Troubled Breathing? Manage COPD with These Tips
If you find yourself struggling to catch your breath or frequently coughing or wheezing, you may suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). COPD causes increasing damage to the airways and air sacs in the lungs over time, making it difficult to breathe.
The good news is that while there’s no cure, lifestyle changes and proper treatment can help manage symptoms. Read on for tips to breathe easier if you have COPD. We provide Rapid Covid Test service in Westland and other locations too.
What Causes COPD?
Smoking tobacco is the number one risk factor for COPD, responsible for about 8 out of 10 cases. When you smoke, the chemicals and irritants you inhale promote inflammation that damages your lung tissue. Long-term exposure to other lung irritants like air pollution or chemical fumes also raises your risk. In addition, some people develop COPD partly due to genetic factors. COPD usually appears in people over 40 years old.
How COPD Obstructs Breathing
With COPD, damaged tissues in the air sacs and airways prevent you from exhaling fully. Air essentially becomes trapped in the lungs, causing them to overinflate. This trapped air causes wheezing or whistling sounds as you breathe. The damaged tissues also increase mucus production, leading to chronic coughs as your body tries to clear debris and mucus from the lungs.
Signs It May Be COPD
Pay attention if you regularly experience:
- Shortness of breath, especially with light activity like walking
- A tight feeling in your chest
- A chronic, mucus-producing cough
- Wheezing sounds, especially when exhaling
If you have these symptoms, particularly along with a history of smoking or pollutant exposure, COPD may be the culprit. See your doctor to have pulmonary function tests done to check lung capacity and confirm a COPD diagnosis.
Tips to Better Manage COPD Symptoms
While living with COPD may require major lifestyle changes, you can take these actions to manage your symptoms:
- Quit smoking immediately and avoid lung irritants to prevent more lung damage.
- Take medications like bronchodilators and inhaled steroids exactly as prescribed to reduce inflammation.
- Exercise with cardio and muscle-strengthening workouts to improve lung capacity over time.
- Eat a nutritious diet high in veggies and lean protein to give your body energy and keep your immune system in top shape.
- Use a humidifier and perform breathing exercises to clear mucus and improve lung flexibility.
To Wrap Up:
Stay on top of your health by visiting Garden City Urgent Cares, the best urgent care in Westland, right away if symptoms seem to progress rapidly. Together, you can adjust medications or treatments to help you breathe a little freer. While COPD has no cure, the good news is that the proper maintenance plan can help you manage symptoms and improve your quality of life.