The official blog of the Lung Institute.
After you leave your doctor’s office, you might feel confused about how to manage lung disease at home. You might have questions about your condition, ways to oxygenate your blood, alternative therapies or where you can find support. Lung diseases such as COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis and pneumoconiosis are all challenging to live with, but we’re here to help. With your health in mind, here are some tips to help you manage lung disease at home.
Improve Your Home’s Air Quality
Creating a clean home environment can help you manage lung disease at home. The first step is to improve your home’s air quality. If you haven’t stopped smoking yet, now is a great time to go smoke-free. Smoke is a serious irritant to the lungs, and it can worsen lung disease symptoms. If you have friends or family who smoke, ask them to not smoke around you or your home. Avoiding secondhand smoke is important to managing your symptoms.
Allergens such as mildew, mold and bacteria grow in damp environments, and they can aggravate symptoms. Keeping rooms that have water fixtures in them clean, ventilated and as dry as possible will help cut down on the growth of mildew and mold.
The chemicals in household cleaning products, paints, grooming supplies, pesticides and air fresheners can cause symptom flare-ups. There are alternatives to cleaners with harsh chemicals, such as products found on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Safer Choice list. Natural cleaning remedies, such as baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar, are all effective disinfectants without the harsh fumes and chemicals of traditional cleaners.
Consider getting rid of dust collecting rugs, carpets and curtains, opting for hard, easier to clean flooring. Remember to wash your bedding often at high temperatures to kill dust mites. Consider covering mattresses and pillows in zippered cases to keep dust mites out.
Making Life Easier
If cleaning your home is challenging, it’s okay to hire someone to clean your house for you. Ask them to clean your home with fragrance-free, alternative cleaners that you know don’t aggravate your symptoms.
Make modifications to your home to help you get around more easily. If you have stairs, place bags at the top and bottom of the stairs to help you carry items and reduce trips. Place chairs around your home, so you can sit down and rest as needed. Develop a bedtime routine that encourages relaxation. Keep your inhaler, cell phone and important numbers next to you on a bedside table for peace of mind.
If you have company coming over but someone is not feeling well, ask that person to stay home. Having a chronic lung disease can make you more susceptible to illnesses like colds and flu, so remember that it’s okay to ask people who are unwell to come over when they feel better.
Keep puzzles, books, music, DVDs and other entertaining materials near you. If you begin to feel lonely, call a friend or family member and make a plan to spend time together. Go out to lunch or enjoy some tea with someone you love.
Manage Lung Disease at Home for Better Breathing
With these tips to help you manage lung disease at home, you can make your home a sanctuary for better breathing. In combination with your treatment plan and self-management plan, many patients have found cellular therapy to help them regain their quality of life and improve their lung function. We are happy to answer your questions, so feel free to contact us at (800) 729-3065 to learn more.