Stopping COPD in Its Tracks
The onset of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, better known as COPD, can be difficult. Therefore, the more preventative measures taken to avoid it or reduce the severity of it, the better a person’s quality of life.
Below are five ways someone can prevent COPD or limit its effects:
1. Smoking Out the Major Cause
The vast majority of COPD cases come from smokers and former smokers whose nicotine-laden lungs become a breeding ground. Simply avoiding smoking or beginning a smoking cessation program if a person already smokes are the top ways to avoid this disease. In the case of second-hand smoke, making a concerted effort to avoid such areas will also help.
2. Yearly Vaccines
Any viral or bronchial-related illness such as the flu or pneumonia will trigger COPD, so getting a yearly vaccine in each (assuming the person has no allergies to them) will help to avoid the issue. If that option isn’t acceptable, then regularly hand washings and practicing good hygiene will help limit the chance of the flu or pneumonia developing.
3. Any Kind of Pollution
While the effects aren’t as bad as smoking, both outdoor and indoor pollution can create a situation where COPD develops. Outdoor pollution can be related to living near chemical plants spewing noxious fumes. Meanwhile, indoor pollution could be dust in a home, or the use of products with strong smells or odors.
4. Weather Matters
Making sure that the outdoor climate is as stable as possible will aid in preventing any triggers, since torrid heat spells and cold temperatures can aggravate the lungs. Generally, the ranges that a person should avoid (as much as possible) are anything over 90 degrees, and any bitterly frigid conditions—though anything below freezing could be cause for concern.
5. You Are What You Eat
A diet that’s rich in proteins and low in sodium, with plenty of fluids will benefit an individual. Also, since osteoporosis is common in COPD sufferers, a healthy supply of calcium is recommended, along with any foods that feature magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.
Given the fact that COPD is expected to be the third-leading cause of death by 2020, as well as the fifth-leading chronic condition that can help exacerbate health costs, the need to prevent it is not only an individual issue, but one society must deal with in the years ahead.