In case you do not know, COPD, an acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a chronic disease characterized by inflammation of the lungs. It manifests itself through symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, difficulty in breathing, and production of mucus. There are various causes of the disease, which include prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke and other toxic gases or particulate matter. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema also contribute to COPD. The former is a condition where the inner lining of the bronchial tubes is inflamed, while the latter is a result of the damaging of the bronchioles by cigarette smoke and other toxic gases and particulate substances.
COPD can be a very difficult disease to deal with, being that it interferes with your breathing system. While it may not have a cure, you can manage it and still live a healthy and fulfilling life. One method of controlling the disease is through oxygen therapy for COPD. This therapy is especially useful is the level of oxygen in your blood is severely low, and you experience rapid and sudden shortness of breath. The doctor will allow you to breathe in oxygen through a mask or nasal tube. Apart from treatment, you can still live a productive and happy life with COPD. Below are several pointers of how you can do that.
- Follow these tips to improve your cough
Hydrate by drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily, so that the mucus does not become too thick to cough up. You should also practice diaphragmatic breathing, where you inhale oxygen slowly through your nose so that your diaphragm moves down and your stomach moves out. When exhaling, do it slowly through pursed lips so that your diaphragm moves up and your stomach in. When you want to generate a cough, practice deep coughing. Sit on a chair rather than at the edge of your bed to support your feet and practice diaphragm breathing. This makes it easier to move secretions up your airways.
- Ensure the quality of air around you is clean
Avoid being around people who smoke, and keep off areas where there are smoke emissions. These include fireplaces, campfires, stoves, and exhaust car fumes. You can filter your air through an air conditioner to keep it fresh.
- Avoid getting infections and get vaccinated
Get pneumonia vaccine every 5-10 years and a flu shot every year. Doctors also recommend getting a whooping cough vaccine. These ailments are dangerous if you have COPD because your lungs are already damaged. Keep from people who have those illnesses as well to avoid infection, and wash your hands thoroughly when using public utilities.
- Keep people closer
A good life is a product of the kinds of relationships you have. Strong relationships with everyone around can help you feel much better in your condition. Cultivate a positive attitude as well. Make jokes and laugh like there is no tomorrow whenever you can. Find ways to make a difference in the lives of other people, no matter how small. Lending out a helping hand takes the focus off of us and helps us see the other person’s needs. Do not forget that nature has a way of rewarding those who are selfless and generous. Find worthy causes to contribute to.
- Pick up a hobby
Having a disease like COPD is devastating, so you need to keep your mind busy so that you are not tempted to get stressed. It does not have to be a strenuous activity. Stuff like reading books, playing brain games, walking, drawing, coloring, and writing can help you stay positive. Make it even better by challenging yourself by, for example, writing a book within a deadline.
- Maintain a healthy body weight
Being overweight can pose even greater health difficulties. You are not safe when you are underweight either, as there is a risk of death from complications of the disease. Ensure you eat a consistent, balanced diet. You will fight the disease better when you are healthy and strong.
It helps to have a strong support system. Reach out to family and friends when you need help. Ensure you get enough sleep, rest a lot, and take naps during the day.