Staying Safe This Winter

COPD And Chronic Lung Disease: 3 Tips For Living An Active, Fulfilling Life With COPD

Approximately 24 million Americans have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and related lung disorders. This family of diseases makes it difficult to breathe and may prevent oxygen from getting into the bloodstream, resulting in fatigue and weakness. For people with moderate to severe COPD, doing common tasks, such as cleaning the house, walking up a flight of stairs and holding down a full-time job can be exhausting.

Fortunately, COPD is treatable. However, it is a progressive disease, meaning it continues to get worse with time. Treatment slows down the progression of the disease and certain lifestyle changes can help you lead a more active, fulfilling life:

Get Plenty of Exercise

It may seem counter-intuitive to exercise when you're short of breath, but exercise is highly recommended for COPD patients. Engaging in moderate exercise, such as walking, swimming and riding a stationary bike, can make breathing easier and slow down the progression of the disease. Remaining inactive, on the other hand, results in loss of cardiac and respiratory function. Loss of muscle strength is also possible in people with COPD. For this reason, many doctors recommend lifting light weights in moderation. 

Join a Support Group

Half of the people diagnosed with COPD also suffer from depression, which can greatly reduce your quality of life. What's more, depression can exacerbate your symptoms and make it harder for you to stick to an exercise regimen, stay connected and stay active. Many people with depression may even find it impossible to leave the house.

If you're suffering from depression, it's vital that you seek treatment for it right away. You might also want to join a support group so you can be around others who are experiencing the same things you are. If you want to find a support group, contact the American Lung Association for a complete list of support groups in your area. 

Follow your Doctor's Orders

Even if you feel better, you still have to follow all of your doctor's orders. This may include breathing treatments, oxygen therapy, medication, pulmonary rehabilitation, surgery and lifestyle modifications. You may also need some rescue or emergency medications to help with a sudden onset of more severe symptoms. 

Living with COPD can be difficult. However, there are a few things you can do to improve your quality of life while living with this disease. Stay active, stay connected and follow all of your doctor's recommendations, no matter how difficult they may seem. To learn more, contact a company like Corner Medical.