New Smartphone App Could Help COPD Patients

Enter a new smartphone app that aims to use technology to help COPD sufferers to recognize emergencies, and avoid unnecessary doctors’ or ER visits.

 

 

Ted Smith is the CEO of Revon Systems, a tech company based in East Louisville, and the developer of the “Smart COPD” app. The app is designed on a simple premise: that some of those emergency room visits could have been prevented if people were able to track their symptoms.

“The focus of the app is helping you keep track of whether your systems are starting to deteriorate so that you don’t have to get to a point where you have to go to the hospital for emergency care” Smith said.

When you open the app, it poses a series of questions: “Shortness of breath?” “Cough?” and “Running nose or feeling like you have a cold?” It also asks for temperature, and for users to punch in the readings from a separate device that measures oxygen saturation and heart rate.

Finally, the app evaluates the information and tells the user whether they need to head to the ER, call their doctor, check back in a few days or that no medical attention is needed.

It’s simple, and requires only a cell phone and a cheap finger oxygen and heart rate monitor.

 

“People have telephones, they’re our life line. So putting a self-management tool on a cell phone is just a genius idea,” Montague said.

He sees that as a possible opportunity for Smart COPD to reach more people with low-incomes.

“If there’s one thing I wish for, it’s that we take advantage of something we’re already paying for as a society and turn it into health care,” Smith said.

Interested? Search for ‘Revon Systems’ in your App store and look for the “Smart COPD” app.

 

 

Reference: http://wfpl.org/local-entrepreneur-creates-copd-app-shows-hope-for-louisvillians/

Thunderstorm Asthma on the Rise

For seasonal allergy sufferers, rain is usually thought of as a friend—it washes the pollen out of the air. However, there are circumstances in which a particular type of wet weather event can make things much worse: thunderstorms. Asthma epidemics have occurred under such circumstances and have affected patients who have never exhibited asthmatic symptoms before. The most recent severe episode occurred in Melbourne, Australia, in 2016, with 8500 emergency asthma visits and nine deaths.[1]

Recently in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Dr Gennaro D’Amato and colleagues[1] explored the nature of this phenomenon and implications for the future. The authors point out that although rare, these events are expected to occur more often with anticipated climate change. According to the authors, the evidence for this so far is limited to pollen and outdoor mold seasons—but even in the northeastern United States, that is about three quarters of the year.

 

Who Is at Risk?

Certainly, people who are sensitized to the relevant allergens are at risk. Beyond that, we can presume that patients who already have poorly controlled asthma or more bronchial hyperresponsiveness would be at risk, as would patients who have other concurrent risk factors for allergic asthma (such as rhinovirus infection[5]).

What differentiates people who died of asthma from those who did not? Did they have bronchodilating asthma inhalers? Were these fatalities akin to fatal food anaphylaxis in patients who did not have treatment with injectable epinephrine? Many questions remain.

Thunderstorm asthma is an uncommon event that can overwhelm healthcare systems and kill patients. It is yet another reason to screen atopic patients for asthma. Those who are sensitized to pollens or outdoor molds and also wheeze with colds are prime candidates for additional evaluation for undiagnosed asthma. Likewise, patients with exercise-induced asthma (who perhaps have more than just this condition) should probably have spirometry to assess for baseline airway hyperreactivity and perhaps exhaled nitric oxide as well. Perhaps for milder asthmatics who are deemed at higher risk, instead of a bronchodilator alone, we should prescribe a combination inhaler with a corticosteroid and a long-acting fast-onset bronchodilator.

Trying to avoid lung disease

People used to speak of emphysema or chronic bronchitis, but Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (or COPD as it is generally referred to) is a collective term used to describe several chronic lung diseases, which limit airflow to and from the lungs.

COPD is much more than a so-called “smoker’s cough”. It’s a serious, progressive life-threatening disease, which causes ongoing breathing difficulties – and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2015 it killed more than three million people worldwide.

A large international study established that the highest prevalence of Stage 2 or higher COPD was among people in Cape Town, South Africa, and it surmised that both smoking and occupational dust were responsible.

The causes of COPD

Tobacco smoke (this includes second hand exposure), pollution (especially indoor air pollution from cooking fuels in low-income contries) and fumes, as well as frequent lower respiratory infections during childhood can all be causes of COPD. Many people are exposed to fumes, dust and pollution while at work.

 

Required lifestyle changes if you have COPD

It is essential that you stop smoking, and also avoid spaces where other people smoke. Also avoid polluted or dusty areas. A healthy diet and regular exercise are both also essential to maintain your health and manage your COPD.

 

To people with COPD, even a common cold can easily lead to a more serious lower respiratory tract infection, making it even more difficult to breathe than usual. People with COPD need to alert their doctor if their COPD symptoms get worse. Treatment may include inhaled medications, oxygen and antibiotics. It is important to note that antibiotics can help to treat a bacterial infection, but not any condition (like the common cold) caused by a virus.

 

reference: http://www.health24.com/Medical/Asthma/From-our-sponsors/how-to-avoid-chronic-lung-diseases-20170704

Get stronger lungs with these exercises!!

Exercise is a fanastic way to help strengthen muscles and improve heart function all at the same time. It will also give a person overall health benefits and motivation to feel good.



So how does this help you if you have a condition like asthma?

There are breathing exercises that, like aerobic exercises, can strengthen the lungs to relieve asthma symptoms or, in some cases, even prevent the recurrence of asthma attacks.

To make up for the lessened functionality of the lungs through asthma, the body uses other muscles for breathing – such as your neck, back and chest. This, however, doesn’t assist with breathing; it only adds more stress to your body, which is not good for people living with asthma.

With the following breathing exercises, asthma patients can strengthen their lungs and, thus, improve their breathing.

Pursed-Lip Breathing
With a pursed lip, breathe into your nose and breathe out at least twice through your mouth.

Belly Breathing
Breathe into your nose and breathe out through you mouth at least two times. Make sure that each exhale is as long as your inhale. This helps with training your diaphragm to do most of the work while breathing, which builds up the strength to fill and empty your lungs.

If you begin to feel dizzy while practicing any of these exercises, stop immediately.Once you feel better, try again. If the dizziness continues, you should contact your doctor for help.

 

refernce : Jason Hughes, tricounty

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.