In moments the device will display a readout of your current blood oxygen saturation levels on the screen. But if you follow the steps in this article you can significantly reduce your risk for exacerbations and improve your chances for a full recovery if it happens. Large events and crowds are breeding pools for all kinds of viruses and bacteria. Get a humidifier for your home and use it during the dry winter months. As many as 90 … You may already be taking these to treat your COPD. Only use your bed for sleeping and sex, but nothing else. Always breathe through your nose, not your mouth. It's important to make choices that limit your risk of having an exacerbation, but there's no way to reduce that risk to zero. BACKGROUND:COPD is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States as well as throughout the rest of the world. That means following your COPD treatment plan and knowing how and when to use your different medications. Another thing to remember is that you should close all of your doors and windows on days when the air quality is low. DO NOT change medications or dosages without consulting your doctor first. For individuals suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), managing the symptoms and avoiding exacerbations can be a full-time job. There are a variety of types of exercise, and most of them can be done from the comfort of your own home if you choose. portable oxygen concentrator, You may not be able to control the quality of the air you breathe, but … But beyond this obvious culprit, there are a number of other lung irritants that can trigger or worsen your COPD symptoms. Try to avoid high-traffic roads and drive when the traffic is lighter. Promptly wipe up any water or spills and repair leaky pipes immediately after you notice them. The … Use a toilet brush to thoroughly scrub the bottom and sides of the bowl. Always make an effort to stay indoors when the air quality index or pollen levels are high. Avoid things that cause bloating, like fizzy drinks and fried or greasy food. As for diet, there’s no particular one recommended to adopt. This article is intended for informational purposes only and not intended to be medical advice, nor does it replace professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Talk to your doctor about what you should do if you miss a dose of medication. Flare-ups are common in all COPD patients, although sensitivity to respiratory irritants and the severity of the flare-up can range significantly depending on the patient's physical condition and disease stage. Here is a list of some of the most common causes of COPD exacerbations: Unfortunately, in up to one-third of cases doctors are unable to determine the cause of a COPD exacerbation. 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. Here are some tips for staying healthy and avoiding exacerbations in hot weather: Cold weather can also make COPD worse and put you at a much greater risk for exacerbations. 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. Always take care when emptying or disposing of your vacuum bag. A COPD exacerbation, or flare-up, occurs when your COPD respiratory symptoms become much more severe. Depending on your physical condition you might need someone to come once a month or even once a week or more often to help with heavier cleaning tasks. Air flow can be restricted, breathing can be impacted, and when these symptoms flare, they become more severe than normal. Because COPD suppresses your immune system, people with the disease are much more prone to getting sick when exposed to lots of people's germs. This cleaning product uses ammonia, so take care when mixing or using this spray. Thick mucus also traps bacteria and significantly increases your risk for respiratory illnesses and infections. Having an action plan in place will give you peace of mind and a solid, written set of guidelines for exactly how to manage your symptoms. What's most important is finding activities that you enjoy and that are appropriate for your physical condition. Use the re-circulation option for your car's ventilation system to re-circulate the air in your cabin instead of pulling in polluted air from the road. 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. What Causes COPD Exacerbations? There are certain chemical cleaning products, like bleach, that there's just no replacement for. Nutritional guidelines say you should avoid trans fats and saturated fats when possible and choose unsaturated fats instead. You can get one for your bedroom and any other space you tend to spend a lot of time in, or you can get a whole-house humidifier that hooks up to your home's main ventilation system. Get your annual flu sh… Here are some great instructional websites you can visit to practice new strength training exercises: Stretching is an important part of warming up and cooling down when you exercise. This can be a challenge, so consider asking your doctor about a smoking cessation program. Even a mild flu can cause serious complications for people with COPD, even if the symptoms are mild and you are able to keep your symptoms under control. We've split it into two sections, things you should wash your hands before doing and things you should wash your hands after. Drinking soda, sugary juices, and other caffeinated beverages is another bad habit that can lead to dehydration. Outdoor smog, smoking, and air pollution are some of the most common sources of exposure to respiratory irritants. Even if a friend or family member says they feel well enough to participate, you should wait until they are fully recovered and no longer contagious before spending time with that person. • See the physician at regular intervals, even if one is feeling fine. Some carbs are much better than others, however, and you should always eat complex carbohydrates instead of simple carbs. The true balance of risks and benefits with use of azithromycin to prevent COPD exacerbations … Even if the irritants themselves don't trigger an acute exacerbation, the inflammation could increase your risk for infections and further inflammation that leads to an exacerbation later on down the line. Here are some additional tips for keeping up with your medications: Washing your hands is one of the best ways to avoid exposing yourself to germs that could get you sick, especially in public places where the risk of encountering a contagious virus or infection is much higher. Plan activities during the early morning or early evening, when the temperatures are cooler. There are sample action plans available from the American Lung Association and Australian Lung Foundation websites to give you an idea of how they work. Avoid air pollution. Here are some resources to help you locate a pulmonary rehabilitation program near you: If you've never paid attention to air quality reports before, now is the time to start taking them seriously. It's also important to use your bronchodilator medications to keep your airways open and clear. If you follow these simple steps and avoid large crowds, you can significantly reduce your chances of contracting an illness from public places. Tips and Hacks, Keeping your home free from dust, mold, and grime will also help with allergies and prevent minor symptom flare-ups. 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. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you are managing your COPD and how you can avoid exacerbations… But in order to get enough exercise, you need to know how to manage your symptoms and control your breathing while you work out. Keep filled-up water bottles in strategic places around your house so you don't forget to hydrate and you always have a convenient source of water nearby. You should drink water whenever you are thirsty and make an effort to hydrate multiple times throughout the day. Multiple studies have also found that pulmonary rehab significantly reduces patients' risk of future exacerbations and hospital admissions, too. Consider reducing your workload by limiting the amount of shelving and small decorations in your home that trap and collect dust. Some patient's conditions don't ever get back to the baseline that they were at before the exacerbation, and they have to cope with a minor, yet permanent, increase in symptoms from that point on. Phone: 1-866-747-4276, Copyright © 2021 ScriptHero, LLC. These masks, often called respirators, can come in handy when you clean or might be exposed to hazardous chemicals, dust, or mold. If you experience confusion, a severe headache, difficulty catching your breath at rest, a bluish tint to your skin, or have a sudden difficulty walking short distances, you should seek emergency medical attention immediately. If your symptoms don't improve within a certain period of time (determined by your doctor), you should call your doctor right away. Severe exacerbations are related to a significantly worse survival outcome. The … Denver, CO 80237, Monday - Sunday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm MST, 15 Practical Ways to Prevent COPD Exacerbations, See the COPD Foundation's interactive map, Search a directory of pulmonary rehabilitation centers, More difficulty catching your breath than usual, A change in mucus color (yellow, green, or blood-tinged in color), Increased mucus in your lungs and airways, Difficulty sleeping because your symptoms keep you up, Having less energy than usual to do normal daily activities, Breathlessness and fatigue at rest or after extremely light activities, If you've had an exacerbation within the past year, If you have more severe COPD symptoms (e.g. Checking air and pollen reports are just the first step how to avoid copd exacerbation protecting yourself from illnesses that cause bloating lubricates. Yourself during the summer and when you sleep, talk to your.! A calendar or schedule with all your medications is a writer and content marketer based in,. 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