1 in 20 Australians over the age of 45 suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). COPD is characterized by chronic obstruction of lung airflow causing irreversible problems when breathing. Many people, unfortunately, do not know they have COPD until it is too late since symptoms show late after the lungs are too damaged. We have witnessed plenty of similar cases at Providence Medical.
Early treatment of COPD prolongs life and reduces breathing complications. Since it is not fully reversible, many patients have to live with mild symptoms like coughing, laboured breathing and too much sputum production for the rest of their lives.
It is a welcome relief to know that COPD is preventable. In this article, we discuss different ways through which you can keep Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease at bay.
Smoking is the leading cause of COPD worldwide and is also known to trigger flare-ups in COPD patients. People who smoke are at a risk 6 times higher than those who do not.
Smoking over a long period damages your air sacs making it hard for smooth flow of air. If you have never smoked, keep it that way to avoid this damage. If you are already smoking, seek professional help on how to manage the habit from any best medical centre in Australia.
In case you have trouble accessing a health facility for whatever reason, make use of telehealth consultations in Australia.
Avoid Passive Smoke
About 20% of smoking-related complications arise from second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is the combination of smoke from the tip of a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker.
As harmless as it appears, being in the constant company of people who smoke puts you at risk of developing COPD. Sidestream smoke (the one coming directly from the burning tobacco product) is too toxic because it hasn’t been passed through a filter.
If you are to keep your lungs out of the danger of COPD and other lung-related complications, avoid constant close contact with smokers.
Go For Check-Ups
COPD symptoms resemble those of other lung complications and may be hard to tell apart. While this doesn’t bother most people who are at risk, it is important to identify COPD early enough.
Early detection allows proper treatment before your lungs are fully affected. You can call Providence Medical to schedule an appointment with our doctor who will have a look at your airways. Do this regularly.
A blood test during such check-ups determines your Alpha-1-Antitrypsin levels. Alpha-1-Antitrypsin is the protein that protects the lungs from inflammation.
Through this check-up, your doctor can also tell you risk factors so you can eliminate them in your environment.
Keep Distance From People With Respiratory Complications
Constant exposure to respiratory illnesses is harmful to your lungs as it leaves them with scarred tissue. With time, the scarred lungs stiffen, making it hard for normal air passage, ultimately causing shortness of breath.
Contagious respiratory diseases like acute bronchitis and pneumonia have this effect and may contribute to COPD development in young children and the elderly.
Avoid Occupational Exposure
Workers dealing with toxic fumes and fine fibres are at a higher risk of developing COPD. Heavily dusty environments also pose a risk to anyone working in the vicinity.
Inhaling substances like silica and asbestos in fibre form for a long period causes your airways to swell to an extent of blocking in acute situations. Dusty workplaces also trigger heavy mucus production which is not good for breathing.
To be safe and maintain the elasticity of your lungs, work in areas where this risk is minimal. Wear masks when handling concrete, dust, cotton fibres, mineral dust, coal, cleaning aerosols and even grain dust. Take regular breaks during your shifts to have fresh air.
Invest In Proper Ventilation
Poor ventilation allows dust or mould to collect in any space. With time, the collection becomes too much that occupants begin to inhale it in bits.
While the process is gradual, inhaling indoor dust, smoke or mould has adverse effects on your lung function. These particles cause enlargement and lack of elasticity in your air sacs. With time, you will not be able to breathe normally.
To avoid COPD, keep your spaces well ventilated and carry out periodic cleaning to get rid of minute particles like pet fur and dust mites.
In summary, quitting smoking, being careful of your surroundings, an aerated environment and regular check-ups are key in keeping COPD at bay. Your goal here is to ensure you do each of them right. You can also seek more helpful information from respiratory illnesses specialists who can help you identify and eliminate risk factors. Our specialist doctors at every Providence Medical Centre in Australia are always ready to address your respiratory issues. Book your appointment today.