Having COPD can feel like you are losing your life, and the quality of life is diminishing. Though you can feel like you are trapped, there are ways to regain your quality of life.
It is important to set goals and follow doctor guidelines in order to get your life back. These goals will allow you to push yourself within reason.
When choosing your goals, shoot for things that will push you. If during your day, you do not get out of your home, make it a goal to walk to the mailbox.
From there, make the next day a new goal, possibly a farther distance.
If you are struggling to quit smoking, make a goal to have one less cigarette each day.
Smoking while on COPD can speed up the decline of your lung health, quitting is important in order to live a longer and happier life.
Talk to your loved ones and see if they can help you quit.
Taking Prescribed Medications:
Following the correct instructions for you medications that your doctor prescribed is very important to maintaining a higher quality of life.
Doing so can help you breathe, and fight off possible flare-ups and infections.
You may also be prescribed oxygen or rehabilitation, both of these should follow directions thoroughly.
Oxygen should be taken by the dosage your doctor prescribed, as you can retain too much CO2.
Pulmonary rehabilitation is also important to follow as prescribed. Missing appointments can undo what has previously been worked on.
Rehabilitation, if deemed necessary by your doctor is to be used as a tool to help you fight your COPD.
Another step to a better quality of life is to exercise. Though it may be hard to do while dealing with your COPD diagnosis, it can actually help you.
Exercise can help strengthen the muscles around your lungs and heart which can make it easier to breathe.
Speaking to your doctor about the right steps to take towards exercise is important, as they will know what the best exercises are for your current health.
Following what your doctor recommends will allow you to exercise without over-exerting yourself.
If you feel that any exercises that you are doing cause you pain, stop what you are doing. You should feel some form of mild discomfort, but never an amount of pain.
Surgery is an option for some with COPD. Most surgeries require the patient to be in good health before surgery would become an option.
Many with COPD are already at a point where surgery is deemed unsafe.
You can speak with your doctor and see what needs to be done in order for you to have surgery, if surgery is part of the treatment plan you want.
If you are in good overall health, there are a few surgical options you can discuss with your doctor and see what is the best fit for you.
Avoiding Your Triggers:
Avoiding what will cause your COPD to flare-up is important in order to live a high quality lifestyle.
If you know pet dander causes you to flare-up, don’t cuddle a dog, or if you know tree pollen causes a flare-up, stay inside on days where there is a high tree pollen count.
Though smoking is addictive, do your best to avoid it. Smoking is a huge trigger for COPD patients and can cause your lungs to become inflamed.
Quitting smoking can help more than just your breathing, but your overall health. It is important to try and quit with a COPD diagnosis as it can make it worse.
Keeping Your Home Clean:
Another step to living a high quality life is to maintain a clean home.
Keeping your home clean can help allergens at bay, making it easier for you to breathe in your own home.
Make sure to replace air filters and rid surfaces of dust in order to prevent any flare-ups in your home.
Cleaning air filters, drinking clean water, and making sure the carpets are cleaned regularly can help the air in your home remain clean and breathable.
Eating the Right Stuff:
Some foods are known to trigger COPD flare-ups. Try avoid salty foods, dairy and fried foods to name a few.
Drinking water and eating veggies are a couple ways to maintain good health by diet.
Limiting spices while cooking can help with COPD flare-ups as well. Eating high-spiced items, such as red pepper and cayenne, can cause breathing difficulties in both COPD and non-COPD patients.
Constant Communication with Your Doctor:
Keeping in touch with your doctor is very important when you have COPD. Your doctor is there to help you and do what they can to keep you healthy.
If you let them know about any concerns or issues, they can help you find a treatment plan that with work best for you and your health.
Being in communication with your doctor can allow them to assess your progression and if they think any part of your treatment should be changed.
Letting your doctor know what you feel isn’t working in your current treatment plan can help your doctor decide if they should reevaluate what is and isn’t working.
Though it can be hard to cope with a COPD diagnosis, it is vital to stay positive.
Joining support groups, online and in person can help with a positive mindset. Having a group of people supporting you on your journey can help keep you in check, both mentally and physically.
Managing your COPD can help you with a positive outlook as well. Even though it can be hard to stay active, it is vital to prevent COPD from progressing.
Reminding yourself that COPD is not a death sentence is important as well, as many who get diagnosed feel that there is no hope.
With proper medical care and following the regimen given by doctors, there is hope for COPD patients.
Though a COPD diagnosis can seem like the end, it is far from it.
Maintaining your home, mental health as well as your physical health is key to living a quality life with COPD.
If there is ever a bit of doubt or struggle, contact your doctor. It is their job to take care of you, and they should have a large amount of knowledge and resources if you have questions.
Use your friends and family as your outlet. They love you and want you to live your best life, and will be willing to help you when and where they can.