Most cases of COPD are caused by smoking. But there is about a 20% chance that the illness is caused by other pollutants in the air besides cigarette smoke. Nearly everyone is vulnerable, due to what they inhale. In the past, COPD was mostly something men got, until recently, when it was found that more women are smoking. Women are actually a bit more subseptible to this disease because their lungs are smaller.
COPD, or common obstructive pulmonary disease is a term for several lung disorders such as chronic bronchitas and emphysema. After having trouble catching your breath and coughing for several years and finally getting a diagnosis from the doctor, there may be some familial grieving and even some depression that needs some support.
COPD has generally taken several decades to creep up on a perso,n and so they may be rather out of shape and even living a more sedetary lifestyle. Physical activity can help a person feel better. Getting up and moving, doing some exercises like bike riding, all of this can give a person with COPD more lung capacity and help them to live a better life.
30 minutes of exercise daily, or even three sets of ten minute sessions daily can do the trick. Using an inhaler will make it easier to begin with. Your local hospital probably has a program for COPD patients where they can learn to improve their breathing by learning to exercise and reduce stress. This should also include a resistance training program to improve balance, stability and muscle strength.
Many patients ask if they should give up their sexual relationships and the answer is no. Sex is actually good relaxation and physical activity.
If the COPD patient is still smoking, it is a good idea to ask for support from his or her family. Helping your loved one to relax will help them with COPD symptoms and make life more enjoyable. For women, COPD may get even more advanced. She needs to have her partner understand that she may be less energetic than he is.
Family members might offer to accompany their loved one to the gym or on walks. Having a buddy can really help exercise go by more quickly and be more enjoyable. Reach out to family members who seem to be reclusive after getting the COPD diagnosis. Take them to get groceries or for a walk in the park. Some COPD patients who use oxygen equipment do not like to be seen. Actually, the equipment is becoming much smaller and easier to handle and manuver, and it is becoming more common to see people using it.
Depression is common after the diagnosis. Having family members and friends who have become knowledgeable about COPD can help the patient feel better about themselves. We all need that sometimes. Those who have severe cases, should join a program where they can meet other people in the same situation. A good choice of a program is Better Breathers Club. They have social gatherings and occasional guest speakers and some have an exercise program. To contact a Better Breathers Club in your area, you will want to call your local hospital or the American Lung Association.