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How can you maintain quality of life with COPD?

How can you maintain quality of life with COPD?

Respiratory diseases can halt our daily activities and make our life inactive. Chronic lung conditions such as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (or COPD) are even more debilitating as they prevent our lungs from working properly, which has an effect on your breathing process. COPD includes chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


COPD is a condition that unfortunately worsens overtime. However, treatment can help alleviate the symptoms, provide relief and make breathing easier. Lung disease patients require breathing support devices to help them maintain a quality of life. Many types of breathing accessories to ease respiration for patients with lung disorder are available on the market nowadays.

Some commonly used breathing accessories to help patients with lung disorder are briefed here. 

Inhalers: an inhaler is used to treat lung diseases. It delivers medication straight to the lungs. A bronchodilator is a type of medication that relaxes tight muscles and widens the airways (bronchi) so you can breathe easier. They are used to treat long-term lung conditions that affect narrow and inflamed airways. This medication is typically taken through an inhaler and lasts between 6 to 12 hours, depending on your symptoms and the type of bronchodilator. Inhalers also help to clear mucus from your lungs. Sometimes steroids will be added to reduce the inflammation in the airways and lower the production of mucus.

Oxygen Therapy: if your blood oxygen level is too low, you can receive supplemental oxygen via an oxygen tank through a nasal cannula or a mask to help you breathe easier. Often the tank is used while you are sleeping. A portable unit will make it easier to move around. They can be attached to a wheelchair for instance.

Nebuliser: this breathing aid has the same purpose as the devices mentioned above, it increases the oxygen in the patient’s body. A Nebuliser is a compressor that enables fast and accurate drug delivery of relievers, preventers and antibiotics. The breathing device turns liquid medication into a fine mist via a facemask or a mouthpiece for gentler inhalation. Successful results are given by the nebulisers to treat breathlessness.

Inspiratory exerciser: Some inspiratory devices are ideal for improving, developing and maintaining your respiratory fitness. Inspiratory exercisers like flow meters, spirometers, in-check nasal or dial flow meters provide assistance in improving the respiratory muscles through resistance exercise.

Spacers: With the advancement in science pharmacies and online health stores in Australia now sell spacers to assist patients with the correct inhalation technique. Some spacers incorporate an anti-microbial polymer plastic providing protection against more than 99% of bacteria. These devices are 200% more efficient than common spacers made out of plastic. This is due to the fact that the silver ion technology prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi in the spacer. These spacers can suit all sizes and age groups thanks to various sizes masks.

Other equipment such as oximeter and Airzone peak flow meter also serves a helping hand to the asthma patient. They are used for routine monitoring of patient’s asthma.

An Airzone peak flow meter is a portable pocket-size lung monitoring device that measures peak expiratory flow rate and forced expiratory volume. It is used to measure the activity in the lungs and to evaluate how well the lungs are able to expel air. It will give an asthma patient an idea of how obstructed his/her airways are. This self-monitoring device shows instant results of your respiratory zone. Not everyone will benefit from peak flow monitoring.

Lungs serve the main purpose of purifying oxygen and later transporting it to the blood cells to the rest of the body. The oxygen must be available to the body in adequate quantity and pressure for the proper functioning of various organs of the body. An oximeter is a medical tool used to measures the oxygen saturation in n the blood.  A wide range of oximeters is available in pharmacies and online health stores.

Air cleaners: These are also referred to as air purifiers and serve the main purpose to improve the air quality by cleaning the available air in the room. Better air quality reduces the obstruction in the airways.

Essential oils can also help manage lung diseases. They can promote a natural healing response because of their antibacterial and antifungal properties. There are a few options to consider: eucalyptus, lavender, bergamot; myrrh and Frankincense oil. Think however how to use it: using oil in a diffuser is not the same as applying it on the skin. Some of the applications may have different effects on different people.

Independent daily living aids: Daily living aids can ease the day-to-day life of chronic lung patients and help them maintain the routine pace with their surroundings. At Bettercaremarket we offer an extensive range of products and items to assist with a variety of tasks. Our mobility aids have been developed to improve your mobility.

Walkers/rollators: a walker is a great device that will make the task of walking in your home a bit easier so that you can maintain your independence.

Wheelchair or scooter rubber ramps: a ramp can be very useful as it provides smooth access over thresholds or steps.

Portable bedside commodes: our 6-in-1 multifunctional toilet frame and commode is an innovative chair that assists you on the toilet, shower and bedroom.

Bathroom aids: we have a wide selection of assistive bathroom devices to help you access and use the bathroom such as shower chairs, over toilet frames, grab rails and bath seats to name a few.

Living aids such as bed rails, dressing aids or reaching aids will make your life much easier.

Healthy Diet: It is important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Try to eat a diet with nutritious food: avoid processed food as they are full of calories and salt and lack nutrients.

Exercise: if you have COPD you may think that you can't exercise as it will make you feel too short of breath. However, exercise, done correctly and safely, is one of the best things you can do to be less short of breath. 

Exercise will not reverse COPD but it will change the way you breathe, feel and function. And with that improve your quality of life. Bettercaremarket recommends you check with your healthcare professional before starting any exercise activity.

Our exercising devices will help you to work-out within the comfort of your own home. A pedal exerciser is a great piece of exercise equipment to restore your muscles and increase blood circulation to the lower and upper body areas from a seated position. It is a low impact device that will improve your lung and heart function overtime.

Conclusion

Living with a debilitating respiratory condition such as COPD, chronic bronchitis, asthma or emphysema has a detrimental effect on daily life. Breathing is of the essence with lung patients. That is why breathing accessories such as inhalers, nebulisers, and inspiratory exercisers will help; not only to ease the breathing and relieve the pain but to return to a better life. On top of that, quite a few living aids can improve your mobility. These living aids have been proven to benefit chronic patients.

Would you like more information on COPD? Please contact the Lung Foundation Australia by visiting their website.