The official blog of the Lung Institute.
Doug wishes it wasn’t true. But yes, he admits that there are days where he can’t even find the energy and/or struggles to breathe in order to make it to his mailbox. Granted part of the issue might be putting on those extra pounds—or more accurately 30—over the last several years. Then Doug can’t seem to refrain from smoking when the stress of the day gets to him. And now he is back to a pack-a-day smoker. At this moment in time, Doug knows that he probably has some lung disease but he isn’t willing to make an appointment with his physician to confirm. As a back-up plan can Doug treat lung disease at home?
Can You Treat Lung Disease at Home?
Face the fact: unfortunately Doug is not alone in his avoidance of seeking treatment for lung disease. If you or a loved one suspects that you have lung disease, there are a number of lifestyle changes that you can try. However, if you are still struggling to breathe and have developed other symptoms then it is definitely time to seek out medical attention.
- Shed the unwanted weight. According to a study published in the International Journal of Internal Medicine, taking off the pounds will help airflow to your lungs and in turn, increase energy and stamina. Hence, visiting a dietitian or a nutritional counselor can help you regain some lung function.
- Stop smoking. You should stop smoking regardless of whether or not you suffer from lung disease. Smoking is the primary cause of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and there are quite a number of options to help you quit the habit.
- Treat upper respiratory problems and the flu ASAP. It is pretty obvious and self-explanatory. If your nasal passages are stuffed with a cold or the pollen in the air has triggered allergies, your breathing is adversely affected. Hence, your lung disease will worsen if you do not quickly treat your stuffy nose.
- Avoid excessive use of medication and alcohol. Limiting the number of times you reach for sleeping pills or other medication to help you sleep, as well as not having that extra glass of red wine before bed can help you avoid a decrease in respiratory function, especially when you sleep.
- Change your sleep. Close to 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, which is defined by pauses in breathing at night due to an obstruction in the airway. People with this disorder tend to experience symptoms of daytime sleepiness, poor concentration, snore and memory loss, to name a few. It is a relatively easy equation to solve. Get in more time to sleep, and the number of sleep apnea occurrences will decrease. If you tend to sleep on your back, these episodes will increase. Sleeping on your side is best to decrease the incidence of mild sleep apnea.
At any rate for lung disease and sleep apnea, it is important to be properly diagnosed because when not treated, both can dramatically and negatively impact your quality of life.