Living With COPD
Although dealing with COPD may be difficult, living with the condition can be made easier by practicing healthy lifestyle choices. If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do to make it easier to breathe. Other suggestions for living with the disease include keeping smoke or strong fumes out of your home, finding simple ways to do chores, and knowing what to do if your symptoms suddenly get worse.
Although there is no cure, your symptoms of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) can be managed and damage to your lungs can be slowed down. If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do to help your lungs. You also need to try and stay away from people who smoke or places where there is smoking.
The following sections list various tips for living with COPD.
It is important to keep the air in your home clean. Things that may help you in your home include:
- Keep smoke, fumes, and strong smells out of your home
- If your home is painted or sprayed for insects, have it done when you can stay away from your home
- Cook near an open door or window
- If you heat with wood or kerosene, keep a door or window open
- Keep your windows closed and stay at home when there is a lot of pollution or dust outside
- If you are taking medications, take them as ordered and make sure you refill them before you run out.
Additional suggestions for managing your COPD include:
- See your doctor at least twice a year, even if you are feeling fine. Make sure you bring a list of all medications you are taking.
- Ask your doctor or nurse about getting a flu shot and pneumonia vaccination.
- Keep your body strong by learning breathing exercises and walking and exercising regularly.
- Eat healthy foods. Ask your family to help you buy and fix healthy foods. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Good protein choices include meat, fish, eggs, milk, and soy.