World COPD Day 2019: Tips to live well with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, also known as COPD, can be defined as a chronic inflammatory lung disease that results in obstructed airflow from the lungs. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are the two most common conditions that lead to COPD. Smoking and exposure to chemicals or pollution can invite COPD.

Emphysema is a kind of COPD which involves damage to one’s air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs, whereas chronic bronchitis can be termed as the inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes that tend to carry air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs.

What are the common signs and symptoms of COPD

Wheezing, chest tightness, breathing difficulties, chronic cough, respiratory infections, fatigue, unintentional weight loss and swelling of the legs, feet, and ankle are some of the signs of COPD which shouldn’t be ignored. After a proper diagnosis, your doctor will suggest an appropriate treatment.

How a person with COPD can deal with his/her symptoms in day-to-day life?

There are strategies that can help patients live better and manage their condition more effectively. It is also essential that patients take good care of themselves. If you are living with COPD, there may be times when your condition can affect your ability to carry out daily chores like walking. But now the good news is that you can manage it proactively with the help of these vital tricks. Follow the instructions listed below to tackle your COPD and improve your quality of life.

Avoid Smoking: If you smoke on a daily basis, then it is the time for you to give it up. As discussed earlier, smoking is one of the most significant factors of COPD.  Also, don’t forget that e-cigarettes are equally harmful. This is so because they are loaded with ingredients like flavourings which you tend to inhale and can damage health. Thus, it is the need of the hour to quit smoking by opting for smoking cessation therapy. Once you do so, you will be able to improve your lung health.                                                                                                                        

Cut down on stress: Did you know that unmanaged stress can worsen your COPD? Thus, it is essential to stay physically fit and adhere to a proper sleep schedule – that is sleeping for at least 8 hours daily. You can also meditate or do breathing exercises which can help you tackle the stress. But, here you should remember that you need to speak to your doctor before starting any exercising programme.

Maintain a healthy weight: If you are living with COPD, see to it that you are not on the heavier side. This is so because if you are a heavyweight, then your ticker and lungs will have to work harder in order to supply your body with oxygen. Likewise, if you are underweight, you may be failing to get those essential nutrients that give you the much-needed needed energy. So, to maintain a healthy weight, you will have to stick to a well-balanced diet and exercise daily. Consult an expert with regards to the foods which you should eat and delete from your diet. Certain foods like junk, spicy, oily and the ones which are sugar-laden are not recommended for people with lung ailments. Eat apples, apricot, broccoli and walnuts which can be helpful for your lungs.

Keep germs at bay: Try to stay away from people who are sick. In case you have a cough or cold, try to avoid crowded places to safeguard yourself from the germs that make you sick. Moreover, following a good hand wash hygiene is also required.