Several types of medications have also been shown to decrease your chance of having an exacerbation. Privacy Policy | Avoid Environmental Pollutants. shown to help prevent exacerbations. Get an air filter or purifier for your home. When you have COPD, your quality of life depends greatly on how much you prioritize your health and avoid habits and environments that put your lungs at risk. Vitamin D deficiency usually results from an inadequate diet and too much time spent indoors. You can also get detailed instructions on a variety of breathing exercises from this article on Healthline and this page on the Lung Institute's website. You should also be aware of a few things that can cause skewed or inaccurate readouts, like very cold skin or certain colors of nail polish. If you are sensitive to allergens, always check your local pollen and allergen forecast. That's why it's so important to reduce the amount of pollen, mold, dust, and other pollutants that circulate in the air in your house. But it also means that you are much more prone to contracting contagious illnesses, and more prone to getting secondary infections, too. Here are some additional tips for keeping up with your medications: Washing your hands is one of the best ways to avoid exposing yourself to germs that could get you sick, especially in public places where the risk of encountering a contagious virus or infection is much higher. Studies show that when people with COPD reduce their carbohydrate intake, it can cause noticeable improvements in lung function, reduce shortness of breath, and may even reduce the frequency of COPD exacerbations.However, you still need to include healthy carbohydrates in your meals in order to get essential nutrients and provide your body with the energy it needs to function. These respiratory irritants worsen COPD symptoms, increase your risk for infection, and cause further damage to your lungs over time. Caffeinated beverages can cause bloating and difficulty breathing, while sugary drinks are unhealthy and full of empty calories. You are also more likely to get dehydrated and feel fatigued when you are out in the hot, humid air. An exacerbation of COPD (periodic escalations of symptoms of cough, dyspnea, and sputum production) is a major contributor to worsening lung function, impairment in quality of life, need for urgent care or hospitalization, and cost of care in COPD. Instead, you can make you own cleaning products at home using readily available supplies. If you smoke, get support to help you quit. And since exercise is one the most important parts of COPD treatment, it's very important to keep your muscles healthy and strong. It's important to eat right in order to get enough nutrients to fuel your body and maintain a healthy BMI. In these next sections, we're going to show you how you can avoid exacerbations by incorporating simple habits and techniques into your everyday life. That's why many doctors recommend that COPD patients attend pulmonary rehabilitation, a special class designed specifically to help people with respiratory diseases live healthier, happier lives. Classes usually focus on these main areas: Research shows that taking a pulmonary rehabilitation class increases exercise capacity and overall health in people with COPD. You can string your tubing underneath your jacket or coat to keep it warm. 2. This blocks airflow to your lungs which makes it even more difficult to breathe and triggers symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Keep your home cool and air-conditioned. It's also a good idea to keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you anytime you go out in public to use after you touch doorknobs or other common surfaces. In moments the device will display a readout of your current blood oxygen saturation levels on the screen. Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are prone to acute respiratory exacerbations, which can develop suddenly or subacutely over the course of several days. In general, it's safest to talk your doctor as early as possible if you think you might be experiencing an exacerbation. You will have to work with your doctor to put together an action plan that's tailored to you and your unique condition. Share on Pinterest A person may prevent COPD exacerbations by getting enough sleep. An action plan is a sort of written outline … Here are some examples of healthy carbohydrates you should include in your diet: Muscle wasting is a common problem in people with COPD, which is why it's so important for people with the disease to get an adequate amount of protein their diet. Reschedule outdoor activities on high-pollution days and try to schedule outings on days when the air quality is good. You might also avoid drinking water before meals so you save room for more calorie-dense foods and avoid getting too full. salmon, anchovies, sardines, trout, Pacific and Atlantic mackerel, and herring) Plus, they have the added bonus of lots of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Keep a calendar or schedule with all your medications listed along with how often you should take them. The frequency of exacerbations varies from patient to patient and depends on a variety of risk factors, including age, disease severity, and physical activity level. Carefully pour 1 cup of vinegar into the spray bottle (The mixture will fizz, so make sure to add it in slowly). barley, rye, and spelt), Starchy vegetables (e.g. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to help you breathe easier. Wear an N-95 respirator to avoid breathing in dust and other airborne particles as you clean (this applies to any kind of cleaning, including vacuuming and cleaning surfaces and floors). But first, you should make sure you know how to wash your hands the right way. Because COPD suppresses your immune system, people with the disease are much more prone to getting sick when exposed to lots of people's germs. olive oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and peanut oil). Take Your Medication as Prescribed Your lungs will work at peak levels if you take your inhaled beta agonists, steroids and/or anticholinergic medication as recommended, as these drugs help prevent … Here are some other ideas for cardiovascular activities you can do to improve your COPD: While many COPD patients have difficulty exercising because of breathlessness and other symptoms, muscle weakness is actually the most common reason that patients avoid exercise. Exacerbations … Avoid air pollution. Here are some resources to help you locate a pulmonary rehabilitation program near you: If you've never paid attention to air quality reports before, now is the time to start taking them seriously. Here are some tips for staying healthy and avoiding exacerbations in hot weather: Cold weather can also make COPD worse and put you at a much greater risk for exacerbations. Set alarms on your phone to remind you to take your medication. Never sure whether I should tak them or not. The best way to do this is by practicing tried and true breathing exercises recommended for people with respiratory diseases. Bonus Tip: Eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large ones, eat more slowly, and don't eat too close to bedtime to avoid heartburn and indigestion. The green zone refers to your baseline, how you feel on a normal, typical day. Don't keep your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other electronic device in or near your bed. That's why preventing exacerbations is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy and live longer with COPD. That's why preventing flare-ups and exacerbations is one of the main goals of treatment for people with COPD. • Get flu shot every year. Chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, and coughing are all extremely common COPD symptoms and, for some people, they get even worse at night. If you follow these simple steps and avoid large crowds, you can significantly reduce your chances of contracting an illness from public places. Water is a vital and often underestimated tool for good health. This can happen when illness or inflammation reduces your respiratory function and your lungs can't get enough oxygen to supply your body. Next we'll give you a variety of practical tips for making household duties like vacuuming, dusting, and laundry more easy and efficient. 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