Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD is a condition in which the airflow in the lungs is limited. As per American Lung Association, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States. The disease develops and worsens over a period of time, although there is no cure, certain medications and lifestyle changes can slower the progress of the disease.
Lifestyle changes to improve COPD
As per CDC (Centre for Disease Control & Prevention), smoking is the leading cause, with 9 out of 10 deaths caused by COPD. The toxic chemicals from smoking cause irritation to the lungs and airways. In people with COPD, who quit smoking, the lung function improves to great extent, thus slowing the progress of the disease.
Exercises improve COPD in many ways. If you are just a starter, walking would really help you out, walking just for 10 minutes a day or using a stationary bike at home or in the gym could do wonders for you. Activities such as jogging or skating are good for people with mild COPD. All these exercises improve the oxygen flow in the lungs.
If you have been recently diagnosed with COPD, your doctor may ask you to consult a dietician, who would give you the best diet plan. A healthy diet will make you fight infections and make you feel better. It consists of low fat protein foods such as salmon, mackerel fish, whole grains such as oats and brown rice and potassium rich foods such as bananas and tomatoes. A variety of fresh fruits and vegetables full of minerals, vitamins and fiber are also beneficial for COPD.
COPD Friendly Home
It is very important to create a COPD friendly home. As per The American Lung Association, the quality of air in your home is not as good as you think. The allergens and irritants at your place could trigger the symptoms, especially damp areas such as bathroom and kitchen should be well ventilated as bacteria grow in damp conditions that might aggravate this disease. Keeping your home dust free and humid free is a must for COPD.
Infections such as influenza or pneumonia cause serious issues for people with COPD, thus vaccine shots against these infections play an important role. People with COPD should be given flu shots 6 weeks prior to the flu season. These shots help to avoid flare-ups in the flu season.
Thus, following the above lifestyle changes impacts the quality of life of COPD patients. Apart from these even bronchodilators like Spiriva are useful to prevent bronchospasm in people COPD.