Just Breathe: The Power of Knowing Your COPD Triggers

breathe

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease limits the amount of air entering the lungs.  The condition causes shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing.  Since the condition can be disturbing and health threatening, it’s important to identify COPD triggers, elements that facilitate its onset.

Such information is beneficial for those hosting the disease as well as friends and loved ones.

Smoking

Of course, any variety of smoke can irritate the lungs, but the act of smoking cigarettes invites the onset of COPD.  Closely related in ambiance and habit, alcohol consumption, can also bring about a fit of coughing or worse.

Those who have dependencies often seek counseling or alternative treatment to help them wean and eventually quit harmful habits.  It’s important for those hosting harmful habits to reconsider behaviors.

Temperature

Extreme temperatures, those freezing or exceeding 90 degrees, invite breathing problems.  Those visiting friends and family members need to take precaution to avoid unhealthy habitats and living situations.  Moreover, additional factors like wind and humidity can exacerbate the threat of extreme temperatures.

While indoors, it’s suggested those with COPD adjust humidity to 40%.  If one must go outside in the cold, cover the nose and mouth with warm materials as not to expose the lungs to frigid air temperatures.

Elements

Beware of dust, pollen, and other elements contributing to air pollution.  In some areas, such as major cities, it may be difficult or close to impossible to avoid such pollution, reason those with serious cases opt to live in suburban and urban settings though allergies to plants and pollen becomes another issue.

In addition, particular indoor elements like paint and mold can disturb breathing, making cases dire if unaddressed.

Infections

In the winter months, it’s common for friends and family members to host colds and other types of minor infections, but the minor seasonal infections can cause great distress for those with COPD.  Furthermore, those with existing conditions, subsequently attracting infections, are prone to pneumonia, which is life threatening.

Seek vaccinations from local hospitals, doctors, and designated commercial establishments.  Furthermore, be mindful in washing hands frequently, especially after coming in contact with public doors, handles and bathrooms.

Alcohol

As mentioned, alcohol, often coupled with bar scenes and cigarettes, is mostly harmless when taken in small quantities yet should be avoided by those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  In addition to particular ingredients creating a flaring of the lungs and subsequent wheezing and coughing, some COPD medications do not mix well with alcohol, causing an increased sense of anxiety and slower rates of breathing, which could be fatal.

Treatment

COPD is an ongoing and chronic disease, which can worsen without the proper treatment.  Moreover, those who do not curb or altogether quit alcohol, smoking, and other threatening behaviors place themselves at higher risks of harming the lungs.

In severe cases, a lung transplant procedure is performed or harshly influenced parts of a given lung removed.  Alternatively, speak to professionals about inhalers, steroids to reduce lung inflammation, and anti-inflammatory sprays and pills.

Steve Tucker spends his days studying images of lungs and effects of treatments. He believes that with a foundational knowledge of lung health and strategies for healthy living, one can manage many lung issues.

 

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