However, if you don't have a gym membership, you might consider investing in a small set of lightweight hand weights so you can work out your arms more efficiently. Other foods are necessary for getting the right amounts of calories and nutrients, as well as preventing COPD-related weight loss and malnutrition. It's the most effective way to strengthen your breathing muscles, improve your mobility, and improve your quality of life. Don't go to anyone's house if someone who lives there is sick, even if the sick person won't be present. This is how you practice proper hand-washing technique: You should be washing your hands and paying extra attention to hygiene all the time, not just when you're out in public. Make sure any appliances that release moisture into the air, including your washing machine, clothes dryer, stove, and dishwasher well-ventilated. But humidity isn't just about the weather; even if the humidity is ideal outdoors, the humidity inside your house can still get high. Exacerbations are serious business, and recognizing the early symptoms could save your life. You'll learn how to keep your lungs healthy, how to manage your symptoms, and how to handle the stress and emotional strain of living with a chronic disease. 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. Here is a list of the most common respiratory irritants that you should avoid: Airborne irritants like the ones on this list get into your lungs and airways when you breathe contaminated air. Having your own pulse oximeter at home would not only help you stay healthy and give you peace of mind, but it could also give you early warning of a serious complication and save your life. Hospitalizations for COPD-related exacerbations and complications go up significantly in extreme temperatures and weather. You should check mold-prone places like your basement, bathrooms, and ceilings regularly for any visible mold or water spots, especially if you've ever had a pipe leak or flood. Always keep the room that you're cleaning in well ventilated, especially if you are using chemicals or sprays. Doctors call these flare-ups exacerbations, and they can occur multiple times per year in some patients.[1]. They should demonstrate how to properly take your medication in addition to providing your prescription schedule. It's important to eat right in order to get enough nutrients to fuel your body and maintain a healthy BMI. An exacerbation may worsen and progress into a hospitalized illness such as pneumonia. That includes curtains, rugs, couches, carpets, etc. Vitamin D deficiency usually results from an inadequate diet and too much time spent indoors. Always take care when emptying or disposing of your vacuum bag. Talk to your healthcare provider about how you are managing your COPD and how you can avoid exacerbations… potatoes, corn, pumpkin, and peas), Fish (e.g. That way you don't have to bend and reach as much when getting things out of the machine. 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. This helps strengthen your heart and the muscles in your chest that you use to breathe, reducing COPD symptoms like chest tightness and shortness of breath. Getting any kind of respiratory virus or infection can wreak havoc on your lungs and cause a life-threatening exacerbation. Oxygen therapy, a cleaner and healthier breath. Both too little and too much humidity makes it difficult to breathe and can make your COPD symptoms worse. Add two cap-fulls (about 6-8 teaspoons) of ammonia to the bottle. However, there are some subtle signs of vitamin D deficiency that you should know how to recognize: If you have COPD, it's important to make sure your diet includes enough vitamin D. It will not only keep your bones and immune system strong, but it can even lower your risk of experiencing moderate or life-threatening exacerbations. You will have to work with your doctor to put together an action plan that's tailored to you and your unique condition. Use your prescribed oxygen while you eat. There are a number of different methods that can minimize ‘flare-ups’ and prevent … If you find your daily cleaning tasks tiring, try taking it slower and spreading out your tasks throughout the day. That's why it's important to take precautions and enlist help, especially for heavy cleaning tasks. 1-866-747-4276 Always dress warm for cold weather and use layers so you can add or remove them if your comfort level changes. 2. Anytime anyone you know is sick with a contagious illness, you should stay away from them at all costs. Check your local weather report daily to see what the humidity level will be. Outdoor smog, smoking, and air pollution are some of the most common sources of exposure to respiratory irritants. 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. A bad flare-up can lead to more and longer hospital visits, more medications and higher doses of some medications. Lifestyle strategies and medications can reduce infections and exposure to inhaled irritants.1 Taking your COPD medications can optimize your lung function, making you less susceptible to the effects of lung inflammation and mucus accumulation. 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. There are many different COPD triggers, including dust, pollen, and cold air, that can cause your symptoms to get worse. If you have COPD, physical activity should be your number one priority. Invest in a HEPA filter or other air purifying device. To reduce your chances of flare-ups and exacerbations, you should avoid spending time outdoors any time the air is especially humid, especially dry, or polluted. Get an air filter or purifier for your home. 2. That's why it's vital to pay attention to how you feel and be able to recognize the early warning signs of an acute exacerbation. Make sure appliances like your dryer, dishwasher, and stove are properly vented. You may already be taking these to treat your COPD. Large events and crowds are breeding pools for all kinds of viruses and bacteria. Studies have shown that even short-term exposure to air pollutants significantly increases the risk of exacerbations in people with COPD. Take your medications exactly as prescribed or recommended by your doctor. Don't forget to wear sunscreen the rest of the time, though; there's no need to damage your skin or increase your risk of cancer. 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. If you are ready to learn what you can do to protect your lungs and maintain your quality of life, continue reading to learn about fifteen different ways to avoid COPD flare-ups and exacerbations. Most people should get about 1,000 IUs of vitamin D every day. Seafood is fantastic source of protein and it usually contains moderate amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike flare-ups, exacerbations can have extended or even permanent effects. Do Not Sell My Information, COPD Dos and Don'ts: A Guide to Avoiding Flare-ups, Shortness of breath despite minimal activity. If you feel overheated, try taking a cool bath or shower to cool down. You might be unsure of what symptoms warrant a call to your doctor or at what point you should go to the emergency room for worsened symptoms. Running your air conditioning on hot, humid days will dehumidify the air slightly. It's also important to use your bronchodilator medications to keep your airways open and clear. This happens because of inflammation that reduces your lung function and causes inflammation in your lungs and airways. These allergens can cause bronchial spasms and inflammation that make your COPD symptoms worse and put you at risk for an acute exacerbation. Like when you vacuum, sync up your breathing with your movements to make it easier to breathe. Take shorter showers to reduce the amount of humidity that builds up in your bathroom. For some people with COPD, the summer heat brings relief and decreases their symptoms. Doing this helps limber up your body and get it ready for activity, improving your flexibility and reducing your chances for sprains and other injuries. There are other drugs to avoid, too — medications that can make COPD … It's also important to open a window or turn on your bathroom vent whenever you take a shower or bath. Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to help you breathe easier. It can be confusing to remember which medications to take and how bad your symptoms should be before you take them. Always make an effort to stay indoors when the air quality index or pollen levels are high. Invest in a humidifier for the dry winter months and/or a dehumidifier for the hot, humid months. 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