The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Anyone who suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) knows it’s not the type of condition that simply lurks in the background of life. Every decision and action a COPD sufferer makes is dependent on what their disease will allow them to do. Knowing what types of activities can cause flare-ups can mean the difference in managing the disease and having the disease manage you. These top 4 COPD triggers will help you steer clear of potential flare-ups and potentially avoid undue stress.
Steer Clear of These COPD Triggers
You can’t completely avoid the weather unless you stay indoors indefinitely, and that doesn’t seem like much fun. Unfortunately, both cold and hot weather can act as a COPD trigger. In the winter months, make sure to wrap-up and not venture out into the cold unless you’re in the proper attire. Brisk air can cause shortness of breath and cause a coughing fit, so limit your time outdoors as much as possible. In the summer, keeping cool and hydrated are the keys to avoiding flare-ups. Try finding shade whenever possible, and keep a bottle of water available.
There is, of course, outdoor pollution that comes from burning carbon and the leaking of chemical fumes, but many don’t know about indoor pollution, which can be far more dangerous to COPD sufferers. Pollutants such as mold, dust and fumes can cause you to have an uncontrollable flare-up.
The flu scares a sufficient number of people that don’t already suffer from a chronic lung disease. Imagine having trouble breathing and also dealing with the debilitating symptoms of the flu. The best way to avoid the most common illness that plagues COPD sufferers is to get an annual flu vaccination. A new flu vaccine has been developed specifically for people 65 and older. This vaccine is 24.2% more effective in preventing flu for seniors than the previous version.
Stress and COPD go hand-in-hand. Stress is introduced regularly in the life of anyone suffering with COPD due to the tiring symptoms and restrictions. This, in turn, puts strain on your body and often causes flare-ups, a vicious cycle that only leads to more stress in daily life.
There are many methods of avoiding stress–from yoga and meditation to walking and reading. These can lower stress and potentially spare you from a flare-up.
Stem Cell Therapy and Lung Disease
The best way to avoid triggers is to find an effective treatment option for your disease. Stem cell therapy is a new alternative option for treating lung disease that many have found effective in improving quality of life. Unlike bronchodilators and supplemental oxygen, which work well for symptom management, stem cell therapy seeks to treat the disease itself. Stem cell therapy uses a person’s own tissue to target lung disease by reintroducing one’s own stem cells into the body—cells with the potential to grow new, healthy tissue in the lungs.