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Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a disease of the lungs that will never go away, but there are ways to slow its progression. The following tips can help your parent or spouse do just that.
If your loved one smokes, it’s essential that he or she quits as soon as possible. The noxious particles in nicotine increase swelling in the airways and increase mucous production, making it difficult to breathe. If your loved one continues to smoke, his or her COPD will just continue to get worse. Secondhand smoke can also be very dangerous, so never smoke around someone with COPD.
Skip aerosol sprays, like air fresheners or dusting sprays, and opt for pump sprays or cleaning cloths. Even cooking odors can make it hard for someone with COPD to breathe, so try to cook when he or she isn't around. You can also open a window or run the oven fan or air-conditioner to help eliminate the odors.
Believe it or not, exercise can help with symptoms of COPD, like shortness of breath. Being less active actually can lead someone with COPD to become physically weaker.
Make sure your loved one is properly trained on how to take medications and use inhalers to maximize their effectiveness. In addition, he or she should avoid gas-producing foods, like certain vegetables, beans and dairy, as well as high-sodium foods because they can make it harder for someone with COPD to breathe. Individuals with COPD are also more susceptible to colds and flu, which can turn into bronchitis. Be sure your loved one gets a yearly flu shot and if recommended by his or her doctor, the pneumonia vaccine.
Information on How to Quit Smoking