COPD also known Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disease is a inflammatory lung disease that blocks airflow and causes difficulty in breathing. The symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, phlegm or mucous production. Most commonly it is caused by prolonged exposure to lung irritants like tobacco smoke, air pollution. It includes chronic bronchitis & emphysema. Early diagnosis and treatment course can help plan a better course and progress.
If you have COPD, it’s important to take care of yourself and follow these guidelines for a healthier life. If symptoms like shortness of breath, chronic cough, or increased sputum (thick mucus) persist, call your treating doctor, immediately or Dial 1066 for Apollo Emergecy.
Basic Management includes
- QUIT SMOKING/PASSIVE SMOKING
If you are a smoker, quit smoking. Its not easy and can be quite daunting. Please speak to your doctor about nicotin as a step towards completely quitting in the long term. Even if you don’t smoke, you may be exposed to secondhand smoke, also known as passive smoking (passively inhale tobacco smoke). Passive or secondhand smoke is a type of smoke that come from:
1) Someone puffing out (breathing out) smoke while smoking
2) A burning cigar, or cigarette, or pipe
You may have been prescribed medications like bronchodilators or corticosteroids by your treating doctor. These prescribed medications help ease your symptoms like coughing, wheezing. While bronchodilators (generally taken through an inhaler or nebulizer) help loosen tight muscles of the airway tract to help you breathe easier, a glucocorticosteroid will help reduce mucus production and reduce inflammation in the airways. Antibiotics or antiviral drugs are given if the patient develops any respiratory infection. Do not stop, or alter your medications without talking to your treating doctor. To re-order your medication, please call Apollo Pharmacy helpline 1860 500 0101
- IMPROVING AIR QUALITY
Take few important steps to improve the air quality at your home. Keep your home well-aired. Open all the windows at your home for 5-10 minutes several times a day, especially if you are cooking or using the shower. Also, fix any taps that are leaking. Mildew (or mold) can aggravate COPD symptoms. If you are using a humidifier, you should ensure it is clean to prevent the buildup of bacteria.
- OXYGEN TREATMENT
If the normal oxygen level in human body is too low, you can get supplemental oxygen through a mask or nasal cannula. It is a way to get more oxygen into your lungs too. When you get sufficient amount of oxygen into your system, it may help you have fewer bouts
of breathlessness. There are portable units that would make it easy to move around. If you are on oxygen therapy, arrange for delivery of the oxygen tanks at your home. They filter other gasses, so you can breathe in only oxygen.
Good options of exercises would be the ones that help you to strengthen the heart and lungs. Deep Breathing, jogging, walking, resistance training in moderation will be some of the good options to look for. Remember always to stretch and warm-up before beginning any exercise routine. However ensure to get clearence on exercise routines from your doctor.
- GOOD NUTRITION
Food provides you the energy needed to perform all activities, including breathing. Eating right helps in keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Eat high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, cooked dried peas & beans (legumes), rice and whole-grain cereals. Drink plenty of fluids – at least 6 to 8 glasses of non-caffeinated beverages every day to keep the mucus thin and easier to cough up. Maintain a healthy body weight and monitor your weight regularly, at least once a week. For a balanced diet plan or to know how many calories you should consume per day, call 1860 500 1066 to book an appointment with our diet & nutrition expert or log on to www.askapollo.com to book a appointment.
COVID-19 Precautions for COPD Patients
People with severe COPD are at higher risk of COVID-19 complications as the disease affects the respiratory system. You should continue with your treatment for COPD as usual during the COVID-19 outbreak. You should also take the following precautions:
- Do not get out of your home except for necessary medical care.
- Maintain Social Distance (Stay at least 6 feet away from others), if going out becomes necessary
- Strictly follow hand hygiene (wash hands regularly, particularly after being in a public place)
- Cover your sneezes and coughs with a tissue or elbow, then discard tissues straightaway
- Avoid touching the face with unwashed hands
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces like door handles, countertops and bathroom surfaces, etc.
When to seek help?
During this time of COVID-19 epidemic, it is important to understand the emergency signs and actions to take when they occur.
- Shortness of breath /wheezing which is worsening with time and is not relieved by medicines
- Changes in the color, odor, or presence of blood in your sputum
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Swollen ankles, or legs that does not go away after a night’s sleep with your feet up.
- Extreme and unexplained fatigue that lasts for more than two days.
- Irregular or fast pulse
- Fingernails or lips turning blue.
- Confusion or disorientation
- Difficulty in waking up
- Excess production of phlegm
- Chest tightness or pain
- Sputum color changes
- Cough that has worsened quickly
- Altered level of consciousness
- Severe or sudden breathing difficulty
- Blue lips or fingers
You should be well prepared for flare-ups. Keep the emergency contacts handy and at easy access, if required. You can store them in your phone.
Do not miss scheduled follow-up appointments with your treating doctor. We now have facilities for connecting you with your treating doctor over a call. For tele-consultation, call 18605001066.
If a physical check becomes necessary, follow these tips:
- Call 18605001066 to check for your doctor’s availability
- Carry your report and appropriate documents from your hospital/treating doctor
- Only one attendant will be allowed with you within the hospital
- Wear a mask throughout your visit to the hospital
- Apply for a curfew e-pass online for your medical consultation as per the state government’s norms
For any other query, call: 1860 500 1066