It may not just be aging signs with breathlessness

Coughing and experiencing a lack of breath and slow breathing   be just down to age. You may never have smoked but you could still develop or be at risk for COPD and other lung diseases.

“While about 80% of COPD cases are related to having smoked, 20% are not,” says Dr. Bartolome Celli, a pulmonologist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

COPD includes emphysema and severe asthma causing inflammation, destruction, or abnormal repair of airways and lung tissue, which reduces airflow and ultimately makes it harder to take in enough oxygen to supply the body.

Symptoms include a chronic cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, frequent respiratory infections, fatigue, excess phlegm, and even a blue tint to the lips or fingernails. But many of these are brushed aside.

“People may feel their symptoms are normal consequences of aging or having smoked. They don’t look for help until later in the course of the disease,” says Dr. Celli.

Early detection and prevention are key by quitting smoking; decreasing your exposure to air pollutants; getting vaccinations for influenza and pneumonia; and getting the medications necessary.

References (www.health.harvard.edu/COPD).

Sleep is so important

In a recent journal by SciTechnol explains how expensive measuring respiratory flow is and how a more practical method would be to use a non-contact mcirophone for audio signal recordings taken from a sleep lab or at home to help improve sleep quality.

Sleep is so important for all of us to funtion correctly, mentally and efficiently for our health and well-being. The amount of sleep a person requires differs from one person to another; most adults need about seven to eight hours of sleep each night to feel alert and well rested.

It is important that each and every one of us maintain a healthy sleep pattern. Stress, anxiety, diet and fluids all play their role in which could really affect our sleeping habits.

references and image credit: Journal of Sleep Disorders: Treatment & Care

Passport, bag and oxygen…

Holiday and travel to some people is the one period of time we feel relaxed, refreshed, indulged or even liberated. Travelling is a luxury and for some a necessity to free themselves from the every-day pressure of work life but for others with the need for supplemental oxygen, life threatening respiratory illnesses; sourcing and organising  medical oxygen is the first item on the list when going on holiday.

Oxygen Worldwide was setup to make travelling with oxygen a seamless service without it becoming a problem just part of the holiday check list. With the experience, 24hour customer service line and extensive network of oxygen suppliers internationally Oxygen Worldwide can arrange your holiday with oxygen effectively, efficiently and tailor-made to your needs.

For those oxygen patients who love to travel and don’t want to be tied down by conventional oxygen therapy you can purchase direct from OxygenWorldwide’s outlet site new and reconditioned portable oxygen concentrators.

With proper planning and guidance, you can go on a weekend getaway or a week-long vacation without worry with OxygenWorldwide.

Organising oxygen for tomorrow

Rutger Berntsen and Noor Pijnenburg, both Dutch, manage a unique company.

 
Since 1993 Oxygen Worldwide arranges worldwide a 24-hours oxygen service for traveling patients with breathing problems. Thanks to Oxygen Worldwide, these people still can go on holidays.
 
Everything is organised down to the smallest details, because in our profession nothing may go wrong”, says Rutger, who demonstrates his computer programem showing all global delivery points.
 
The network ensures that travelers and vacationers anywhere get their oxygen delivered on time.
Some people make fun of it and say: “Selling air, Rutger, that’s clever!” It just makes me smile. “

Manage your COPD breathing with Yoga

Will yoga exercises help COPD patients manage breathlessness better?

Many people who suffer from a lung disease find it very hard to exercise. Often even the thought of physical activity makes them feel breathless. But there is a way to overcome these fears that only lead to a downward spiral of both physical and mental decline, practising yoga. This low impact form of exercise will not only help raising your energy levels, it also clears your mind from worry. Being good for everybody, it is also more and more recommended especially for people with lung diseases, like emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and other lung diseases commonly known as COPD.

Why can yoga exercises be especially beneficial for COPD patients?

In yoga practice there are two essential parts that complement each other in a synergistic way. One part is the Asanas, physical posture that improve range of motion, balance, flexibility and strength of the body. The other part is the Pranayamas, breathing techniques that teach you how to control your breathing and keep your lungs more fully. It also strengthens your respiratory muscles. The two combined will help you improve your general fitness and make breathing easier and more efficient. Additional meditation helps relieve stress and anxiety, which allows you to extend the benefits of the pranayamas and asanas.

Pranayamas, breathing techniques, that can be beneficial for COPD patients are:

Pursed-lip Breathing

This is an exercise especially suitable to learn control your breathlessness. While leaning slightly forward you slowly breath out with your lips pursed, imagine you are blowing a kiss or cooling your soup. This slows down the exhalation and stimulates the abdominal muscles to contract and forces the diaphragm upwards, so the lungs will empty themselves better. Instead of long inhalations and short exhalations, which is a common reaction to breathlessness, you learn to do it the other way around, with an ideal rhythm being to make the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation. Not only will this calm you down and relieve the breathlessness, it also help to strengthen the breathing muscles.

Abdominal or Belly Breathing

COPD patient can benefit especially from the abdominal breathing technique, as it stimulates the diaphragm moving upward and downward, so more oxygen can be taken into the lower lobes of the lungs and spread through the body. At the same time the abdominal organs are massaged by the moving diaphragm, thus improving their intake of oxygen and functioning. By doing the belly breath your body relaxes and becomes re-energized at the same time.

Ujjayi Breathing or Ocean Breath

This is a special form of breath, typically used while practicing asanas. It is used to slow down the breath and make an audible sound by creating a constriction in the base of your throat, like you do when blowing out to create a fog on a mirror. It helps you to stay calm during the practice while focusing on the sound and avoiding breathlessness. It also is said to create heat in your body, which helps to keep up your energy levels throughout the practice. The diaphragm controls the length and the speed of your breath and will become stronger in doing so.

Correct breathing is an essential part of yoga; as the blood will be provided with more oxygen, which makes it possible to control energy levels and this will help you relax and calm your mind. Once you have controlled your breath by practicing pranayamas, you will feel more comfortable and confident to start practicing asanas.

Asanas, physical postures, recommended for COPD patients are:

Standing Mountain Pose

This is a straightforward pose, from which all other standing poses are performed. It requires you to stand tall, either with your arms raised or left hanging loosely at your sides. It teaches you to align your spine and balance the weight of your body, while focusing on your inner self. Your chest will open up and breathing will become easier.

Standing Back Bend

This pose is performed from the Standing Mountain Pose by placing your hands on your lower back with the fingers pointing down and arching your spine back. It helps to release tension in your neck and shoulders and opens up the respiratory system.

Standing Side Bends

These bends not only improve your posture by standing taller, it also regulates your breathing. The basic standing side bend is easily performed from the Standing Mountain pose. By exhaling with each bend, you stretch alternately to the left and to the right. This calming pose improves the flexibility of your rib cage and helps to strengthen your diaphragm to make breathing easier.

Seated Forward Bends

There are several seated forward bends, performed from either a chair or the floor. These poses calm the brain, stimulate the organs and stretch the spine and the shoulders to give more room to your lungs and help you to relax.

These are only a few examples of pranayamas and asanas that you can practice to help improve your lung condition. If reading this story triggered your enthusiasm to give it a try, do take some precautions before you begin. Things to consider are for example:

– Consult with your doctor or respiratory therapist about what is possible in your condition

– Always join a recognized yoga school, don´t go practicing by yourself without any coaching

– Be sure the yoga teacher of your choice is qualified, also for training special groups like COPD patients

– During class, always keep your inhaler or oxygen supply at hand

– Don´t overexert yourself, take a rest if you get exhausted or experience shortness of breath

With these precautions in mind and a good yoga teacher, you will surely be able to experience the benefits that can yoga give you, a fitter body and a mind more at ease.

Websites consulted:

http://www.healthline.com/health/copd/yoga#1

http://yogachicago.com/2014/03/yoga-for-chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/

https://www.doyogawithme.com/yoga_breathing

 

If you could stop asthma with a pill, would you take it?

Recently it has been announced that scientists in Great Britain could have the answer to asthma all contained within a small tablet.

asthma-pills

A protein has been found by Leicester University researchers which triggers the narrowing of airways which causes the potentially fatal lung condition.

They believe a new treatment could be available within five years. This can not come soon enough with recent media fatalities with young people loosing their lives to this illness. Asthma affects 4.3 million adults and 1.1 million children in Britain. An attack kills three people every day.

Asthma affects 4.3 million adults and 1.1 million children in Britain. An attack kills three people every day.

Although a number of new therapies are under investigation for allergy-related asthma there is still a need for new therapies for asthma that is not related to allergies.It has been over 20 years since any breakthrough treatment and most asthma sufferers use an inhaler prescribed from their doctor to help.Dr Saunders said: “It’s an exciting time in asthma research. There are new treatments close to being in the clinic for allergy asthma and now we hope this can help with the non-allergy form.”If it goes well we could have a viable drug in five to seven years.”

An exciting time indeed for asthma patients to read this and improve this long-term illness.

 

reference: express.co.uk