Sun rays and COPD living in the summer

Summer is on its way and this means we are exposed to a lot more summer related allergies and with COPD even though there are multiple contributors to COPD such as tobacco smoke, occupational dusts, chemicals and air pollution, vitamin D and sun deficiencies may also play a role.  Research has demonstrated that the severity of the disease is correlated directly to levels of vitamin D, and other research demonstrates that severe disturbed lung and peripheral muscle functions are more pronounced in COPD patients with vitamin D deficiency. In addition, recent research shows that cardiopulmonary exercise capacity is increased remarkably in people with high vitamin D levels compared to those with low levels. Of course, 90% of vitamin D blood levels are produced by sun exposure.

One may intelligently conclude, based on this information, that a part of the cause for both diseases is a lack of sun-derived vitamin D.

 

ref: http://sunlightinstitute.org/does-does-sun-exposure-have-an-influence-on-copd/

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Does your crying make it hard to breathe?

Asthma  results in difficulty in breathing, cough, excessive mucus secretion, and wheezing sounds during breathing.

An episode of asthma can be induced by a variety of triggers. Broadly, they can be categorized into two types: external triggers and internal triggers.

A vast majority of asthma triggers are external – exposure to an allergen. Pollens, dust mites, cockroach parts, and the dander of rodents or of other animals are known allergens that affect many individuals. Another category of common allergens include pollutants in the air. Smoke from charcoal grills or open fires, strong fumes of chemicals such as gasoline and paints, or even strong scents of perfumes and soaps may induce irritation of airways in certain people.

Food ingredients comprise another category of external asthma triggers. Several people have been reported to be allergic to food substances such as peanuts, soy, eggs, shrimp, cow milk, fish, wheat, and certain fruits.

Strenuous exercise is also capable of inducing asthma by causing airway constriction (also referred to as “exercise-induced bronchoconstriction.

In some patients with very sensitive respiratory systems, even minor changes in weather or climatic conditions such as a drop in temperature, rise in altitude, or change in humidity levels can induce severe asthma episodes acutely.

While most triggers for asthma are external, there are a few which are internal, and these may often be ignored while analyzing the condition’s etiology.

Expression of strong emotions is often associated with asthma. Intense anger, excitement, crying, as well as laughing may aggravate airway constriction. Crying also causes stuffiness of the nose in most individuals, and thus makes it more difficult for them to breathe.

 

ref: https://www.news-medical.net

Getting ‘high’ on air…

Even the healthiest person would find it difficult to breathe during the warm and very damp weather in the summer season. The patients ailing with a chronic lung disease such as COPD or pulmonary fibrosis have to be very careful. Surprisingly COPD is more common in women than men. Literally, 37% of women are more likely to have COPD than men.

Good nutrition means healthy eating. You need good nutrition to make your body stronger. You should eat a variety of foods every day. When you have COPD, preparing food and eating large meals may lead to shortness of breath. Here are some ways to help prevent shortness of breath.

Eat 6 small meals each day, instead of 3 large meals. 


Chewing and digesting food uses up oxygen. When you eat a small meal, you use up less oxygen than when you eat a large meal. In addition, a large meal fills your stomach. A full stomach presses on your diaphragm. The diaphragm is the main muscle we use to breathe. When your stomach presses on your diaphragm, it is harder for you to breathe.

Eat slowly, and breathe evenly

Avoid gas-forming foods like:

  • All beans (except green beans)
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Melons
  • Onions
  • Raw apples
  • Turnips

Your doctor will prescribe the type of oxygen device, the flow rate, and how and when to use it. When traveling OxygenWorldwide can supply in over 120 countries and take any stress out of the arranging of your oxygen supply.

 

ref: http://www.upmc.com

Why does cold air trigger asthma?

Dry airways become irritated and swollen, which worsens asthma symptoms. Cold air also causes your airways to produce a substance called histamine, which is the same chemical your body makes during an allergy attack. Histamine triggers wheezing and other asthma symptoms.

When you work out, your body needs more oxygen, so your breathing speeds up. Often, you’ll breathe through your mouth to take in more air. While your nose has blood vessels that warm and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs, air that travels directly through your mouth remains cold and dry. This is just one way that exercising outdoors in cold weather increases your likelihood of having an asthma attack.

Colds, flu, and other respiratory infections tend to circulate during the winter months. These infections are also known to set off asthma symptoms.

Cold air can also drive you indoors, where dust, mold, and pet dander flourish. These allergens set off asthma symptoms in some people.

Make sure your asthma is under control before winter arrives. See your doctor to develop an asthma action plan, and then take the medicines your doctor prescribed. You may take medicine every day or just when you need it.

Long-term controller medicines are drugs you take every day to manage your asthma symptoms. They include inhaled corticosteroids, long-acting beta-agonists, and leukotriene modifiers.

Quick-relief medicines are medicines that you only take when you need them, such as before exercising in the cold. Short-acting bronchodilators and anticholinergics are examples of these drugs.

Here are a few tips:

  • Drink extra fluids in the winter. This can keep the mucus in your lungs thinner and easier for your body to remove.
  • Try to avoid anyone who appears to be sick.
  • Get your flu vaccine early in the fall.
  • Vacuum and dust your home often to remove indoor allergens.
  • Wash your sheets and blankets every week in hot water to get rid of dust mites.

Life by Chloe

Chloe was diagnosed with severe Pulmonary Hypertension four years ago, after having been misdiagnosed for five years.

When I was finally diagnosed, I was in heart failure (the right side of my heart was three times its normal size), I was told that I may not have much time left to live, that I may never leave the hospital again and that if I did, chances were that I would have to be on oxygen for the rest of my life! (Not the best news!)

 

Her five key elements are:

Nutritional Lifestyle, Exercise, Mindset, Creative Expression, Family & Friends

Taking the breath of life

People with a lung condition can get short of breath but The British Lung Foundation have set out the following tips for breathing exercises to help the shortness of breath and breathe more easily each day.

  • relaxed slow deep breathing: breathe in gently through your nose and breathe out through your nose and mouth. Try to feel relaxed and calm each time you breathe out.
  • pursed-lips breathing: breathe in gently through your nose and breathe out with your lips pursed as if you are whistling.
  • blow as you go: use this when you’re doing something that makes you breathless, such as standing up. Breathe in before you make the effort. Then breathe out while making the effort. Try using pursed lips as you breathe out.
  • paced breathing: this is useful when you’re active, such as climbing stairs. You pace your steps to your breathing. For example, breathe in when on the stair, and breathe out as you go up a stair.

Try to practise them every day. They can also help if you get out of breath suddenly. Being in control of your breathing means breathing gently, using the least effort, with your shoulders supported and relaxed.

Great advice!

 

travel by car with medical oxygen

A great resource over at COPD.net on the safety tips of travelling with oxygen.

car travel with oxygenDo’s

  • DO fill the portable tank carefully, if using liquid oxygen. Liquid oxygen is extremely cold and can injure your hands, if frost should develop.
  • DO carry your portable tank only in the case supplied with it.
  • DO use a cart or holster to carry portable oxygen cylinders.
  • DO keep your oxygen delivery system out of the bright sunlight or other heat sources.
  • DO secure your tank, cylinder or portable concentrator so it does not roll around in the car. Liquid tanks should never be laid on their sides; portable cylinders may be.
  • DO bring extra batteries to power your concentrator.

Don’ts

  • DON’T put a portable tank inside a backpack or other carry bag.
  • DON’T place your tank, cylinder or portable concentrator in a car trunk or other tightly enclosed space.

There are quite a few DO’s for you to remember and t is always best to be prepared before embarking on a week or two away on holiday. Any advice needed on arranging oxygen please do just speak with the team at OxygenWorldwide.

 

ref: https://copd.net/living/traveling-with-oxygen/

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