You visit the gym for your usual routine but feeling extra tired, you decide to call it a day earlier than usual. A few days later, you play football with your kids, talking about your favourite teams and matches. During the game, however, you feel out of breath again. You also notice more mucus when you cough and feel tightness in your chest.
What Is COPD?
You seek medical help and your doctor diagnoses you with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The development of this lung condition is usually seen in people mid-life, creeping slowly and even undetected until the symptoms begin showing themselves, with the most significant having difficulty in breathing. As a mid-life condition that gets worse over time, many people take its symptoms as due to lack of fitness from age, leading the disease to go unnoticed in the early stages.
Among the most common causes of COPD are cigarette smoking and breathing secondhand smoke. Unfortunately for people who do not smoke, exposure to dust, gases, fumes, and debris in certain workplaces can also cause the development of this disease.
Even with its non-contagious nature, COPD has no known cure and can only be managed and controlled with the help of lifestyle changes. That means living a more active life.
How Do You Prevent COPD?
Learning about the preventive measures to avoid being diagnosed with COPD is critical, especially if you are often exposed to risk factors such as smoking and your work environment. Work that exposes you to dust, fumes, and gases puts you at risk of having these things invade your lungs.
If you are a builder, for example, you should always use safety masks and high-quality dry lining sanding tools to help reduce dust intake and buildup for a healthier work environment. If you have been smoking for many years, now is the most important opportunity for you to quit smoking to prevent the speedier progression of your COPD.
How Do You Manage COPD?
With no known cure yet, treatment options for this condition involve relieving you of your symptoms of cough and difficulty breathing, increasing your tolerance for staying active, slowing the progression of the disease, and improving your health in general.
As mentioned earlier, quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke altogether should become a priority, as well as dangerous substances inhaled. Keeping fit and active is also necessary even with your breathing difficulties, so speak to your doctor about activities that are safe and more suitable for your condition.
COPD also leaves you to be more vulnerable to flu and diseases such as pneumonia, which could only complicate your condition further. Consider getting vaccinations and flu shots in order to decrease the chances of complications.
If you still experience difficulty in breathing, consider pulmonary rehabilitation programs that include exercise programs and disease and nutrition management that you can implement in daily life. These rehabilitation programs may include nurses, doctors, therapists, and specialists who can provide custom fit programs and exercises for your needs.