WORLD COPD DAY How to manage the disease, improve quality of life

 WORLD COPD DAY How to manage the disease, improve quality of life

Team L&M

To raise awareness about the chronic inflammatory lung condition and ensure that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) sufferers, or people who could potentially suffer from COPD, have access to the care and information needed to manage the condition well, November 17 is observed as World COPD Day.
The disease is chiefly caused by tobacco smoking, biomass fuel inhalation, environmental pollution and genetic progenity. It is an irreversible and progressive disease but one can prevent it quitting tobacco smoking and avoiding exposure to biomass fuel.
“COPD can be prevented by refraining from tobacco smoking and avoiding biomass fuel exposure. The disease can also be kept under control by compliance to medication and pneumococcal vaccination” says Dr E Ravinder Reddy, Senior Pulmonologist, Kamineni Hospital, Hyderabad.
There are two kinds of COPD: Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. Chronic Bronchitis is characterised by cough with expectoration of sputum for three months in a year for two consecutive years, while Emphysema is characterised by progressive shortness of breath. Cold weather can cause COPD symptoms to worsen.

Tips to manage COPD symptoms in cold weather:

Cover your nose and mouth with a scarf or mask when you go outside.

Breathe through your nose to help warm air enter your lungs.

Wear appropriate clothing. Keep your body warm and comfortable by wearing layers of clothes that allow you to adjust to the temperature.

If you use oxygen support, keep your tubing under your coat or clothing to help keep the air as warm as possible.

If the weather is bad, consider changing your schedule to avoid going out.

When indoor, don’t use fireplaces. The wood can cause smoke build-up which can also aggravate COPD symptoms.

If you’re planning to travel this winter or if you’ll be staying outdoors for an extended period of time, remember to cover your nose and mouth with a scarf and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. This technique helps warm the air before it reaches your airways. Your clinician may also recommend that you wear a mask outdoors, such as a CT Mask, that’s specifically designed for people living with COPD or asthma.

Get Your Annual Flu Shot: Experts agree that one of the most effective ways to protect your lungs against the colder temperatures is staying current on your flu vaccines. As COPD patients are more likely to contract pneumonia, skipping your annual flu shot may put you at a higher risk of developing this or another lower respiratory infection.

Avoid strenuous outdoor activities: When the temperature dips, it’s better to stay indoors and avoid going outdoors. Performing any type of strenuous activities (i.e. shoveling snow, jogging, skiing, etc.) can put your lungs at risk of exposure to dry air and cause you to experience a flare-up of symptoms.


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