The official blog of the Lung Institute.

5 Things Someone with Lung Disease Wants You to Know

22 Jun 2016
| Under Caregiver, FAQs, Lifestyle | Posted by | 4 Comments
5 Things Someone with Lung Disease Wants You to Know

Millions of people live with chronic, life changing conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, fibromyalgia and COPD, just to name a few. At the Lung Institute, we understand how challenging, frightening and frustrating living with chronic conditions can be. For people with chronic lung diseases, such as COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, emphysema and others, breathing as well as daily activities can become difficult. We’ve come up with 5 things someone with lung disease wants you to know.

5. Doing Simple Things Takes Twice as Long

Simple and daily tasks, such as getting up, and getting washed and dressed, can leave a person with a chronic lung disease feeling short of breath or fatigued. Walking and cooking are other activities that can cause difficulties. Many people need to rest between activities or while walking. Keep in mind that people who are living with lung disease still want their independence.

What can you do? Let them know that you’re available to help if they want it, but also allow them to continue to do things on their own.

4. Planning is Important

Planning ahead is important to feeling successful. Rushing and the anxiety it causes can worsen lung disease symptoms, so having a plan will help ease stress. Planning out where to park, how long the errand will take, whether it’s too hot or too cold, whether the pollen count is high and if there will be a place to sit are all important to take into account. However, even the best planned trip can go awry, so it’s essential to remain patient and calm.

3. Coughing Fits are Embarrassing

5 Things Someone with Lung Disease Wants You to KnowUnfortunately, coughing fits can happen anywhere and at any time. Many people with chronic lung diseases feel embarrassed when they experience a coughing fit. While family and friends understand the nature of coughing, other people may not. When a coughing attack happens, you can help your loved one by staying nearby and offering a glass of cool water. Sometimes being supportive is the best help available.

2. Be Careful with Your Words

Sometimes people will try to comfort someone living with a chronic condition by offering their support with a kind saying. However, they can end up putting their foot in the mouth instead. Some of these well-meaning yet unhelpful phrases include: “You don’t look sick to me,” “I’m sorry,” “I know exactly how you feel,” “It could be worse” and “Did you get this because you _____?”

These sayings, no matter how well-meaning, can leave the person living with the chronic condition feeling isolated, disregarded and blamed. Instead, try phrases like “I hear what you’re saying,” “Help me understand what you’re going through, so I can be there for you,” “How can I help?” and “How are you?” Sometimes the best support is feeling as though you have a safe place to talk about how you feel.

1. Lung Disease is Scary

This one may seem obvious, but it’s important to understand that living with a chronic condition such as lung disease is scary. While the many symptoms of lung disease are scary, having trouble breathing is extremely frightening. Knowing that lung disease is a progressive disease with no known cure can add to someone’s fears. Supporting and listening to each other will help everyone. It’s okay to ask for what you need, and many people find lung disease support groups helpful.

Help Comes in Many Forms

5 Things Someone with Lung Disease Wants You to KnowChronic lung diseases are challenging to live with and can cause scary symptoms. From talking with your family to trying alternative treatments, help comes in many forms. We hope the 5 things someone with lung disease wants you to know has been helpful. We are happy to answer your questions regarding stem cell treatment options. If you or a loved one has a chronic lung disease, feel free to contact us today at (800) 729-3065.


  1. sh

    2 years ago

    Dear Ms. Gunther,

    Thanks for your comments. Sorry to hear about your ongoing breathing and municipal difficulties.

    The Lung Institute exists to provide stem cell therapy to people suffering from chronic lung disease. If you have been diagnosed with a lung disease and would like to learn more about how we help people breathe more easily, give us a call at (855) 313-1149 to speak one-on-one with a patient coordinator.

    Best Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  2. Bonnie Gunther

    2 years ago

    Hi, I live in Wisconsin. I have been trying for years to bring attention to the problem of outdoor burning (yard fires) in the City Limits. I have many neighbors who burn, not just wood, construction waist, garbage & what ever else will burn. I have seen fires with flames 4 to 8 feet high ( no kidding), this happens almost nightly. The fumes penetrate through close windows & into my house & I CAN”T BREATH, I cough & chock. Many times I get a lung infection from the smoke irritating my lungs, & a long stay in the hospital. I contacted our Mayor, Senators & Governor, without any caring or helpful response. I can’t afford a lobbyist to speak on my behalf or for the many who suffer the same problem I have with burning. I feel my right to breath clean smoke free air & live supersedes any right people have for yard fires in the City Limits. PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME, BEFORE ITS TO LATE. If you’d like more info, please e mail me
    Thank you…

  3. PB

    2 years ago

    Dear Dave,

    First and foremost, we’re sorry to hear that your wife is going through such a difficult time with COPD and congestive heart failure. Because your wife’s doctor knows her and her health well, we recommend discussing ways to help your wife get a good night’s sleep with her doctor. Her doctor knows her treatment plan and can help you find ways to help her sleep better. For some people, herbal teas (like sleepy time tea or chamomile tea) help them, but it’s important to discuss this with your wife’s doctor before changing her treatment plan. We hope this is helpful, and we wish you the best.

    Kind Regards,

    The Lung Institute

  4. dave

    2 years ago

    my wife has copd and conjestive heart failer what can be done so she can jet a good nights sleep .

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* All treatments performed at Lung Institute utilize autologous stem cells, meaning those derived from a patient's own body. No fetal or embryonic stem cells are utilized in Lung Institute's procedures. Lung Institute aims to improve patients' quality of life and help them breathe easier through the use of autologous stem cell therapy. To learn more about how stem cells work for lung disease, click here.

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