8 Best Tips for Managing COPD
A person with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) finds it difficult to breathe. COPD can cause blockages in the airways and breathing related problems that get worse over time. The COPD epidemic in India affects 30 million people and contributes significantly to COPD mortality, which is estimated to be among the highest in the world. It is possible to treat COPD, although there is no permanent cure.
With good management of COPD and taking medications on time, your condition can improve, especially with ongoing interactions with your healthcare provider.
Refer to the following tips to manage your COPD in the best possible way:
1. Workout Daily and Eat Healthy
You must stick to your greens and follow a workout regime that not only improves your breathing but also your overall health. Remember to consult your healthcare advisor before starting with any new exercise or diet plans.
Here's what is involved in a healthy diet:
Eat small, well-balanced, healthy meals
Measure your portions and use half, quarter, or small plates and bowls
Drink water before eating
Include fresh vegetables or fruit along with your meals
Set a target to walk daily with a steps-counting app and try to beat your previous record
Use any light or small weight, like dumbbells, to build your muscles
2. Quit Smoking
COPD exacerbations occur mainly due to smoking. If you have COPD, you must avoid consuming nicotine. Several effective methods and solutions can help you quit smoking. Those methods could be:
Replacing nicotine therapy
3. Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough rest is very important for a healthy body. However, we all lead a hectic life, making it difficult for a COPD patient to get quality sleep. In such situations, you must design your schedule in a way that will help you get enough sleep.
Avoid napping to sleep well during the night
Work out frequently to stay active
Before your bedtime, only do calm activities for at least 2 hours
Don’t consume caffeine after 6 pm
Follow the same bedtime and wake up time for a good routine
4. Use Oxygen Therapy
Some COPD patients are prescribed long term oxygen therapy to help them breathe better. Oxygen therapy helps patients to have a higher quality of life and improves blood oxygen levels. COPD patients can use oxygen therapy while walking, sleeping, or resting.
5. Avoid infections
Since COPD is a chronic disease involving constriction of the airways, resulting in breathing discomfort, patients are susceptible to a high risk of lung infections. Make sure to get a timely vaccination for influenza, which is recommended yearly. Vaccination against pneumonia is recommended every 5-7 years. Try to avoid Covid-19 as well. Keep your hands clean by washing them regularly and wear a mask to avoid germs or infections.
6. Start With Breathing Exercises
COPD causes damage to your lungs and airways in the long run. Training yourself with the newer techniques of breathing that are suitable for COPD patients, can help you inhale and exhale. Shortness of breath which many COPD patients experience can be reduced with breathing exercises. Start with pursed-lip breathing and diaphragmatic breathing exercises.
7. Stay Informed About COPD
Even with COPD, you can easily live a better and healthier life. However, you must learn more about the disease and clear up any concerns with your doctor. Learn how the disease can impact your lifestyle and what preventive measures you need to avoid any future complications or problems.
8. Create and Stick to a Plan of Action
Whenever you experience a flare-up of symptoms, your health care provider will help you understand what’s going on and what you can do about it. Symptoms shouldn't be ignored because they will not go away on their own..
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