Coping With Chronic Bronchitis?
Struggling with chronic bronchitis… especially during the winter? Check out these tips to help make the winter a more tolerable time and help you breathe easier.
Breathe easier this winter…
Chronic bronchitis is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). When an individual has chronic bronchitis, the bronchial tubes that are inflamed will cause mucus accumulation. Due to the production of mucus, an individual may experience problems coughing and breathing.
There are certain factors that can make chronic bronchitis worse, which include air pollution, dust, cigarette smoking, fumes, and weather. In most cases, the cough that accompanies chronic bronchitis will last longer than 3 months.
Although chronic bronchitis can happen at any time, it is more common during the winter.
For those who suffer from chronic bronchitis, here are 4 effective ways to cope this winter.
Pulmonary Rehabilitation and Exercise
Although chronic bronchitis can be taxing on the lungs, an exercise program known as pulmonary rehabilitation may be an effective way to treat the condition. In most circumstances, a respiratory therapist will administer pulmonary rehabilitation. However, other health care professionals who are familiar with lung treatments can also administer pulmonary rehabilitation.
Along with exercise, an individual will also receive educational advice that will support better breathing. Individuals will learn about breathing techniques, oxygen, nutrition, and how to handle shortness of breath. Other forms of exercise can also help those with chronic bronchitis.
When an individual with chronic bronchitis starts an exercise program, it is important to take it slow and build up with time. Cardiovascular activity can strengthen an individual’s heart and lungs.
A humidifier can help ease the symptoms of chronic bronchitis. A humidifier will check the levels of humidity in the air and will return humidity levels to a healthy atmosphere. When an individual has chronic bronchitis, a humidifier will add moisture to the air, which can be especially helpful during the winter months.
The moisture that is added to the air by a humidifier will cause an individual to cough, which will help clear the mucus that has built up in the lungs. If an individual decides to use a humidifier for chronic bronchitis, then the water that is used in the humidifier should be changed on a regular basis. When the water is kept clean, the air will remain clean.
It is a good idea to consider using distilled or filtered water to ensure that the machine and the air will both remain clean and help the individual who is sick. Another thing to consider when using a humidifier is to change the filter on a regular basis. If the filter is not changed regularly, then it can cause contamination, which will cause chronic bronchitis to become worse.
When an individual uses a humidifier, it should not be for an extended period of time because it could lead to dependency on the device. It is also important to remember to not leave the humidifier unattended or for extended periods of time as this can pose a safety risk to the individual and their home.
Pursed-lip breathing can be an effective way to deal with chronic bronchitis during the winter months. When an individual does pursed-lip breathing, he or she will take a deep breath and breathe out through the mouth very slowly.
When an individual is breathing out, he or she should hold the lips in a pucker position (like they are going to kiss). Pursed-lip breathing can help an individual regulate breathing and help ease shortness of breath.
Home Oxygen Therapy
For those diagnosed with chronic bronchitis, home oxygen therapy may be recommended. Home oxygen therapy will enable an individual to get the oxygen that his or her body requires to function. When an individual receives home oxygen therapy, a respiratory therapist can effectively determine his or her oxygen needs and provide you with the best equipment.
When a person undergoes home oxygen therapy, then he or she will be provided with a small flow of oxygen, which will bring oxygen in the body to normal levels. This will result in reduced shortness of breath and will help an individual perform daily activities easier.
There have been studies conducted that have shown oxygen therapy can be an effective way to help those with chronic lung diseases have an improved quality of life.
The winter can be a difficult time for those with chronic bronchitis, which is why it is important these individuals incorporate techniques and practices into their lifestyle that help ease the uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the condition. If an individual with chronic bronchitis smokes cigarettes, then it is crucial to quit immediately.
When left untreated, it can lead to respiratory failure, so taking proper measures to control the condition is vital.
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