The official blog of the Lung Institute.

How to Reduce COPD Exacerbations

29 Mar 2018
| Under COPD, Related Conditions | Posted by

Research has found that many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, on average, experience up to three exacerbations or flare-ups per year, with many of these resulting in hospital stays.

If you have COPD, how can you keep your symptoms under better control, hopefully decreasing your odds of an exacerbation?

Stop Smoking

Though you can’t prevent all COPD flare-ups, you can reduce some of them or limit their severity by quitting smoking. In fact, one study found that “smoking is a major factor in COPD exacerbations.”

Granted, giving up cigarettes isn’t easy, but if it can potentially keep you out of the hospital and feeling better, it is worth trying.

If you’d like help quitting, some organizations offer advice and steps for quitting:

Get Your Annual Flu Shot

The American Thoracic Society reports that “the flu shot has been shown to help prevent exacerbations.” Therefore, you want to get one each and every year, unless your doctor advises against it for other health-related reasons.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommends that you get a pneumococcal vaccine if you have a lung disease. You only need it once before the age of 65, with two additional doses required after that age.

Avoid Sick People

Speaking of the flu, another way to limit your risk of COPD exacerbations involves staying away from sick people. The less you’re around any potential bug or virus, the lower the likelihood that you’ll get sick yourself and make your breathing worse.

Because some bugs can last on surfaces for long amounts of time, be sure to wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, especially after you’ve spent time in public locations (like grocery stores, the bank, and restaurants).

Take Your Medications as Directed

If you’re on long-acting medications for your COPD, taking them as directed can also help improve your lung health. Though it may be tempting to skip them when you feel okay, this can result in a flare-up down the road.

If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute offers a variety of cellular treatment options. Contact us today at 888-745-6697 or fill out the form to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.

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