Thursday, 19 July 2018

How Quick Do Lungs Recover After Quitting Smoking?

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death. Worldwide, tobacco use causes nearly 6 million deaths per year, and current trends show that tobacco use will cause more than 8 million deaths annually, Lung diseases caused by smoking include COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis and Lung Cancer also.

The biggest impact smoking has on lungs is the damage done to the cilia. Cilia are tiny, hair-like protrusions in your lungs and respiratory tract that move back and forth as you breathe, to keep out foreign material or contagion. The images show cilia in healthy lungs. When you smoke, the cilia are destroyed, and you are unable to protect yourself against the contaminants and contagions you inhale. Cilia also help to move mucus through the lungs. Without cilia, many smokers develop a chronic cough, which is an attempt to move mucus from the lungs that the cilia would normally be moving.

What are Cilia?
The cilia are microscopic hair-like projections on specialized cells lining the tracts inside the body called the epithelial cells. As they do in the digestive and reproductive systems, the cilia are found covering most of your airways. Although they are smaller than 1/100th mm in length, they are crucial for the proper functioning of the lungs; patients born with a condition which prevents their cilia from working suffer from severe breathing problems and constant infections.

The Importance of Cilia

Each day, you breathe in and out 20,000 times and the air around you contains dust and other airborne particles that would be harmful if they were allowed to accumulate in the lungs. The cilia secrete a sticky mucus, which traps these particles and prevents them from settling in the airways. As well as this, the cilia move backward and forwards in a coordinated wave-like motion to move the mucus out of the lungs. This ordinarily keeps the lungs clean and free from infection.

Smoking Impairs the Cilia

According to the American Lung Association, tobacco smoke contains 250 known harmful chemicals; some of these are toxic to the cilia, resulting in their paralysis and an inability to produce mucus effectively. Without this filter, the potentially irritating impurities from the air remain in the airways and this can cause infection. Experts have long agreed that this is one of the reasons that smokers experience a higher incidence of pulmonary infection.

Reasons to Quit

After 72 Hours

If you smoke, there is good news. The human body is a healing machine. If you quit while you are healthy, your body can heal from most or all of the damage done by smoking. Within 72 hours of quitting, your lungs begin repairing themselves, and you will probably start breathing easier and better, as the bronchial tubes in your lungs begin to relax.

2 Weeks to 9 Months

Between 2 weeks and 3 months after quitting, your circulation improves, and your lung function increases by 30 percent. Your lung function will continue to improve over 9 months as the cilia begin to regrow. By 9 months, smoking-related coughing, congestion and shortness of breath should slow and cease.

After 1 Year

If you can quit for a year, your risk of coronary heart disease will drop to half what it was when you were smoking. After 5 years, your risk of stroke will go down to that of a nonsmoker. After 10 years, your risk of lung cancer will go down by half, and your risk of other smoking-related cancers, like those of the mouth, throat and esophagus, will also decline.

Simple ways for Quick Recovery 

During the first 9 months, a few strategies can help your lungs recover, especially as you begin to cough up mucus and material from your lungs. Eat right. Get adequate sleep and moderate exercise. Drink at least 1 liter of water a day to thin out the mucus. Using a facial steamer or breathing in a steamy shower will help. Boil a pot of water and place it on a table where you can sit with your head over it. Drape a towel over your head to breathe in the steam. Use a device such as PowerBreathe or the RespiVest, to increase your lung performance, even if you have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Be part of a unique gathering of Pulmonologists, Scientists and Respiratory medicine veterans from all over the globe at World Congress on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease during November 19-20, 2018 in Osaka, Japan.

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Monday, 16 July 2018

COPD in Nonsmokers


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, known as COPD, is a common condition most often associated with smoking. As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COPD is the third driving reason for death in the United States with tobacco smoke is a key factor in its motivation. However, nonsmokers and even people who have never smoked can also develop the disease.

According to 2011 research, just over 20 percent of people diagnosed with COPD are nonsmokers. Other causes, such as environment and genetics, play a more significant role than originally thought.

What is COPD?

In COPD, the airways that bring air in and out of the lungs become inflamed, inefficient, and blocked, making breathing difficult. If it is untreated, the inflammation worsens, and the symptoms become more severe. In severe stages, even everyday activities, such as walking up stairs, can cause shortness of breath.

The most common forms of COPD are emphysema and chronic bronchitis, but the term also covers some types of asthma and bronchiectasis.

COPD causes 3 million deaths per year worldwide and ranks as the fourth largest cause of death. In the United States, it is the third leading cause of death. As many as 50 percents of people with the disease do not realize they have it, mainly because they consider the symptoms to be normal signs of aging.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 16 million adults in the U.S. currently have COPD.

Causes in nonsmokers

Secondhand smoke

Secondhand smoke is the combination of smoke from the burning end of a cigarette and the smoke breathed out by smokers. secondhand smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals. Hundreds are toxic and about 70 can cause cancer. since the 1964 surgeons general's report, 2.5 million adults who were nonsmokers died because of the breathed secondhand smoke.

Exposure to someone else's cigarette smoke as a child or adult may increase the risk of COPD. This includes a baby's exposure to its mother's tobacco use before birth.

Know More about Health Effects of Second Hand Smoke Click Here 

Environmental factors

Examples include dust and chemicals in the home, the outdoor environment, and the workplace. Environmental factors also include air pollution and smog.

Air Pollution and other natural variables greatly affect qualities identified with respiratory maladies, for example, COPD and asthma than hereditary parentage, another Canadian investigation appears. 

People in contact with coal dust and crystalline silica through their work are at increased risk. An estimated 15 percent of COPD cases may be linked to the workplace.

Other industries where workers face an increased risk are rubber, plastics, textiles, leather, and construction.

Know more about Environmental Factors Click Here

Genetic factors

A deficiency in a substance called alpha-1 antitrypsin, a protein made in the liver, may account for up to 5 percent of people with COPD.

Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency is estimated to affect between 1 in every 3,000-5,000 people in North America. Individuals who smoke and have AAT are at greater risk of COPD.

Experts also note there are a wide variety of genes at work that is continually being identified through research. These inherited factors put people at greater risk of COPD, even as nonsmokers.

Symptoms in nonsmokers

The symptoms are the same for nonsmokers as they are for smokers. These symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath after even short periods of low-level exercise
  • Wheeziness
  • Coughing that produces excessive amounts of phlegm
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Tiredness and low energy levels
  • Intolerance to exercise that results in any of the symptoms above
  • Nagging, persistent cough
Long-term effects

People who have COPD have an increased risk of experiencing the following:
  • Feeling breathless after everyday activities
  • Having depression and other mental illness
  • Being unable to work or socialize as they want to
  • Needing special breathing equipment
  • Experiencing confusion or memory loss
Other diseases that are more likely in people with COPD include heart disease, asthma, stroke, congestive heart failure, arthritis, and diabetes.

Diagnosis

A breathing test called spirometry, also known as a pulmonary function test or PFT, is used to diagnose COPD. A person blows into a machine that measures the ability of the airways to move the air out.

The result shows how much air a person exhales and how long it takes to do so. It is quick and painless and is carried out by a doctor or other trained healthcare professional.

A doctor will likely perform a physical examination as well, as the result of the spirometry can be affected by other factors, such as general fitness, heart disease, abnormalities of the chest cavity, and smoking.

In some cases, a doctor may also recommend a blood test, a chest X-ray, or CT scan of the chest.

Others factors that aid a doctor in diagnosing COPD include evaluating the following:
  • Quality of life due to breathing symptoms
  • Need for hospital visits due to breathing problems
  • Frequency of chest infections
  • Frequency of flare-ups of breathing problems
  • Breathlessness during normal activities
  • Oxygen levels in the body
Treatment 

There is no cure for COPD at present. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, however, the more that can be done to ease the symptoms.
There are many ways that COPD can be treated to improve quality and length of life. These treatments include:
  • Inhaled drugs that relax the muscles and open the airways
  • Flu, pneumonia, and whooping cough vaccinations
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Antibiotics to treat chest infections
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs called glucocorticoids, a type of steroid hormone
Exercise techniques, education, and support to help breathing may also help. This is called pulmonary rehabilitation. Research suggests that it can be effective in treating the symptoms of COPD but is, as yet, underused worldwide.

Prevention

To reduce the risk of COPD, the standard advice for nonsmokers, other than not starting to smoke, is to avoid high-risk environments and occupations.

These may be areas where there are fumes from tobacco, high air pollution, diesel, and where things such as straw, grass, and animal dung are burned as fuel. People should also avoid industrial cleaning agents that may pose a chemical hazard.

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Vitamin D and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease



What Is Vitamin D? Role of Vitamin D in the Body?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a central role in many components of health. It stands out from other vitamins because your body is able to make most of what you need through exposure to sunlight, which is why it’s often dubbed the sunshine vitamin. It’s also unique in that it actually acts as a steroid hormone rather than just a vitamin in the body and is involved in everything from weight management to bone health.

When you consume vitamin D, it undergoes a two-step process to convert it into its active form. First, it’s made into its storage in the liver. Next, it’s converted into its active form in the kidneys. From there, it works by communicating with the cells to control a multitude of functions in the body, from altering calcium absorption to boosting immune health.

Vitamin D and COPD 

Vitamin D deficiency occurs frequently in COPD, Vitamin D levels are associated with respiratory function and health. The findings suggest an additional process could be driving diseases such as chronic obstructive respiratory disease (COPD), Vitamin D is well-known for its importance in regulating the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, thereby maintaining healthy bones, teeth, and muscles.

There is a strong relationship between vitamin D levels and forced air capacity. This includes the total amount of air forced from the lungs after taking the deepest breath possible. It also includes the amount of air forced during the first second of exhalation.

Vitamin D can also help people recover from infections. So patients with good levels of vitamin D will probably recover from an infection better than those dealing with a deficiency, high levels of vitamin D were linked to better lung function, even after accounting for factors known to influence its levels, such as obesity, seasonal fluctuation, and other chronic diseases.

How Vitamin D works

Vitamin D may protect against COPD flare-ups by:
  • Protecting the body against viral and bacterial infections. These infections often trigger COPD attacks.
  • Reducing compounds in the body that destroy tissues. This includes matrix metalloprotease-9  MM-9 may contribute to COPD.
The Cause of Vitamin D Deficiency

The cause of vitamin D deficiency in patients with chronic lung diseases is twofold. First, because eating requires a great deal of energy for people living with COPD and emphysema, many individuals do not consume enough foods that are rich in vitamin D.

Because eating can often be physically exhausting, many people living with chronic lung conditions do not eat three meals a day, In addition, most patients tend to eat foods that have a high volume of fat and protein because that is what their body needs as their condition worsens. However, these meals usually do not contain a good amount of vitamin D.

Second, because patients with severe respiratory issues do not regularly participate in outdoor activities, they are not receiving the sunlight they need to absorb adequate amounts of vitamin D. These deficiencies are further complicated by the chronic steroid use included in many individual’s treatment plans.

When taken in high doses over an extended period of time, steroids can inhibit the absorption of vitamin D and calcium in the intestines, So the vitamin D that patients are able to take in through their diet and sunlight is impaired because they are chronically on steroids.

Some Vitamin D Sources
  • Sunlight 
  • Cod Liver Oil 
  • Wild-Caught Salmon 
  • Mackerel 
  • Tuna Fish 
  • Fortified Milk 
  • Sardines 
  • Beef Liver 
  • Eggs
  • Fortified Cereal 
  • Caviar
  • Mushrooms 
However, the biggest thing patients can do is stop smoking, because smoking impairs vitamin D absorption, accelerates lung conditions and has been known to cause issues with bone loss.

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World Congress on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

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Wednesday, 11 July 2018

How Does COPD Progress?



There's no cure for COPD, but you can work with your doctor to slow its progression. First, learn about how the chronic lung condition develops

COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affects your lungs and generally gets worse over time. As the elasticity of the airways and air sacs decreases, less air is able to go in and out as you breathe. Other complications of COPD such as thickening or inflammation of the airways and more mucus accumulation can further restrict airflow.

The progression of COPD can vary greatly. COPD is an exaggeration of the natural aging process of the lung.

How COPD Progresses

Initially, the patient will develop a cough and possibly sputum production, Think of COPD progression in various stages.

Stage I, or mild COPD, appears subtly you might notice you feel short of breath when you exercise or do strenuous tasks around the house like yard work or carrying heavy objects. Sometimes an unexplained cough is the flashing red light. Many people at this stage don’t even realize they have a medical problem and fail to mention it to their doctors, instead of chalking off the symptoms to age, weight gain, or smoking.

While many smokers think that they have a ‘normal’ smoker’s cough, there is really no such thing as a normal cough. A cough often occurs years before the development of other symptoms, such as shortness of breath.

Exacerbations are another warning sign of COPD, according to Carlin. Many people mistakenly believe these periods of increasing shortness of breath, cough, or sputum production are bronchitis, but in reality, they are likely warning signs that the condition is progressing.

Moderate or stage II COPD is where most diagnoses are made. The symptoms at this stage of COPD will start to interfere with daily activities, making them harder to ignore.

Stage III or severe COPD is impossible to dismiss. “This is when patients are usually no longer able to work and have significant quality-of-life issues. You cough frequently and often cough up a lot of mucus. Your immune system is weak, making you more susceptible to colds and other respiratory infections, and it takes much longer to recover. Fatigue, muscle weakness, and lack of appetite are also common.

Slowing the Progression of COPD

Smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for developing COPD and worsening of symptoms, so quitting is key in trying to slow the condition’s progression. “The sooner you quit, the sooner you stop the damage to your lungs,” says Schneider.

Lighting up is not the only cause, however. Exposure over a long period of time to dust, certain chemicals or fumes, secondhand smoke, and other air pollution can also contribute to COPD, so avoiding these situations is critical.

Getting the right treatment is important, too. With mild COPD, a fast-acting inhaler can help constricted airways on an as-needed basis. Longer-acting bronchodilators or inhaled steroids may be prescribed for stage II COPD. Stage III requires intensive treatment usually including steroids, oxygen, bronchodilators, and sometimes even surgery. Pulmonary lung rehabilitation is another option to help you stay active. Your doctor is the starting point for any of these approaches.

Finally, positive lifestyle habits can help slow COPD progression and boost your overall health. These include regular exercise, a healthy diet in order to maintain an ideal weight, and getting enough rest.

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World Congress on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Be part of a unique gathering of Pulmonologists, Scientists and Respiratory medicine veterans from all over the globe at World Congress on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease during November 19-20, 2018 in Osaka, Japan.

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Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Reducing Chronic COPD Inflammation


Inflammation is a normal, yet a complex response that isn’t easily reduced to being all good or all bad. On the bright side, acute inflammation plays an essential role in protecting and healing the body after a physical injury or infection. Once the healing process reaches a certain stage, the immune system shuts itself off and inflammation generally resolves on its own.

But inflammation also has a dark side. Chronic inflammation can be silent and destructive, occurring when the inflammatory response is out of proportion to the perceived threat it’s trying to thwart off, or when it’s directed at an inappropriate target. Chronic inflammation has a disturbing, long-lasting effect on the body that can last for days, months, or even years.

Chronic Inflammation and COPD

COPD is characterized by an abnormal, excessive inflammatory response of the lungs to harmful respiratory pollutants and gases. Although tobacco smoke is the chief offender in this process, air pollution and pollutants in the workplace are also contributing factors.

But the lungs aren’t the only organs that are influenced by the damaging effects of COPD; the disease is associated with abnormalities in other organ systems, as well. The extra-pulmonary (outside the lung) effects1 outlined below are among the most widely studied.
  • Systemic inflammation affects your entire system. It’s believed to contribute to the severity of COPD in those who are diagnosed and to the development of co-existing illnesses.
  • Nutritional abnormalities are common in COPD and often lead to unexplained weight loss. Although the exact cause of weight loss in COPD is not well understood, experts believe that a higher than the normal metabolic rate due to medications and/or systemic inflammation that does not parallel with an increase in calories consumed plays an important role.
  • Skeletal muscle dysfunction is characterized by muscle fatigue, muscle disuse, loss of muscle mass, muscle wasting, and muscle atrophy. Along with shortness of breath, SMD contributes greatly to the inability of many COPD patients to tolerate physical activity.
  • Additional organ effects that are common in COPD involve the heart, nervous system, and skeletal system. Coronary artery disease, heart failure, depression, and osteoporosis are just a few of the health consequences that have been linked to systemic inflammation in COPD.
Inflammation: Self-Management

In order to reduce inflammation in the body, you must avoid the things that cause inflammation and are proven unhealthy. Most importantly, this includes quitting smoking and eliminating or limiting alcohol consumption.

Changing your diet is also important. Some people believe that an “anti-inflammatory” diet helps keep inflammation at bay. Although more research is needed to substantiate this claim, the anti-inflammatory diet basically revolves around making better food choices including:



  • Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Consuming healthy fats, such as olive and canola oil
  • Eating small portions of raw nuts and seeds
  • Eating more seafood, including salmon, mackerel, sardines and herring
  • Avoiding or limiting red meat
Dietary Supplements:



Although dietary supplements aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and more studies are needed before recommendations can be made as to their safety and efficacy, Dr. Bauer says the following may be of interest when considering home remedies for inflammation:
  • Cat’s claw  May help ease rheumatoid arthritis joint pain and osteoarthritis knee pain.
  • Devil’s claw Used extensively in Europe as an anti-inflammatory agent. May be effective in the short-term treatment of pain associated with osteoarthritis.
  • Mangosteen  Studies suggest Mangosteen may have anti-allergy, antibacterial, antifungal, antihistamine and anti-inflammatory qualities.
  • Milk thistle May have a protective effect on the liver and remove or block harmful substances. May improve organ function in people with chronic liver disease and be beneficial in the treatment of chronic hepatitis, a disease that causes inflammation in the liver.
Does Exercise Help to Reduce Inflammation?


Exercise is well-recognized as an important strategy for reducing the risk of many chronic illnesses. But did you know that it may also play a key role in reducing inflammation? In a study published by the American Heart Association’s Circulation Journal, 4,289 participants were followed over a 10-year period to determine the effect of physical activity on inflammation. From the start, participants who were physically active showed lower markers of inflammation that remained stable over time. When the study concluded, 49% of those who engaged in at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate to vigorous activity maintained lower levels of inflammation than participants who were less active.

Which types of exercises are most effective in reducing inflammation? Studies suggest that combining aerobic exercise with resistance or weight training may maximize the anti-inflammatory benefits of exercise.

If you’re ready to attack inflammation before it attacks you, talk to your doctor about starting a safe exercise program that suits your current level of fitness.

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World Congress on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Be part of a unique gathering of Pulmonologists, Scientists and Respiratory medicine veterans from all over the globe at World Congress on Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease during November 19-20, 2018 in Osaka, Japan.

How Does Smoking Affect your Respiratory System ?



When you inhale smoke, you’re taking in substances that can damage your lungs. Over time, this damage leads to a variety of problems. Along with increased infections, people who smoke are at higher risk for chronic nonreversible lung conditions such as:
  • emphysema, the destruction of the air sacs in your lungs
  • chronic bronchitis, permanent inflammation that affects the lining of the breathing tubes of the lungs
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • lung cancer
Withdrawal from tobacco products can cause temporary congestion and respiratory discomfort as your lungs and airways begin to heal. Increased mucus production right after quitting smoking is a positive sign that your respiratory system is recovering.

The major health problems caused by smoking affect the nicotine delivery system: the airways, blood vessels and lungs in the human respiratory system. During normal breathing, air is ingested through the nose or mouth and travels through the bronchial tubes to the lungs. There, the oxygen collects in the alveoli, or air sacs, and diffuses into the bloodstream, to be pumped by the heart to the brain and body. Cigarette smoking upsets this balanced process, to the detriment of the respiratory system.

Effects on the Lungs



The alveoli of the lungs suffer from cigarette smoking, eventually breaking down and losing their effectiveness in transferring oxygen to the blood. This second stage of COPD, emphysema, is characterized by shortness of breath and difficulty exhaling, the ALA notes. COPD restricts exercise tolerance, making everyday activities more difficult and strenuous exercise impossible for many individuals.

While COPD health problems are responsible for 92,900 annual deaths, lung cancer causes 128,900 deaths per year, according to 2008 U.S. smoking mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Effects on the Bronchi


Chemicals and particulate from tobacco use continue on to the bronchi, the airways that lead to the lungs. There, the smoke acts on the cilia, tiny hairs that sweep away debris to keep the airways clear. When damaged cilia can no longer function, excess mucus and foreign matter clog the bronchial space.

The American Lung Association relates that symptoms of chronic bronchitis arise to compensate for this health problem. A frequent cough and expulsion of phlegm indicate this first stage of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Effects on the Pulmonary Blood Vessels

Tobacco use causes atherosclerosis or clogging of the blood vessels. When the arteries and veins between the lungs and heart are affected and high blood pressure results, the condition is called pulmonary hypertension. As the Mayo Clinic reports, this health problem can lead to arrhythmia, heart failure, blood clots and pulmonary embolism, all of which can be fatal.

The effects of tobacco smoke on the respiratory system include

  • Irritation of the trachea and larynx.
  • Reduced lung function and breathlessness due to swelling and narrowing of the lung airways and excess mucus in the lung passages.
  • Impairment of the lungs’ clearance system, leading to the build-up of poisonous substances, which results in lung irritation and damage.
  • Increased risk of lung infection and symptoms such as coughing and wheezing
  • Permanent damage to the air sacs of the lungs.
Understand more about Smoking Effects Click Here 

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Sunday, 8 July 2018

Treatments for COPD Cough



COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, encompasses bronchitis and emphysema, two lung diseases characterized by inflammation of the airways and excessive mucus production which block airways, treatments for COPD aim to control symptoms of a cough, shortness of breath and anxiety and improve quality of life.

Bronchodilators

COPD treatment consists of primarily 3 different kinds of bronchodilators. Beta2-agonists relax airways to improve airflow. These bronchodilators may be short-acting and useful as rescue inhalers, such as albuterol, or long-acting such as moterol. Bronchodilators reduce airway spasm, a cause of COPD a cough.

Anticholinergics, another class of bronchodilators, achieve its smooth muscle relaxing effect by interfering with certain enzymes. Tiotropium is one anticholinergic that opens airways, relieves bronchospasm and lasts 24 hours requiring once-a-day dosing. The third class of bronchodilators is methylxanthines. Physicians use this class of bronchodilators less frequently because when metabolized by the liver, methylxanthines convert into caffeine which can cause toxic effects.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids reduce airway inflammation relieving cough. The American Lung Association reports that corticosteroids prove most effective when used in COPD patients with chronic bronchitis. Bronchial inflammation and mucus production lead to a frequent cough. Corticosteroids may be used long-term or for brief periods of time when COPD exacerbations occur.

Expectorants

Treatments for COPD a cough include the use of expectorants. Expectorants loosen mucous making it easier for the patient to cough up and expel the secretions. According to the ALA, primarily patients with chronic bronchitis benefit from expectorant use.


Oxygen


COPD patients use oxygen to relieve symptoms. Coughing worsens when patients feel anxiety from being short of breath. The ALA reports approximately one million COPD patients to use oxygen therapy greater than 15 hours per day. Referred to as long-term oxygen administration, oxygen the not only relieves aggravating cough and anxiety symptoms but increases survival.


Pulmonary Rehabilitation


The use of pulmonary rehabilitation helps relieve a cough by improving lung mechanics. Pulmonary rehabilitation creates a fitness program for COPD patients to increase energy levels and endurance which improve lung function and enhance mental state. Greater airflow through the lungs reduces COPD symptoms to include a cough and improves the overall quality of life. 


Avoid Environmental Triggers


Avoiding environmental triggers like allergens and respiratory irritants make other treatments for relieving COPD a cough more effective. Patients with COPD need to avoid dust, pollen, chemical fumes and strong fragrances and smoke. The primary cause of COPD is smoking and many patients have difficulty quitting even when suffering from severe symptoms. Lifestyle changes may be difficult but the benefits outweigh the inconvenience.

Simple Management of COPD Related Cough

Give Up the Cloud

It should be understood that smoking is the worst thing a COPD patient can do. Not only does it cause exacerbation, it worsens a cough that comes with COPD. Cigarette smoke dries out vocal chords. To replace the lost moisture, the body reacts by producing more phlegm, which will block airways. Therefore, a person with COPD should stay away from cigarette and cigarette smoke. Even secondary cigarette smoke or smoke from a fireplace could harmful.

Drink Water

Staying hydrated is key. Drinking a lot of fluids helps loosen the mucus thus making it easier to cough it up. This reduces the urge to cough. It also keeps the throat well lubricated and clear of secretion.

Lemon and Honey
This is a great home remedy for a cough and cold. Not only is it rich in vitamin C, the honey contains some very important and essential elements. A glass of hot water, squeeze in some lemon and drop in a little honey, this simple concoction will help the patient sleep better because they will not cough too much. One may drop in a little ginger for a touch of spicy antioxidants. The patient may also try out other spicy items like peppermint, these thins out the secretions.


Diet
  • Foods rich in vitamin D will help strengthen the respiratory muscles, recent studies have shown.
  • Omega 3 foods like Avocado and antioxidant vitamins when combined together make for a good remedy for persistent coughing.
  • Dairy may not cause the production of more mucus but it sure will thicken the existing. Thick mucus will be hard to cough up and will cause persistent coughing. Milk may coat the throat leading one to feel like they have phlegm stuck on the wall of the throat.
  • Pineapples may just seem like a sweet fruit but they are rich in bromelain, which is a protein-digesting enzyme. Incorporating pineapples into the diet will cause a reduction in the production of mucus. Pineapple juice will also sooth a sore throat.
  • Excess sodium causes water retention. Water retention will cause difficulty breathing and bring on a coughing fit so salt should be consumed in as little amounts as possible.
Humidifier
Before one can apply these home remedies, they need to be sure about the cause of the increased coughing. If it is due to dry air, a humidifier or vaporizer can come into play. Releasing a little moisture into the air will help keep the airways clear of secretions. It will also help the patient breath better. However, using a humidifier might cause a cough to worsen and therefore this remedy should be applied with caution and discussion with your physician or respiratory therapist.

Triggers
These are irritants that cause a coughing fit. It may be anything from strongly scented cleaning products to perfume, to dust. The patient should ensure they create distance between themselves and elements that may trigger their COPD symptoms.
Stay Upright

Keeping the torso elevated will help drain mucus. This is the same concept applied in postural drainage. This is whereby the patient keeps the lower body elevated and lets gravity drain sputum into the mouth, where it can be easily coughed up or just simply spat out.

This is a technique used mostly right before bedtime to clear up mucus to enable the patient to sleep better without the threat of secretion blocking airways. The sleeping position is also an important factor, as sleeping in a way that causes secretion to pool in the throat thus blocking the airways can cause a coughing fit. The patient should sleep on their side with the head elevated.

Stress

Anxiety and stress is an enemy to COPD wellness. Being in a state of restlessness may cause the symptoms of COPD to be worse. It is therefore important that one keeps calm not only for the peace of mind but also to keep coughing suppressed.

Apple Cider Vinegar
This does not taste great but drinking a tablespoon and swallowing really fast might be advantageous in clearing that cough that just won’t ease up. Mixing it with fruit juice makes it taste much better as well.
Humming
Humming is a great mood lifter. It may be a bit out of the box but it could work. The vibration from humming brings up the phlegm and voila, airways are clear.
Breathing Exercises


These are usually taught during pulmonary rehabilitation or at a regular doctor’s visit. A patient may opt for a combination of pursed breathing to reduce shortness of breath or belly breathing for a stronger diaphragm. Breathing exercises also help with other COPD symptoms like sleeping problems and wheezing.

Exercise
Regular physical activity is essential. Water-based exercises have been reported to be better for people with COPD as they require a little less exertion but still come with a lot of benefits. Yoga and tai chi are also great physical and spiritual exercises. The ability to tolerate physical activity is important to improve quality of life and keep COPD symptoms suppressed. This also ensures the patient does not suffer shortness of breath and a coughing fit after minimal activity.
VapoRub

This is an age-old menthol based ointment for application on the back, throat and chest. It is effective in the suppression of a cough.
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When all else fails, it might be time to try a medical or pharmaceutical intervention. This is of course after consultation with your physician. In fact, nothing health related should happen without the physician’s knowledge. Some things like a change in diet or jogging may seem harmless but could cause severe repercussions. Bronchodilators will be instrumental in helping reduce airway spasm. This is the sudden tightening of the respiratory muscles. Anticholinergics are also important as they relax the muscles by interfering with enzymes. The physician might also prescribe an expectorant or cough syrup for when a cough is too disruptive and persistent. Pulmonary rehabilitation is of utmost importance for patients with COPD. They are equipped with skills to help them breath better and more aware of triggers.

To improve the quality of life, there are some mechanical remedies for coughing and other COPD symptoms. Chest physiotherapy is an assisted exercise to help loosen thick mucus. This is usually combined with postural drainage. Positive expiratory pressure uses a device to help force thick and sticky mucus through the larger air passages so they can be expelled. High-Frequency Chest Wall Oscillation uses an inflatable vest to apply positive air pressure pulses against the chest. This action clears mucus and consequently, coughing.

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