AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ — What is the fourth
leading cause of death in the United States? Many would be
surprised to learn that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD) is, and the number of people with COPD is increasing.
According to the COPD Foundation, more than 12 million Americans
are currently diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million may
not realize their shortness of breath and coughing are in fact
symptoms of this debilitating condition.
Although such symptoms can begin as a mild annoyance, they can
get worse with time. Eventually patients find themselves short of
breath doing simple activities, like preparing a meal or getting
But there is reason for hope.
Once diagnosed with COPD, often also referred to as emphysema or
chronic bronchitis, there are multiple treatment options and ways
to manage the disease and improve one’s quality of life.
The COPD Foundation offers multiple tips for better breathing
and managing the often debilitating disease.
Avoid triggers and exposure to pollutants – Stay away from
things such as dust, strong fumes and cigarette smoke that could
irritate your lungs. Also, stay indoors as much as possible when
the outside air quality is poor. It is best to avoid crowds during
flu season and it is a good idea to get an annual flu shot. Try
various breathing techniques such as: Pursed-lip breathing –
Inhale through your nose for four seconds. Then exhale through your
mouth for six-to-eight seconds, with your lips almost closed. Belly
breathing – Breathing with your diaphragm makes more space for your
lungs to take in air. Bend forward – Bending at the waist helps the
diaphragm move more easily, allowing more air to fill the lungs.
You can sit or stand with this technique, as long as you lean
slightly forward from the waist, keeping your back
straight.Consider a change in lifestyle Eat well