Tips to prevent further damage
There are many things you can do to live better with COPD. What you do day by day can make a big difference in how you feel.
- Quit smoking now. Smoking irritates your lungs and airways. You will find it easier to breath. You will also prevent more damage to your lungs.
- Stay away from places and things that can irritate your lungs. This includes indoor and outdoor air pollution, secondhand smoke, smog, pollen, mold, dust mites, pet hair, cleaning supplies, cold dry air, hot humid air or high altitudes.
- Get a flu shot. The flu shot can help protect you. People with COPD are at risk of developing complications from the flu like pneumonia.
- Stay away from people who are sick with a cold, flu, cough or upper respiratory tract infection. Even if you catch a mild cold, it can make your COPD symptoms worse. Wash your hands often. Do not touch your face with your hands during the cold or flu season.
- Exercise. It will give you energy and build muscle strength. It can also help reduce shortness of breath. Don't forget to talk to your provider before you start an exercise plan.
- Eat well. A healthy diet will help keep your lung muscles strong. It will also give you energy and help you fight off infections. Be sure to talk with your provider before you make changes to your diet. Talk to your provider about what a healthy weight is for you.
- Stay hydrated! Make sure you drink enough water and fluids. This will help keep mucus watery and easy to drain. This will make it easier to breathe. If you have a heart problem, talk to your provider about how much fluid you can drink.
- Get a spirometry test. This test tells your provider how much air your lungs can hold by simply breathing in and out.
- Stick to your treatment plan. It will make you feel better and you will be less likely to become depressed. Take your medicine as prescribed.