Emphysema causes shortness of breath and other symptoms that make life more challenging. There is no cure for emphysema, so people who have the disease must learn how to live with it.
Treatments for emphysema can help reduce the severity of its symptoms and slow its progression. It’s important to follow your treatment plan to live a better quality of life when you have emphysema. There’s more you can do outside of your treatment too. Below are eight tips that can help you live better when you have emphysema:
1. Quit smoking
Smoking is the most common cause of emphysema and other chronic lung diseases. It’s also one of the most common causes of flare-ups if you don’t quit. Quitting can reduce your shortness of breath and help slow the progression of emphysema.
2. Avoid irritants
Irritants in the air, such as dust, smoke, chemical fumes, allergens and pollution can cause flare-ups. Avoid environments with these kinds of irritants.
3. Practice good hygiene
Infections can make the symptoms of your emphysema much worse. Make sure you frequently wash your hands and avoid touching your mouth to reduce the risk of infection.
Also, you should regularly change the air filters in your home, and dust and vacuum often to help keep your lungs clean.
4. Create a better living space
You can have friends or loved ones help you rearrange your home so it’s easier for you to get around and use appliances. Everything should be easy to reach and you should have clear pathways to common areas of your home. This can help prevent unnecessary physical exertion.
5. Maintain a healthy diet
What you eat contributes to how well your lungs perform. Some foods can help fuel the cells in your lungs so you can breathe better. These include:
- Unsaturated fats
- Complex carbs
- Lean proteins
- Vegetables high in fiber
Avoid foods that are heavy in saturated fats, nitrates, sulfates and simple carbs. These can make your lungs work harder than necessary, which can lead to flare-ups.
6. Maintain a healthy weight
Talk to your doctor about your healthy target weight. If you’re over this weight, you may be causing your lungs to work too hard. Focus on staying within your target weight range to help keep your lungs strong.
7. Join a pulmonary rehabilitation program
A health care professional can lead you through pulmonary rehabilitation to help strengthen your lungs. These programs usually include exercises, stretches, breathing techniques and nutritional guidance.
8. Try Lung Restoration Treatment™
At the Lung Health Institute, we use Lung Restoration Treatment to help reduce inflammation in the lungs. Lung Restoration Treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that uses concentrated amounts of cells from your own blood. These cells target inflammation in the lungs to help improve your ability to breathe.
Contact us today to talk to one of our patient coordinators about Lung Restoration Treatment or to schedule a free consultation.