Whether outdoors or indoors, air pollution can irritate the lungs and cause COPD symptoms to suddenly flare up. No one should smoke, but this is especially true for people with COPD. Infections that affect the lungs and airways are dangerous for a person with COPD. People with COPD who are underweight, for instance, tend to have worse respiratory function and have a higher risk of death. In cold, windy weather, you should cover your nose and mouth while outdoors. Research suggests that quitting smoking can actually improve your COPD symptoms, slow down lung function decline, and generally slow down the progression of the disease. (Image text: To see data on pollution trends in your area, you can look up your local air quality report on airnow.gov and click the button “local trends.”). However, since the primary symptoms of sleeping disorders tend to happen while you're asleep, many people live for years without realizing that they have one. Many chemicals emit lung-toxic fumes as well, and they can come from unexpected places, including household products and home construction materials like treated wood, varnishes, and paint. The air quality index is an simple, color-coded scale that tells you how healthy or unhealthy the outside air is to breathe. Once you've got the essentials down, you can stop focusing on what you shouldn't do and switch to focusing on what you can do, instead. Another alternative is to make your own cleaning solutions at home using common—and safer—household products like vinegar, water, baking soda, and soap. These factors can increase the risk of infection and a flare-up of symptoms. We've also provided links to several other practical COPD health and wellness guides from our Respiratory Resource Center, where you can find even more detailed advice and information that expands on many of the topics covered in this post. They also need extra fuel, which means if you don't get enough calories and nutrients from your diet, you may experience worsened breathlessness and fatigue. Even if you've gotten all your childhood vaccinations, you will need additional vaccinations as you get older. Sleep apnea, for instance (a very common yet under-diagnosed sleep disorder) can not only cause severe sleep deprivation, but also causes lapses in breathing that can starve your body of oxygen while you sleep. Also discover the symptoms it might treat, like inflammation and poor lung…, If your COPD symptoms are worse than usual, you may be experiencing a COPD exacerbation. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3306744, '43b79c5e-6bd6-4f02-ac27-2d038d20c146', {}); Some of the things you see on this list might seem familiar, but you're bound to learn something new as you go through this guide. Of course, you should also work in some dedicated, moderate physical activity too, including both cardio and strength training exercises. Smoking is a huge lung hazard—one of the biggest—and it's important to bring up even though it might seem obvious to some. Symptoms include: Certain actions or substances can cause COPD symptoms to worsen or flare up. Devon Slavens. Many people don't realize that cooking releases smoke, oils, and other pollutants into the air that are harmful to your lungs. People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a greater risk for depression, stress, and anxiety. When you have a chronic disease like COPD, you have to be very cautious about what drugs and medications you take. You can maintain this percentage with a humidifier. 2. COPD, Experts generally discourage people with COPD from sleeping on their backs, because this position puts extra weight on your chest that can make it more difficult to breathe (especially if you are overweight). A health and nutrition professional is the best person to if you need someone to help you re-evaluate your diet and come up with a better plan that supports your personal lifestyle and will help you meet your health goals. Talk to your doctor about which ones are safe for you. If you need help, you can always ask your doctor or pharmacist to demonstrate how to use it or to evaluate whether or not you're using correct technique. The list below is the results of the survey I talked about earlier, while some are common among patients there are others that are not common. In chronic bronchitis, the tubes lose their cilia. Many common habits and everyday activities can trigger COPD symptoms, and your lungs tend to get even more sensitive to these things as the disease progresses. A painter’s mask is recommended if you have to be outside. Quitting smoking at any time has numerous short-term and long term benefits for your overall health and your COPD. COPD is a progressive condition that gets steadily worse. What's more, sleeping disorders deprive you of good-quality sleep, which is not only a miserable thing to experience, but also a significant health concern on its own. nbsp; DearCustomer There are medications that are contraindicated with people suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.) Unfortunately, about 65% of people with COPD are overweight or obese, in part due to COPD symptoms like breathlessness and fatigue that cause many patients to avoid exercise. First, a full belly can press up on your lungs, causing chest discomfort and pressure that makes it more difficult to breathe. That means reading the instructions, practicing them carefully, and executing the proper technique every time you take a dose. Common bugs that cause colds and the flu can exacerbate COPD symptoms, such as: If not treated properly, they can also lead to pneumonia, which can be life-threatening. Any respiratory infection can make it much more difficult to breathe and could cause further damage to lung tissue. Some sleep disorders can be diagnosed by your primary care doctor, but some may require additional tests—such as a sleep study or psychological evaluation—before you can get properly diagnosed. Close. The Cleveland Clinic also recommends that you: If you do get a cold or the flu, it’s important to treat it as soon as possible. According to a study, temperature extremes, below freezing and above 90°F … You can find your current air pollution levels by checking your city's air quality index (AQI), which you can get from your local weather station or by looking up your zip code on airnow.gov. The easiest ways to reduce your risk of infection is to wash your hands often and thoroughly. Many people with COPD experience increased symptoms both during and after eating, and for some patients it's so severe that they can't eat enough to avoid losing weight. Our goal is to help you recognize at least a few activities that you didn't know were risky before, and to provide you with some practical tools and techniques you can use to protect yourself from those hazards in the future. In some cases, that means going out of your way to avoid—or find a different approach—to activities and situations that can make your symptoms worse. The biggest COPD trigger by far both in terms of the onset of the condition and managing it down the road is smoking. Discover the warning signs (like rapid breathing) and what to…. Other COPD triggers include fragrances (found in perfumes and personal care products), aerosol sprays (e.g. However, kitchen vents and fume hoods only work this way if they are actually connected to a pipe that takes the air outside. This is why it's important to use proper ventilation while you cook, especially if you or anyone in your household has COPD. Mold tends to grow in enclosed spaces where humidity lingers, and it's a serious respiratory hazard that makes COPD symptoms worse. COPD symptoms may not appear until the lungs have experienced significant damage. Did you know that eating a diet that's high in carbohydrates can actually make your COPD symptoms worse? What a Healthy Meal Looks Like for Someone With COPD, Including Versatile Meal Ideas You Can Try at Home, Why Physical Activity is Important for People With COPD—And How You Can Get More of It, ## Ideas for Active Hobbies You Can Do with COPD, Severe difficulty breathing that doesn't go away with medication or rest. To be on the safe side, you should never take any new medications or supplements without getting input from your doctor first. Some describe it as having a “lack of gender,” while others describe themselves as being gender neutral. This makes it hard to cough up mucus out of the lungs, which causes more coughing.. Because of this, people who are prone to lung irritation and damage (PDF link)—which obviously includes people with COPD—should never use a wood-burning appliance to heat their homes. If you are diagnosed early, before you have a lot of lung damage, you may have very mild symptoms, even when … The most common symptoms of COPD (which includes emphysema) are shortness of breath, chronic cough, and sputum production. There, you'll step-by-step instructions for making alternatives to several different types of commercial cleaning products, including a scrubbing solution, all-purpose cleaner, and grease-cutting solution. If you drink alcohol too soon before bed, it can suppress your breathing even further, making it even harder to breathe effectively while you're asleep. However, another reason for mealtime-related breathing problems is eating too much too quickly, which can aggravate COPD symptoms in a few different ways. When you’re diagnosed with COPD, your doctor can identify how far your COPD has progressed. For a more natural option, several plantscan help clean the air. These are some of the things that can make your COPD worse and spark a flare-up: Smog and other kinds of air pollution; Cigarette or cigar smoke; Strong fumes from perfume and other scented products That means getting all recommended vaccinations on time, as well as practicing impeccable hygiene—especially in these dangerous and uncertain times with viruses like COVID-19. There is no cure for COPD … Find…, The sexual response cycle is an attempt to chart out the general phases people experience during a sexual encounter. If you have the means, you should consider hiring professionals to do hazardous construction, renovation, and cleaning jobs (e.g. Respiratory infections. Yes. As a result, many people with COPD suffer from a lack of good-quality sleep and develop unhealthy sleeping habits, such as sleeping upright in a chair or recliner. This is particularly dangerous if you have a health condition like sleep apnea or COPD that also affects your ability to breathe during the night. Whenever possible, you should ask someone else to help you with these jobs—or at least the most risky parts—so you don't have to put your already-compromised lungs at further risk. You can learn more about what a healthy diet looks like and how to get proper nutrition for COPD in the following guides: If you're having trouble eating, losing weight, or maintaining a healthy BMI on your own, don't wait too long to discuss it with your doctor or a registered dietitian. This highlights the danger of drug interactions, which happens when you take two medications (or a medication and a supplement) that have different effects on your body when they're combined compared to when you take them alone. If you ever have a sudden or severe worsening of symptoms, it's important not to ignore it because it could be a sign that you need urgent medical help. One way to make eating easier on your COPD symptoms is to eat smaller portions of food throughout the day. As a result, you gulp too much air. Fore example, medications that usually only cause mild respiratory depression can cause moderate to severe respiratory depression if you take them at night, in large does, or in combination with another medication that lists respiratory depression as a potential side effect. If you struggle to breathe while you're eating, it's important to take it slow, making sure you take small bites and give yourself time to breathe deeply and steadily while you eat (similar to mindful eating). Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. It not only helps you maintain your muscle strength, mobility, and physical independence (which are all key factors in quality of life), but it also trains your heart and lungs to work more efficiently, which reduces strain on your respiratory system and makes it easier to breathe. And though BMI isn't a perfect indicator of health, it is a key indicator of your risk for a variety of different health complications, including complications related to COPD. Second, eating too quickly requires more exertion and leaves less time for steady breathing. Though COPD symptoms do tend to fluctuate over time, these fluctuations can be important indicators of your health. Depending on the type of interaction, this can make a medication less effective, make its effects stronger, or cause additional side effects to appear. If you can't avoid them while they're being installed or used in your home, consider staying somewhere else for awhile until the fumes have time to dissipate. Cases decreased slightly this past week but are still averaging about 207,000 per day. To learn more about how to make your own DIY cleaning products, check out this guide on how to reduce chemical irritants in your home. To manage COPD, it’s important to avoid or limit exposure to known triggers. To learn more about the dangers of wood-burning stoves for people with COPD, or how to minimize your risk if a wood-burning appliance is your only source of heat at home, check out our practical guide on those topics here. For example, many cold medications, allergy medications, and decongestants that you can buy at the store can cause mild respiratory depression. If you'd like to learn more about COPD and physical activity, including some simple COPD-friendly exercises you can try on your own at home, check out the following guides: Your COPD inhalers are your lifeline; they not only help you control your symptoms, but they are an important part of keeping the disease stable in the long-term. The more you know about COPD and how to protect your lungs, the quicker you can adjust to living a healthy and lung-safe lifestyle with your disease. However, you have to follow all the steps required to use your inhaler correctly in order for the medicine to work. It can take awhile to get used to a change in sleeping posture, but it can help you sleep better in the long run without making it any more difficult to breathe. To make sure you're getting the most that you can out of your inhaled medications, it's important to learn how to follow your inhaler's step-by-step instructions exactly. It's never a good idea to push yourself too hard, and you should always consult your doctor before making any major changes to your exercise routine; however, there are many ways to exercise safely with COPD, even if you have severe strength, endurance, or mobility limitations. For example, most people with COPD know they're supposed to stay away from cigarette smoke, but many don't realize that using common household cleaning solutions can also harm their lungs. An air purifier can help filter many harmful irritants out of the air. These conditions also cause nighttime breathing problems that significantly increase your risk for nighttime oxygen desaturation (PDF link), which happens when your blood oxygen levels fall too low while you sleep. Second, you should keep your doors and windows shut as much as possible on high-pollution days. While a small pinch of salt cooked in a dish may be fine, a salt-heavy diet can be a … This can be difficult cope with every time you need to bathe, but ventilating your bathroom can make it much easier to bear. But though it can be tempting to spend most of your time resting or sitting around, that is actually one of the worst things you can do for your health. Some limited data suggests that high levels of ozone in the air may lead to COPD flare-ups. A CPAP machine is a common treatment for breathing problems caused by sleep apnea. This fact leads some experts to advise COPD patients to eat a low-carb, high-fat diet and limit their carbohydrate intake to the lowest levels suggested by most dietary recommendations. While small quantities of alcohol may be safe, heavy drinking can make COPD symptoms worse. You can do this by opening a bathroom window or, ideally, using a proper ventilation fan. You should also take care with materials that can release hazardous fumes into your house, including many types of paints, lumber, adhesives, and even new carpets and flooring. But unless you live in … Try pausing between each bite to practice a breathing exercise (like pursed-lips breathing) to help keep shortness of breath under control.

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