The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Holidays are happy occasions, filled with celebrations with family and friends. The 4th of July usually includes barbecues, pool parties or beach trips. But if you or a loved one has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), holidays can be daunting. The change of routine, the time spent outdoors, the fear of an exacerbation – all of these can make you want to just stay home.
We encourage you NOT to stay home! Get out there because you can still celebrate the 4th of July. Attend that party, play with the grandchildren, stick to your plans – just follow our tips for 4th of July with COPD.
Give yourself time
Rushing to get ready and hurrying out the door can be a problem for people with lung disease. Whether it’s you or a loved one, make sure to give yourself ample time to get to your destination without scrambling.
Allergens in the air at an outdoor party, smoke from a grill or fireworks – these can cause COPD symptoms to flare up or worsen.
Check the air quality
This goes hand in hand with the above tip to avoid triggers. You can check the air quality on a weather report.
Don’t overdo it
At BBQs and parties, there are many, many food options. Don’t eat too much, and expand your stomach to a point where it’s uncomfortable and puts pressure on your diaphragm.
The heat and humidity in July really affects people with lung disease. Try to ensure that you will be somewhere with air conditioning. If you’re going to a cookout, opt to stay indoors in air conditioning rather than on the deck.
Enjoy fireworks from a safe distance
It may be too hot, or too smoky to be comfortable for you. Maybe you can stay in the car and watch them out the sunroof or try standing out in a driveway to watch, and if it’s too much, go inside. If not, there are always fireworks on TV!
Your holidays may not be the same as before when you’re living with COPD, but you can still celebrate and enjoy time with family. Make sure to manage your own expectations about the holiday, and try not to push yourself too hard. Happy 4th of July!