The weather is warming up the sun is staying out later and all kinds of fun, family and friends activities are upon us! However if you are a patient suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease then you may see spring time as the time of year where you see an increase of exacerbations, feeling increasingly fatigued, or allergies begin to heighten. Which is why with the help of the following tips you will be able to enjoy everything that there is to love about springtime and everything that goes along with it.
Springtime Tips with COPD
Be Aware of Allergies
Allergies are a huge reason that you may be feeling increased symptoms, which is why if you already know how badly your allergies spike at this time of year speak with your doctor about adding an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine in addition to your COPD medications. Only take additional medications if recommended by your physician, if you start medications before these problems occur then that could save you from having to deal with unnecessary flare-ups leaving you with more time to spend with friends and family. Also if you are not feeling better with additional medications speak with your doctor about trying other options. As a side note try taking your allergy medication late at night that way when you wake up your medication is in full defense, when allergies tend to be at their peak.
April Showers Bring May Flowers
With the weather warming up you may think the cold weather is gone until next year, well not quite yet. So be sure if you plan on going out and enjoying the weather be sure to check the weather report and dress accordingly, and make sure to carry a light jacket just in case the weather changes for the worse. Something to also keep with you at all times during spring is a umbrella.
Be Cautious of Spring Cleaning
Did this winter leave your house with countless amounts of dust bunnies? Well like most people this leaves you wanting to clean the house and get it cleared out in time for spring and summer time festivities! Which is great but as a COPD patient you must take the following things into account before and while you clean. There are certain cleaning products such as pine sol, whose odors are extremely potent and can be reason for bad breathing. So if you have cleaning that requires cleaning of the oven, wall, floors, or toilets ask a friend or family member to complete these for you, or even hire a cleaning crew. While these task are being completed be sure to leave the house to avoid fumes and dust, trust me your lungs will thank you.
Enjoy the Outdoors, But be Smart
At the first sign of 70+ degree weather you may be dashing towards the door to get out and enjoy the spring beauty, but before you rush out and start gardening or enjoying other outdoor activities take the following the following into account.
- Avoid going out early in the morning because that is when pollen counts are the highest; aim to go outdoors in the late morning and on.
- Whenever you are out and about, always carry a cell phone just in case you become to tired and are far away from home and need to be picked up.
- Avoid lighter fluid and smoke when grilling
- Avoid and ask people to respect your disease and not to smoke around you
- Quit smoking immediately
- While exercising ease yourself back into it, don't push yourself to the point of being to fatigued
With the help of the previous tips in addition to regular doctors visits and keeping up with medication schedules, you are sure to have a spring and summer filled with lots of fun memories with friends and family!+Caleb Umstead