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are two of the most common types of COPD. Chronic bronchitis occurs when the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed, and emphysema occurs when the alveoli, or air sacs, are destroyed over a period of time.
Medical treatments for COPD include oxygen therapy, inhalers, medication, and surgery. Lifestyle changes can also make it easier to manage COPD. Below are some lifestyle changes that you may need to make if you have COPD:
COPD can be triggered or worsened by cigarette smoke. That is why it is very important for you to stop smoking so you can manage your COPD. You should also avoid secondhand smoke. Many patients notice a significant improvement in their breathing after they stop smoking.
You are more susceptible to developing infections, such as influenza, if you have COPD. You can protect against illnesses by thoroughly washing your hands before eating a meal, after using the restroom, and after going outdoors.
Reduce Indoor Air Pollution
Poor air quality is one of the many things that can worsen COPD. The Environmental Protection Agency has stated that the air inside is 10 to 15 times more polluted than the air outdoors. You can reduce indoor air pollution by decorating with plants, which can reduce indoor air pollution by up to 85% and help you to manage COPD symptoms.
You can also reduce indoor air pollution by making sure that your home has the proper humidity level. The humidity level in your home is supposed to be between 30 and 50%. If the humidity level in your home is too high, it can trigger the growth of mold. High humidity levels also attract dust mites. Both dust mites and mold reduce indoor air quality. You can reduce the humidity level in your home by using a dehumidifier.
Exercise may seem like it is counterproductive for a COPD patient, but it can actually help strengthen the respiratory muscles and build endurance. Talk to your doctor about exercises that are appropriate to help you manage COPD.