Listen to this article
It has become imperative in the post-pandemic era to be more aware about healthcare, so that you and your family can lead a healthy lifestyle. No longer must we overlook the severity of specific health problems, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) that can have a long-term effect on those who suffer from it.
The risk factors include smoking, genetics, and environmental toxins such as second-hand smoke and pollutants, which are all there in abundance right now in India. Several cities across India are witnessing a rise in hospital admission for patients with respiratory issues aggravated by pollution and decreasing temperatures. That’s why it is essential that you and your family pay urgent attention to your lungs.
But before we get to that, let us first speak about COPD in detail.
COPD is an inflammatory lung disease that obstructs airflow out of the lungs and is associated with various symptoms, the most common one being difficulty in breathing. Other major symptoms include wheezing, persistent dry cough, chest infections, chest tightness and fatigue. People who suffer from COPD may have higher chances of contracting major health diseases such as heart problems, lung cancer and other related conditions.
When we breathe, the air travels through the trachea and reaches our lungs through the several tubes that are called the bronchial tubes. Our lungs depend on the natural elasticity of these bronchial tubes and air sacs to force that air outside of our body. COPD makes them lose this elasticity by leading to more expansion of lungs than required by the body. This, in turn, traps some of that air inside the lungs while exhaling. Hence, in the long run, it becomes difficult for the lungs to exhale out carbon dioxide.
What measures should be taken by anyone in your family, who has COPD?
Since this is a chronic condition, proper physician consultation is necessary to prevent exacerbations and maintain adequate quality of life. Bronchodilators and newer drugs like biologics, remain the mainstay of COPD treatment, in addition to long-term oxygen therapy (LTOT) and non-invasive ventilation (NIV) that may be recommended in severe cases.
Smoking often becomes the root cause of all respiratory problems. Regular smokers usually tend to develop some or the other breathing problems over a period of time. Putting a complete halt to this habit will drastically improve the condition of your lungs, and thus your respiration.
Breathing exercises can help improve our lung capacity. Practising yoga will help you to get a deeper understanding of these exercises, while also maintaining your fitness.
Getting control of yourself psychologically can single-handedly bail you out of any such health problems. Having high-stress levels causes anxiety. Keeping yourself relaxed is a great way to decrease the incidence of illnesses.
It is an urban myth that pollution only affects you when you step outdoors. The air quality in our homes is often compromised depending on the area of your residence. Top-quality air purifiers are available today that will inform you about the air quality in your home and help in clearing the polluted air out.
Physical exercises strengthen muscles, and keep you fit and healthy. Do 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming on most days, and combine that with three days of hour-long strength training.
Maintaining these lifestyle habits will keep you away from lung, cardiovascular and other health problems. Pursue a healthy way of life for a better future for yourself and the people around you!