In general, it's a good idea to avoid going outdoors whenever it is extremely hot or cold outside. That means that you should be very cautious about the air you breathe and avoid contaminated air as much as possible. Hot weather also tends to correspond with higher ozone pollution levels, which can irritate your lungs and make you even more prone to flare-ups and exacerbations. Caffeinated beverages can cause bloating and difficulty breathing, while sugary drinks are unhealthy and full of empty calories. This can be a challenge, so consider asking your doctor about a smoking cessation program. 2. That means getting vaccinated, staying on top of your medications, and going out of your way to avoid anything that could get you sick. Plan activities during the early morning or early evening, when the temperatures are cooler. Here are some general tips for getting better sleep with COPD: One of the earliest warning signs of a COPD flare-up or exacerbation is a drop in blood oxygen levels. Like when you vacuum, sync up your breathing with your movements to make it easier to breathe. And depending on their severity, flare-ups can also be quite costly. It doesn't do much good to avoid outdoor pollutants by staying indoors if the air inside your home is full of contaminates, too. Make sure any appliances that release moisture into the air, including your washing machine, clothes dryer, stove, and dishwasher well-ventilated. These masks, often called respirators, can come in handy when you clean or might be exposed to hazardous chemicals, dust, or mold. | It is important that you take your medicines as directed to prevent or stop an exacerbation. That means doing everything you can to keep your body strong and prevent acute exacerbations. You can get single-room devices or whole-house humidifiers that moisturize your whole home through the main ventilation system. Running your air conditioning on hot, humid days will dehumidify the air slightly. Don't keep your phone, laptop, tablet, or any other electronic device in or near your bed. 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. 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. Seafood is fantastic source of protein and it usually contains moderate amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Get a grabber or long tongs to pick items up off of the floor or to retrieve things that get pushed underneath your bed or other furniture. And even if you’re feeling well, you should still proceed with treatments and medications as prescribed. Create a dark, cool, comfortable environment to sleep in. You can use your personal pulse oximeter as much as you like to check your blood oxygen levels throughout the day. Common Indoor Triggers Broadly speaking, indoor … But diet alone is usually not enough to get an adequate amount of vitamin D every day. If you have COPD, you need a slightly different balance of these nutrients in order to protect your lungs and minimize your respiratory symptoms. Azithromycin taken daily prevents exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD exacerbations), but seems to also carry risks for cardiovascular death and hearing loss. Phone: 1-866-747-4276, Copyright © 2021 ScriptHero, LLC. The Lung Institute can tell you more information about which drugs to avoid on COPD. Now that you know a variety of ways to prevent COPD exacerbations, it's up to you to build the habits that will keep you healthy and strong. Carl Filer is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Columbus, Ohio. This is when your symptoms are at their lowest level and you're not experiencing a flare-up or exacerbation. You can find all-natural cleaners at many retail stores, but they are often less effective and overpriced. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3306744, 'b59df0c1-c4de-47a8-8e1c-0d33d4b414aa', {}); When you have an exacerbation you'll experience increased symptoms and increased mucus production that makes it more difficult than usual to breathe. If you are late taking a dose, it's usually okay to take it as soon as you remember, unless you are supposed to be taking your next dose of the same medication very soon. Avoid Air Irritants. In particular, COPD patients should eat fewer carbohydrates than what's usually recommended for healthy adults and eat more proteins and fats instead. Most people should get about 1,000 IUs of vitamin D every day. ), You feel well enough to do your usual daily activities, You are having a typical amount of mucus and sputum, Follow your regular diet plan and exercise schedule, Use supplemental oxygen (if prescribed) as usual, You have less energy for your usual daily activities, You are experiencing increased or thickened mucus and sputum, You are getting poor sleep or wake up often because of your symptoms, You are having to use your quick-relief medications more often than normal, Your usual medications are not helping as well as they usually do, Continue taking daily medications as usual, Continue using supplemental oxygen (if prescribed) normally, Use your quick relief medication more often (your doctor might give you a specific increment, such as every 3-4 hours), Start taking an oral corticosteroid medication (your doctor might include this in your plan along with the specific dosage and how often you should take it), Start taking an antibiotic (your doctor might include this in your plan along with the specific dosage and how often you should take it). Using colder water can help, too. You can find a variety of strength training videos online, including YouTube, to help you get started. Now that you understand the risk factors for exacerbations, why exacerbations happen, and how to recognize the early warning signs, it's time to learn how to prevent them. When your lungs have to work harder or don't have the energy and nutrients they need to work efficiently, they are much more susceptible to triggers, irritants, and illnesses that can make your COPD symptoms significantly worse. In the next sections, we'll give you some pointers for well-rounded exercise and direct you to a variety of instructional resources you can use to get started. Exacerbations often require a trip to the doctor, although they can sometimes be treated at home. In the next sections we're going to show you some new techniques and ideas for tackling different cleaning projects in your home. If this happens to you, try sipping or drinking small amounts of water at a time and spread it out through the day so it doesn't cause bloating and breathlessness. ), Fumes from washing machines, dishwashers, and stoves. One of the most important ways to protect your lungs is to watch your local air quality reports and know how to protect yourself when pollution and pollen levels are high. It's completely non-invasive, comfortable, and and incredibly easy to use. Talk to your healt… Columbus, OH 43215, NPI: 1902465503 Equally important is preventing illness. Vitamin D deficiency doesn't usually come with many symptoms, which is why most people who are deficient don't even realize it. For individuals suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), managing the symptoms and avoiding exacerbations can be a full-time job. Controlling leaks and cleaning up spills is particularly important to prevent mold and mildew growth in your house. Use these techniques to save time, energy, and effort when you clean. Invest in a HEPA filter or other air purifying device. You should take at least a few minutes to stretch before and after every single workout. There are some common symptoms to look out for: Following these tips can help minimize flare-ups. Dealing with these symptoms at bedtime makes getting to sleep and staying asleep extremely difficult. A COPD exacerbation, or flare-up, occurs when your COPD respiratory symptoms become much more severe. oxygen therapy, Download Our Official Guide to Portable Oxygen Concentrators, LPT Medical Get your annual flu sh… Carefully pour 1 cup of vinegar into the spray bottle (The mixture will fizz, so make sure to add it in slowly). The signs of a COPD exacerbation go beyond your day-to-day COPD symptoms. You can't always control or prevent an exacerbation, but you can control whether or not you make healthy choices. Quitting smoking can slow the progression of COPD and prevent exacerbations. Here are some common medications used to treat exacerbations at home: However, if an exacerbation gets worse, you might need to go see your doctor or be hospitalized if it gets severe. To reduce your risk of an exacerbation, you should always avoid going outdoors on days when pollen and other allergen levels are high. You can also get a hand-held, battery-powered fan to bring with you whenever you go outdoors in the heat. Keep the windows and doors in your home shut tight on days when the pollution and pollen levels are high. Make sure appliances like your dryer, dishwasher, and stove are properly vented. This happens because it takes extra effort to pull air through the mask when you inhale. But humidity isn't just about the weather; even if the humidity is ideal outdoors, the humidity inside your house can still get high. We'll give you practical ideas to help you tackle everyday tasks and special projects, tips for conserving energy when you clean, and show you ways to avoid using noxious chemicals that could irritate your lungs and airways. Whenever you take a shower or bath be sure to open a window or turn on your bathroom fan to vent extra humidity. Doing so will not only reduce your risk of exacerbations, but it will also help you work some extra physical activity into your daily routine. On the other hand, too little moisture in the air can make it difficult to breathe, too. This will help keep smog and other pollutants out of your home and help keep your indoor air healthy to breathe. 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. Winter weather causes an increase in symptoms in part because cold air is denser, drier, and more difficult to breathe. Outdoor smog, smoking, and air pollution are some of the most common sources of exposure to respiratory irritants. Mild exacerbations can sometimes be treated at home, although you should always talk to your doctor about when you should call him first. 2 • Almost half or 1 in 2 (46%) people of people with COPD who answered this survey said they do not know how to prevent exacerbations or flare-ups. The best part about using a pulse oximeter is that there is no pricking or pinching or discomfort involved at all. Opioid/sedative effects: among COPD patients who are on chronic opioids, it can be extremely difficult sorting out whether hypercapnia is a medication side-effect or is due to underlying COPD… If you feel overheated, try taking a cool bath or shower to cool down. We've split it into two sections, things you should wash your hands before doing and things you should wash your hands after. Don't put it off any longer; continue reading to learn about a variety of practical steps you can take today to reduce your risk of experiencing a COPD exacerbation. If you use supplemental oxygen, cover your oxygen tank and tubing when you go outdoors. Even though you can't always avoid exacerbations, there are many different things you can do in your daily life that reduce your risk. Always take care when emptying or disposing of your vacuum bag. Stop smoking. Never sure whether I should tak them or not. Although the evidence for smoking cessation to prevent … Being in the red zone is a medical emergency, and you doctor will tell you how to recognize when your symptoms get to that point. Avoid taking long naps or sleeping in too late; both can make it more difficult to get to sleep that night. Another factor at home is limiting your exposure to pollutants like secondhand smoke, chemical fumes and various cleaning products. shown to help prevent exacerbations. To use your personal pulse oximeter at home, all you have to do is clamp the small, clamshell-shaped device onto the tip of your finger. Sleep disorders are very common among people with COPD, and the disease comes with uncomfortable symptoms that can affect your quality of sleep. Now that you know what not to eat, you should know what kinds of fruits, veggies, proteins, and grains you should eat for a healthy and balanced diet. 1-866-747-4276 A pulse oximeter can accurately and instantly read your blood oxygen levels to warn you if they get dangerously low. You can also work to reduce how serious the exacerbations or flare ups become to stay as healthy as … So if you're ready to improve your quality of life and take charge of your health today, continue reading for 15 practical ways you can reduce your risk for acute COPD exacerbations. "In third world countries, smoke from cooking over wood fires is a major cause … Using your supplemental oxygen helps you control breathlessness and other symptoms and prevent more serious complications and hospitalization. Lifestyle changes like improving your diet and exercising can have a significant impact on your health. That's when a quick diagnostic tool like a pulse oximeter can come in handy and possibly even save your life. Get a sleep test to check for sleep apnea, which is a very common sleep disorder in COPD patients. You might also avoid drinking water before meals so you save room for more calorie-dense foods and avoid getting too full. Polluted air can affect your health within minutes, hours, or days of exposure. It can also be a warning sign of an oncoming exacerbation, which is why it's so  important to be able to recognize low blood oxygen saturation and treat it promptly. Regular exercise and living an active lifestyle makes it easier to feel tired and fall asleep at night. Even if you get an exacerbation despite managing your symptoms properly, following an action plan can reduce the time it takes to recover from the exacerbation. Eat high-calorie foods first, and your main meal early in the day. The true balance of risks and benefits with use of azithromycin to prevent COPD exacerbations … Classes are usually run by medical specialists or social workers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. COPD, Your doctor can give you a referral and help you find a class in your local area that works for you. Here are some oft-overlooked sources of airborne irritants and pollutants: If you are very sensitive to airborne particles like dust or mold, you might benefit from wearing a special particle mask that filters these particles out as you breathe. Unlike flare-ups, exacerbations can have extended or even permanent effects. That's why preventing exacerbations is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy and live longer with COPD. Put on some music or headphones while you work to reduce the tedium and make cleaning more engaging and fun. Another common source of moisture is home appliances, including dishwashers, dryers, and stoves. Not all fats are equally healthy, however. 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. Staying on your medications is a must for avoiding flare-ups. The earlier you begin treating an acute COPD exacerbation, the better your chances of avoiding life-threatening symptoms and hospitalization. Get high-quality, hypo-allergenic air filters for your HVAC system and replace them every few months. If you ignore worsened symptoms, they're likely to continue getting worse. Sometimes, even once an exacerbation passes, the COPD symptoms don't improve all the way. He has nearly 10 years of experience in professional sports and advertising, with clients such as Root Insurance, Ashcroft, Club Car, The Athletic and more. Tips to help avoid COPD exacerbation: • Take medicines as recommended by the treating physician. When you get dehydrated, the mucus in your airways gets thicker, which blocks your airways and makes it more difficult to breathe. Running a shower or bath and using appliances like your dishwasher or washing machine can raise the humidity in your home if you're not careful. Use a duster or damp towel to clean dust off of counters, shelves, cabinets, and other horizontal surfaces. You may already be taking these to treat your COPD. Make sure you have enough blankets to keep yourself at a comfortable temperature. There are many different COPD triggers, including dust, pollen, and cold air, that can cause your symptoms to get worse. Clean up and organize any cluttered areas that gather dust. "In third world countries, smoke from cooking over wood fires is a major cause … Together, these effects make it more difficult to breathe and increase your risk of getting an illness or infection. It's caused by long-term exposure to irritating gases or particulate matter, most often from cigarette smoke. Both hot and warm air are hard on your lungs, make it difficult to breathe, and can make you more prone to flare-ups and exacerbations. You should also be particularly careful when spending time in doctor's offices or hospitals, which carry an elevated risk of exposure to viruses and bacteria. Most patients who experience an acute COPD exacerbation will require supplemental oxygen – that’s true even if you don’t use it regularly. Talk to your healt… Here are some general tips for dealing with dry and humid weather: Getting exercise and living an active life is another one of the best things you can do to keep your body healthy, strengthen your breathing muscles, and reduce your risk of COPD exacerbations. Fill up the spray bottle the rest of the way with water and let it sit for 8-12 hours, or overnight. Drink a sports drink or salty food after sweating or spending time in the heat to replenish lost electrolytes. Other foods, like spicy and acidic foods, can cause bloating and stomach discomfort, especially if you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). That means that vegetable oils are unsaturated, while butter is a saturated fat. These include beta blockers, diuretics and antihistamines. That way you can immediately vacuum up all the dust and other irritating particles you've knocked off of surfaces in your home. Even if you follow all of the advice above, you're likely to get sick if you don't keep up with your medications. Humidity tends to be highest in warm weather, because warm air is able to hold more moisture. If your lungs aren't working well enough on their own, you may have to use a ventilator or a positive expiratory pressure (PEP) device to keep your airways open. The biggest COPD trigger by far both in terms of the onset of the condition and managing it down the road is smoking. Section addressing a different level of symptom severity, keep your phone, laptop,,. Discomfort involved at all costs to adopt after sweating or spending time in the cold air, walking... As a result of a COPD exacerbation include: 1 D, spend a few minutes to stretch before after... You pull the mop toward you and breathe out as you clean leak or,! Night or any other rooms that tend to occur in people with COPD mites, insects, and will. 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