COPD - All you need to know


What does COPD mean?

COPD is a chronic lung disease in which a person experiences wheezing, coughing and a general breathing difficulty due to obstructed airflow from the lungs. Factors like cigarette smoking, prolonged exposure to harmful gases, particles or other substances are some of the causes of a person developing COPD.

The two most common conditions, that usually occur together and contributes to the severity of COPD are:

  1. Chronic Bronchitis - Chronic Bronchitis causes daily cough and sputum (mucus) production. It is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes, which carry air to and from the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs.
  2. Emphysema - Emphysema is a condition in which the alveoli at the end of the smallest air passages (bronchioles) of the lungs are destroyed as a result of damaging exposure to cigarette smoke and other irritating gases and particulate matter.

Sometimes, refractory (severe) asthma can also play a role in COPD.

Tips for Managing COPD

COPD conditions can be managed by changing some habits. Always make sure you talk with your healthcare provider/physician first to understand what is and isn’t best for you. This is necessary so that you stay at the right path throughout your journey. However, you can start with these tips to improve your health in general -

  1. Give up Smoking
  2. Did you know that smoking is one of the leading causes that lead to developing COPD in adults? Also, smoking is a trigger for COPD flare-ups. Giving it up for good is one of the most important things you can do for your health. If you need help, talk with your physician to determine the best way for you to quit smoking.

  3. Eat right and Exercise
  4. COPD makes it difficult to breathe adequately. Improving fitness levels with right amount of exercise and a diet allows you to improve your blood circulation, keeping you energetic so you can do more tasks without feeling too tired. Always talk with your physician before starting any diet or exercise plan, and start slowly. With a little effort, you can improve your health significantly.

  5. Take your Medicines on time
  6. Some people with COPD take prescribed medications to help with regular and occasional breathing problems. Your drug treatment plan is tailored to your needs. You need to monitor how it is working, and talk with your doctor when you have any questions or concerns.

  7. Practice Deep Breathing

COPD takes up most of your energy into breathing. Learning new breathing techniques will help you move more oxygen in and out of your lungs with less efforts. Depending on your COPD exercise program, your doctor may ask you to practice certain breathing techniques so that you don’t feel out of breath -

  1. Diaphragmatic breathing: Breathe in slowly and deeply through your nose. While breathing in, push your stomach out. This uses the diaphragm and the lower respiratory muscles.
  2. Pursed-lip breathing: Use the same diaphragmatic breathing technique, but when you breathe out, purse your lips slightly like you are going to whistle. Breathe out slowly through pursed lips. Do not force the air out.

BiPAP Therapy for COPD

COPD is a progressive disease – meaning it leads to dysfunctional laboured breathing patterns that get worse with time. Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) Therapy is a non-invasive way to get more oxygen into your lungs and targets these very patterns. As the name suggests, BiPAP Devices offer two levels of custom air pressure – one for inhalation and other for exhalation. For people with COPD, BiPAP devices makes breathing more relaxed and easier with lesser effort, providing relief to those overworked lungs.

A person with COPD can use BiPAP device when they are awake and even while sleeping comfortably at home. If used correctly, it allows you to be more active and does not cause any harm to your lungs or body. It is best advised to not start or stop using BiPAP device or make any changes to the settings on your own without first talking with your doctor. Also, talk with your doctor about the individual risks and benefits with BiPAP Therapy.

BPL LifePAP provides relief to those with overworked lungs due to COPD. It comes with the convenience of a built-in humidifier and an easy-to-use control interface. Personalized patient comfort settings along with different modes lets patients undergo a seamless and a worry free therapy. You can buy it from our Amazon Store

You can live a healthy and happy life with COPD. Learn about the disease. Write down your concerns or areas where you want to see change and talk with your doctor. Understanding how the disease can impact your life and what you can do to prevent or fix problems can help you take charge of your life and live the way you want to live.

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